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 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."

I've just posted your notice on my blog, Nathan. I'll hope to be at the reading... 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 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.


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 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
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

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 - 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."
Fast Company | Things Leaders Do: "When GE's CEO Jeff Immelt teaches up-and-coming leaders at the company's famed management-development center, he runs through a checklist of what he calls 'Things Leaders Do.' In an interview with Fast Company , Immelt reveals his own leadership checklist."
Fast Company | It's a Blog World After All: "Corporate America is jumping onto the blogwagon for many of the same reasons all those journalists, brooding teenagers, and presidential campaigners are already on board. Unlike email and instant messaging, blogs let employees post comments that can be seen by many and mined for information at a later date, and internal blogs aren't overwhelmed by spam. And unlike most corporate intranets, they're a bottoms-up approach to communication. 'With blogs, you gain more, you hear more, you understand where things are going more,' says Halley Suitt, who wrote a fictional case study on corporations and blogging for the Harvard Business Review . 'Even better, you understand them faster.'"
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Sixteen Truthful Words: "Bush had spoken the plain truth. Did Saddam seek uranium from Africa, evidence of his continuing illegal interest in a nuclear weapon? Here is Lord Butler's nonpartisan panel, which closely examined the basis of the British intelligence:
'. . . we conclude that the statement in President Bush's State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that `The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa' was well-founded.' "
Rocky Mountain News: Opinion: "Which political party will command a majority in the 21st century? The answer is up in the air. Republicans and Democrats are steadily losing ground as more people choose to identify themselves as unaffiliated. In my generation - the so-called 'Generation X' made up of people born between 1960 and 1980 - almost half of all registered voters are independent. "

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Steve Meyer (on the left, with Howard James, Denver Pachyderm Club Historian) spoke with the new Denver Pachyderm Club about his Robin Hood Republican way to gather support against the "King" see below.
Robin Hood Republican Voters: "Robin Hood RepublicanSM
Voter Group

Time remaining to change a voter's paradigm for the 2004 elections *

Incoming and outgoing chairs, CRBC.
Colorado Republican Business Coalition: "Marie Rossmiller, Outgoing Chair 720.364.2537
Primerica Financial Services
John G. Nelson, New Chairman 303.573.5900
Welcome to Pete Coors for U.S. Senate: "Pete Coors holds a commanding 19 point lead over Bob Schaffer on a trial ballot test for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. Fifty-three percent (53%) of likely Colorado primary voters indicate they would vote for Coors, and only 34% indicate that they would vote for Bob Schaffer. There are 14% of Republican primary voters who are undecided on the trial ballot test."

Scaffer supporters need to take action now or Bob doesn't have a chance. I sent this to the Post and RMN last week:

In football, size makes a difference. In the U.S. Senate, political experience makes a big difference. Pete Coors has no experience being elected and doing the job of representing those who elected him. He's trying to pass that off as a virtue. It's not.

Rational Republicans and unaffiliated voters who care about Colorado should vote for Bob Schaffer and can Coors. (Voters registered as unaffiliated can affiliate with a party and vote in the August 10 primary.)
The New York Times > Arts > Young Right Tries to Define Post-Buckley Future: "In May the Philadelphia Society, a prestigious club for conservative intellectuals, tapped Sarah Bramwell, a 24-year-old Yale graduate and writer, to address the views of the young right at its 40th-anniversary conference. 'Modern American conservatism began in an effort to do two things: defeat Communism and roll back creeping socialism,' she began. 'The first was obviated by our success, the latter by our failure. So what is left of conservatism?'
Rearing new conservatives has long been a subject of keen interest to their elders. To counter what they considered the liberal dominance of the major universities and news organizations, a handful of conservative foundations has helped build a network of organizations to train young members of the movement, most prominently the 51-year-old Intercollegiate Studies Institute. It publishes journals and books, sponsors fellowships and administers a network of 80 conservative college newspapers.
'I think one of the principal, even signal, features of the conservative movement is its overriding concern for nurturing young people,' said Jeff Nelson, 39, the institute's vice president for publications.
Mr. Buckley recently chose Sarah Bramwell's husband, Austin Bramwell, 26, as one of five trustees of National Review. Mr. Bramwell, a clerk for the federal appeals court in Denver and an alumnus of the institute's programs, declined to comment because of his job at the court."
OxBlog: "I see many parts of contemporary political conservatism as being in conflict with my philosophical conservatism. Two examples: first, as I think I mentioned, I'm pursuing an academic career. I find the disdain that many conservatives have for the academy ('liberal academia,' etc.) to be distasteful, unconservative, and counterproductive. I think it's distasteful and unconservative because philosophical conservatism, as I understand it, reveres learning; it holds that we can only understand our situation in the present through the study of the past; and it maintains that it is impermissibly hubristic for us to dismiss the wisdom embodied in tradition without a very compelling reason. But all of these things require learning, and the academy is the seat of learning. I find many conservatives' dismissal of the academy to be counterproductive because, if you keep talking about how academia is hopeless and a waste of time, then of course young conservatives will shy away from it! Intelligent and respectful criticism of specific thinkers, not dismissal of the entire academic enterprise, is the proper attitude of a philosophical conservative towards the academy. And the refusal of many political conservatives to take this philosophically conservative attitude greatly bothers me. The idea that scholarship is inherently political also bothers me. At Yale, I double-majored in philosophy and a program called ethics, politics, and economics. At Oxford, I'm finishing up my doctorate in politics with a topic that straddles the line between law and politics. In my seven years at these two universities, I've never had a professor whose political views affected his/her fairness. Frequently, even in classes on politics or law or history, I've had no idea what the professors' political views were. In my experience, most academics are scholars first and foremost -- that's "
Rocky Mountain News: Columnists: "Armstrong conceded he supports Schaffer but 'I'm not involved in his campaign and not an officer.
'I had to go to Bob and (manager) Pat (Fiske) and tell them I didn't want them to tell me anything about their plans for the campaign in terms of message or media or strategy or polling or anything like that,' Armstrong said.
You retain certain First Amendment rights under McCain-Feingold, he added, 'but those rights evaporate if you're knowledgeable about those things.'
He makes no bones about his unhappiness with the law. 'I personally think it's a terrible situation that, in order to exercise the same rights that people have exercised back to the Federalist Papers, you have to cut yourself off from the cause you're trying to express an interest in,' Armstrong said. "
Rocky Mountain News: Columnists: "Look at any poll. I'll pull out the one from the Pew Research Center on the 2004 political landscape, headlined: 'Evenly Divided and Increasingly Polarized.' If that's too subtle for you, the report makes the point that since the 50-50 Bush-Gore election, we've had a recession, a significant business scandal, the 9-11 cataclysm and two wars, and yet we remain, through all the ground shocks, a 50-50 country.
Need more? Here's Matthew Dowd, the president's pollster and strategist, in the Los Angeles Times: 'You've got 80 to 90 percent of the country that looks at each other like they're on separate planets.'

What the divide means or how enduring it might be has inspired a cottage industry for the writing set, not to mention hours of talk in the slow hours on cable-TV news.

Here's a thesis: People from the two sides look out the window at the same tree, for lack of a better metaphor, and see it entirely differently. But they believe, because it is so obvious - it's an oak tree, OK? - that the other side must see the tree the same way they do.

And whoever says differently must be a liar. "

Document Library - The community of practice ecosystem - On competition, cooperation, differentiation, and the role of blogs: "This paper will also strive to place blogs in such a perspective. Blogs are a type of
personal web pages defined by their strong focus on the personal views of a particular
author, and by their modern web publishing tools and cross-linking methodology."

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Crowley Post Signal: "America needs to 'Get out of Bed' and act decisively now. America has been changed forever. We have to be ready to pay the price and make the sacrifice to ensure our way of life continues. We cannot afford to keep hitting the snooze button again and again and roll over and go back to sleep.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto said ' seems all we have done is awakened a sleeping giant.' This is the message we need to disseminate to terrorists around the world.
Support Our Troops and support President Bush for having the courage, political or militarily, to address what so many who preceded him didn't have the backbone to do. Both Democrat and Republican. This is not a political thing to be hashed over in an election year. This is an AMERICAN thing This is about our Freedom and the Freedom of our children in years to come."
The New York Times > Opinion > "(S)cripted conventions that will soon be offered to the nation once more as lean cuisine for thought...this year's one potentially risky innovation, accepting dozens of free-form online bloggers as accredited convention journalists."

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The Downtown Denver 2nd Wednesday Group of CoCaCoP (Colorado Caucus Community of Practice) heard Robert McGuire (shown here with Mary Clement) talked about his election as GOP National Delegate at the 1st Congressional District Convention.

First to arrive at the first meeting of the new Highlands Business Association: Brian Jewell, jbal systems; Michael Ambroziak, Ambroziak & Associates; and Joseph Markwith, TMAGuild.
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: The New Groupthink: "The salient news in the Senate Intelligence Committee report is this: all you have been hearing about 'he lied to us' and 'they cooked the books' is a lot of partisan nonsense.
The 511-page Senate report concluded this: Nobody in the White House or the Pentagon pressured the C.I.A. to change an intelligence analysis to conform to the judgment that the world would be a safer place with the monstrous Saddam overthrown."

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Business Report - Young men are turning to crime, not own projects: "the development of entrepreneurs had been made more difficult by inadequate educational systems, low growth and the endless bureaucratic red tape facing any would-be business.

Orford said that only 35 percent of men under 45 years old believed that they could start their own business, which was just over half the average for other developing countries. This was often because they had few, if any, role models in their own communities who could help them learn through observation.

Only about 41 percent had completed secondary education, even though this alone was not enough to help them set up businesses because of the content and quality of the education.

This highlighted the need for programmes for young men who had fallen out of the formal education system, to provide them with skills, restore their self-esteem, and willingness and/or ability to seek work."
|:| KNRC Radio - Where Denver Talks |:|: "Jimmy Lakey has been called a rising young talent in radio. While Jimmy began his radio career only a few years ago, he has already seen the top of the ratings and has worked the coveted morning drive slots in two major radio markets. After success in music radio, Jimmy delved into talk radio and has interviewed Governors, Senators, & even President George W. Bush. Jimmy Lakey is a refreshing new voice in American Talk Radio. With his refreshing and energetic style, even critics have called him a new generation of American conservative.'

Here’s the latest update to the agenda for the DDRO (Downtown Denver Residents Organization) Candidates Forum on July 27, 2004.

The moderator for the forum will be KNRC’s “morning drive time personality” Jimmy Lakey - .

We look forward to your attending this important event.


Steve Dwyer
Vice President


July 27, 2004
Wynkoop Brewing Company
1634 18th Street Denver, CO 80202
5:30 to 8:00PM

5:30 - 6:00 Meet Your Neighbor – Cash Bar

6.00 - 6.10 Opening Comments/Introductions – John Maslanik, President
1. Purpose of Forum
2. Introduction of the Moderator - Jimmy Lakey, KNRC
3. Brief introduction of the Candidates

6:10 – 6:50 Opening Statements by Candidates (4 min. each):

Michael Carrigan CU Regent
Howard Gelt CU Regent

Beth McCann District Attorney
Mitch Morrissey District Attorney
John Walsh District Attorney

Joel Judd State Representative District 5
John Wren State Representative District 5

Roland Chicas US Representative 1st District
Diana DeGette US Representative 1st District (Can Not Attend)

6:50 – 7:45 Open Discussion with Questions from the Audience

7:45 – 8:00 Closing Statements by Candidates (2 min. each)

Wrap-up Summary Comments/Thank You – John Maslanik, President
Media: Bill Moyers is stepping down: "In the course of his career, three themes, it seems to me, have run through his work: a concern for religion, influenced by his early education in a Baptist seminary and exemplified in his PBS series on Genesis; issues of fairness, specifically the unjust distribution of the world�s economic resources; and the condition of journalism itself, where power has become concentrated in too few hands."
Paul Harvey - The Voice of the New Millennium "Paul Harvey told me... well, he didn't tell just me..." often gets my friend KC Truby a laugh. If you can't tune in Paul Harvey on the radio so he can tell you, too, tune in here on the internet to this fast, informative way to get news and insightful commentary. - John Wren's IDEA Cafe | community | events: "Workshop for people who are starting a new project, business, campaign, or career. Speakers share their startup experience, and we do brainstorming. Free and open to all who are starting something new, we just ask that you bring your brain for the brainstorming."
John--Please Post

I'm looking at the Republican candidates. One is a valued businessman who while in his senior years is choosing to run for the United States Senate. Another with extensive government experience at the Colorado State Senate as well as the United States House is choosing to run for the same seat. What is the deciding factor?

Well one is age. While that may be taboo, look at it this way:

The power in the Senate is in the chairperson positions. As Senators gain seniority in the Senate, they are assigned and later choose which committees to sit on and in some cases which committees to chair. These chairpersonships, in the past have gone to Eastern or Southern Senators; they have affected the laws and regulations associated with the Western States. However, now as these Eastern and Southern Senators begin to retire, there is an opportunity for Colorado Senators to gain more powerful positions in committees.

One candidate, if elected, could serve three terms in the Senate and still be under 60 years of age. Only one of our republican candidates can serve multiple six year terms and still be under 60. Yes, that man is Bob Schaffer and that is who I’m going to vote for.

Art Onweller
5052 Syndt Rd.
Evergreen, Colorado 80439

Monday, July 12, 2004

Cutting Democracy (
National Endowment for Democracy: "The Endowment is guided by the belief that freedom is a universal human aspiration that can be realized through the development of democratic institutions, procedures, and values. Governed by an independent, nonpartisan board of directors, the NED makes hundreds of grants each year to support prodemocracy groups in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Untitled Document Homicide, rape, burglary, and motor vehicle theft were down for 2003, according to this Colorado Bureau of Investigation report that was recently released.
The New York Times > Books > Sunday Book Review > The New Pamphleteerswe are living in an era when many of our key institutions are failing. Before Watergate and the collapse of Vietnam, there existed an American Establishment, a bipartisan group of bankers, politicians and journalists who shaped the contours of national opinion...Pamphleteering is what happens when no one -- editorial writers, university professors, publishing executives -- is doing much ''filtering.'' Without strong political parties and powerful labor unions, Arianna Huffington's and Sean Hannity's politics is the kind of politics you get…
If the only choice we have is between no politics and vituperative politics, the latter is -- just barely -- preferable. Of course this could change if we recreated an Establishment that decided which television programs we would watch and how much dissent we would permit -- a prospect as unlikely (because the Establishment is gone) as it would be unwelcome (because it would constitute censorship). In the meantime, we argue about politics and even argue about how we argue about politics, just what you might expect when no one is in charge but ourselves.
Alan Wolfe is the director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. He is working on a book about the idea of American greatness.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

The Notebook Official Movie Trailer Site Ryan Gosling Pictures, Rachel McAdams Pictures, Love and Romance, Nicholas Sparks Books What was your inspiration for The Notebook? Nicholas Sparks: In many ways, the story paralleled my wife's grandparents story. They fell in love as teens, they were separated, she went off and got engaged, and, on the verge of her own marriage, she came back to find her one true love and they got married.

Outstanding artists.

This years Denver Black Arts Festival...

Delicious food...

Interesting wood carvings.

Thought provoking paintings.

Hand made arts and crafts.

Mi Casa holds a networking meeting for entrepreneurs the 2nd Saturday of each month in their offices, 360 Acoma Street here in Denver from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Men are invited to attend. Today's topic was goal setting. Today's topic was Goal Setting. After setting a goal (measurable, achievable, deadlined, specific, creates a gap) plan backwards from the gap to today. What are the specific tasks that need to be accomplished. After reviewing the plan with someone else, finalize it and then put the tasks on your calendar.

Cheryl Lucero-Torres and Agnes Talamantez-Carroll thank Jeannette Seibly (center) for her excellent Goal Setting workshop.

Jeannette Seibly shared powerful techniques for setting and accomplishing goals. She has worked with entrepreneurs in her consulting practice after 25 years of corporate experience. She recently helped a client go from being in debt to being worth over $1 million in 14 months. For more information about Jeanette see her website at

Muezetta Cromer, who recently graduated from the University of Denver GSIS program, is now coordinating Mi Casa's mentoring program .

Joyce Iriarte, Mi Casa; Greg Goettsch, Team BTS; Agnes Talamantez-Carroll, Mi Casa; Jeanette De Herrera, U.S. Small Business Administration; Cheryl Lucero-Torres, Mi Casa; Muezetta Cromer, Mi Casa.

Ballpark Market, Denver's origianal urban flea market, is the antidote for the Mall. Lots of vendors show their wares the 2nd Saturday of each month thru October 9th, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Larimer St. between 21st and 22nd, just East of the Rockies stadium a couple of blocks. Admission is free.

Brother and sister Amy and Todd Sabus own and operate Ballpark Market. For more information see
Plame's Input Is Cited on Niger Mission ( "Yesterday's report said that whether Iraq sought to buy lightly enriched 'yellowcake' uranium from Niger is one of the few bits of prewar intelligence that remains an open question. Much of the rest of the intelligence suggesting a buildup of weapons of mass destruction was unfounded, the report said. "

Is this just Bush grasping at straws or a real strengthening of his position that the Iraq War really was a just war from the beginning?
Rocky Mountain News: Opinion: "The problem with the brochure is that it appears to violate state law preventing government agencies from spending public money to oppose or support ballot measures. In its zealousness to play advocate, RTD has thrown legal caution to the wind.
The state's Fair Campaign Practices Act doesn't address the issue of government officials campaigning for a ballot measure. FasTracks' most public boosters such as RTD Chairman Bill Elfenbein and Joe Blake, chairman of the Colorado Transportation Commission, to name but a few, have the right to sing FasTracks' virtues, separately or in unison, to their hearts' content.
But the law does prohibit the use of public money, staff time or property for political campaign purposes. Insofar as materials on a ballot issue may be distributed, they must be factual, include arguments both for and against the proposal, and refrain from any conclusion or opinion in favor or in opposition. "

Why isn't this same criticism leveled at the SCFD (Scientific Cultural and Facilities District) that is campaigning for the renewal of it's tax authority this fall on the same ballot with the RTD tax increase.
Rocky Mountain News: Entertainment: "our selection for the top spot - the trio charged with getting the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District 'culture tax' reapproved - is a reminder that issues can take precedence over individuals.
1. Floyd Ciruli, Harry Lewis and Mary Ellen Williams, Scientific and Cultural Facilities District reauthorization campaign: Nothing's more important to the arts locally than keeping SCFD funding alive. "

Is the average person in metro-Denver better off than when the SCFD was started decades ago? Why is there no organized opposition to the powerful group behind the polar-bear. Does it have anything to do with what Fuller calls "rankism"? (See more about "rankism" below.)
The New York Times > Arts > Tilting at Windbags: A Crusade Against Rank: "'The theory has the potential to explain many things we just ignore as a given,' said Camilo Azcarate, Princeton University's ombudsman, who recently attended one of Mr. Fuller's lectures and bought several copies of his book to give to friends. Democracy and education should concentrate on creating virtuous citizens. This is exactly the kind of discussion we need to have.'
Mr. Fuller began postulating these theories on the Internet several years ago, and then brought them together last year in a book called 'Somebodies and Nobodies' (New Society Publishers), published recently in paperback. He can't answer how, exactly, his lofty ideas might translate into political or legal action. 'I don't see the form the movement will take,' he confessed in an interview at his home in Berkeley. 'But I don't feel too bad about it because Betty Friedan told me she didn't have any idea there would be a women's movement when she wrote `The Feminine Mystique.' You need five years of consciousness-raising before you find the handle.'
Ms. Friedan provided a blurb for his book. Other supporting blurbers include Bill Moyers, the political scientist Frances Fukuyama and the author Studs Terkel. So far the book has sold 33,000 copies (including bulk sales); and his Web site totals 2,000 to 3,000 visitors a week, his Web master, Melanie Hart, said.
Mr. Fuller's appeal nonetheless eludes some critics. In one of the few reviews of 'Somebodies and Nobodies,' Clay Evans, books editor of The Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, Colo., was dismissive. Mr. Fuller's concepts, he wrote, 'were old when Jesus was making fishers of men.' "
Breaking Ranks - Home 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. Books: The True Believer : Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (Perennial Classics)A stevedore on the San Francisco docks in the 1940s, Eric Hoffer wrote philosophical treatises in his spare time while livingin the railroad yards. The True Believer-- the first and most famous of his books-- was made into a bestseller when President Eisenhower cited it during one of the earliest television press conferences.

Completely relevant and essential for understanding the world today, The True Believer is a visionary, highly provocative look into the mind of the fanatic and a penetrating study of how the individual becomes one.
(From the book cover)
The New York Times > Opinion > The Senate Report: "The committee said the analysts who had produced that false apocalyptic vision had fallen into a 'collective groupthink' in which evidence was hammered into a preconceived pattern. "

Collective groupthink is a danger for us all. Eric Hoffer in his book "The True Believer" (see Amazon posting above) gave us an insight into groupthink and its root causes. I hope Pres. W gives Hoffer a read and makes an immediate amend with America. Being honest, open and willing is his only hope for reelection.
BW Online | February 11, 2004 | Selling Tactics for Startups: "No matter how innovative the design of your product -- and we feel that our play panels are a model of innovation that surely have a place in a mature business -- no matter how solid your financing or sound your planning, you need to sell.

And selling as a startup is tough. However, if my experience is any indication, it can be done. What it comes down to is leverage, being prepared, and a lot of hand-holding with customers. In short, you must use all of the creativity you mustered to design your product or service to get the sales ball rolling -- and then keep it rolling. What follows is a look at how these tactics work -- and how they work together."

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Theology on Tap: July 9, 2004, Thomas Smith, "Salt Lake City to Rome:
What is the New Evangelization?"
SCFD News: Meetings: "July 15, 2004 Board Meeting 12:30 P.M. Hudson Gardens, 6115 S. Santa Fe " I hope people will attend this meeting, post here what you think of the SCFD after the experience.
Mi Casa Resource Center for Women, Inc.: "Women's Network for Entrepreneurial Training (WNET)
Start:11:00 AM
Saturday, July 10, 2004End:1:00 PM
Saturday, July 10, 2004
Location:Community Hall - Mi Casa
360 Acoma Street
Denver, CO 80223"
10th Annual Black Arts Festival: "July 9th, 10th and 11th at Sonny Lawson Park
in the Historic Five Points Cultural District"
The Ballpark Market - Denver's Original Urban Flea Market: "The Ballpark Market is an outdoor, open-air flea market with European style and urban flair, presenting a remarkable shopping alternative. Among other cool and unique items, merchants & artisans offer an eclectic array of antique & vintage furnishings, primitives, collectables, art, garden accessories, jewelry, & clothing. Shop this extraordinary, warm weather venue, located in Denver�s Historic Ballpark Neighborhood, for FUN and one-of-a-kind finds!!"
The Colorado Irish Festival - 2004: "The 2004 Colorado Irish Festival will be held at Clement Park in west Littleton, Colorado on Saturday, July 10 and Sunday, July 11, 2004. Some of the headline acts include Ireland's balladeer, Paddy Reilly, Celtic fiddler Alasdair Fraser, along with The Elders, The Young Dubliners, Timmy 'the Brit' McCarthy and Colcannon. - NewsFlash: "If you're an information junkie, you've probably discovered the appeal of reading weblogs, those online journals that mix commentary with links to related sites. Obsessive blog creators scour the Internet for interesting tidbits in news stories, announcements and even other blogs, culling the best and posting links. A good blog is like the friend who always points out the best stories in the newspaper...

"The best way to find great blogs is to follow your curiosity, tracking back links on blogs you visit. Here are a few to get you started:
GENERAL INTEREST: Boing Boing ( is one of the Web's most established blogs, and one of its most popular, too. By 'general interest,' I mean of general interest to your average Internet-obsessed technophile. The focus isn't explicitly on technology, but expect it to skew in that direction -- over a recent week, posting topics included robots, comic books and a cool-looking electric plug.
ECONOMICS: EconLog ( offers a thoughtful and eclectic diary of economics, tackling both newsy developments (the real-estate market, taxes) and theory. It also includes a list of other good economics blogs -- there are more than you might think.
GADGETS: Engadget ( can be counted on for a good half-dozen or more news morsels each day on digital cameras, MP3 players, cellphones and more. When it isn't the first to stumble across something good, it isn't shy about linking to another blog with an interesting post, so it's usually pretty up to date.
POLITICS: WatchBlog ( has stuck with an interesting concept for more than a year now. It's actually three blogs in one: separate side-by-side journals tracking news on the 2004 elections from the perspective of Democrats, Republicans and independents.
TECHNOLOGY: Lessig Blog ( OK, this one's about politics too. More specifically, it covers the intersection between regulation and technology. Its author, Stanford law professor and author Lawrence Lessig, weighs in on copyright, privacy a"
How Good Are the New Jobs?: "Not everyone needs a Ph.D. to do well in the future. Physical therapists, personal tutors, and gardeners are examples of growing occupations that are high-skill but not necessarily high-education. It is easy to imagine an America where all senior citizens are well-cared for, all workers are coached to succeed, and all children are nurtured by personalized educators. Personal attention is a key trend in the future, and therefore in the workforce."
The New York Times > Books > Fewer Noses Stuck in Books in America, Survey Finds Somewhere I read that most people have not read a book since leaving high school. This study would seem to confirm that as fact.

My son John passed his Professional Aptitude Test at Park Hill Golf Course to become a member of the Professional Golfers Association. John (on the left) was very glad to have his friend Matt Clark as his caddy.

Scores were posted on the wall. To pass required a score of 152 or better for 36 holes. John shot 151.

Steve Meyer, author of Rationally Right, Bob Lowdermilk and I talked about starting Robin Hood Republican groups to help teach active Republicans how to win voters over to the conservative paradigm. See

Roland Chicas at Denver GOP 1st Wednesday breakfast meeting. After his talk about health care, he shared about the progress being made in his campaign and encouraged people to attend the new Denver Pachyderm Club each Friday, 7 to 8 a.m. at Panera Bread, 1350 Grant.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Grove City College_Throckmorton_The NEA and the Educator Sexual Abuse Report: Time for a Parent-Teacher Conference: "The report on sexual abuse was required as a part of the No Child Left Behind law championed by President Bush." - Pius Kamau: "I remember watching Mercy Medical Center, a progressive institution near City Park run by nuns, wither and die.
For decades, Mercy served the poor of Capitol Hill, Park Hill and Five Points. As it drowned from insurmountable debts, many attempts were made to infuse funds from various sources, including a failed marriage to St. Anthony. Denver's rich and poor watched Mercy close its doors, with little public expression of support or sorrow from those it served. The lesson is quite simple: To survive in America, you must be profitable."
On Mike Rosen's radio show Dick Lamm told me he believes we have created a giant ponzi scheme with medical insurance. The very poor get medical care, but those with any assets loose them. What is the solution? As the writer of this Post editorial concludes:

Despite it all, people like George Ferguson (subject of article, has no medical insurance, in lawsuit with hospital that provided care at higher cost than charged for similar services to HMOs) remain burdened with debt and poor health. I'd like to think these lawsuits serve to clarify issues, but they don't. And as sad as Ferguson's travails are, greater tragedies live with us. Scruggs' lawsuits won't help the uninsured; to the contrary, they'll diminish funds available for the sick poor.
They will, however, keep the plight of the uninsured in the public's eye. - National Politics: "In Colorado - one of the first states to pass laws limiting damages in civil lawsuits - Republicans blame trial lawyers such as Edwards for increasing the cost of health care and otherwise crippling businesses.
'That particular group has added huge hidden taxes to the price of everything that Americans buy by turning the civil justice system into a big lottery,' said Colorado Senate President John Andrews, R-Centennial, who has fought for tort reform.
'I think as Americans come to understand this better, Edwards is going to become a drag on the Democratic ticket.'"

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Townhall meeting tonight had spirited debate of Schaffer/Coors primary race. As I've said before, I just don't think Pete Coors can get elected. If he does, he will not represent as well as Bob Schaffer. In football, size makes a difference. In the U.S. Senate, political experience makes a big difference. Pete Coors has no political experience, and he's trying to pass that off as a virtue. It's not. Look at the difficult time John Hickenlooper is now having. Click on townhall meet up logo to the right, sign up for our meeting next month!
Robin Hood Republican Voters Liberals and conservatives wish for the same political outcomes-- plentiful housing, good education opportunities for our youth, and a generally healthy, wealthy, happy and safe populace. Why then is there such animosity between these two groups working for the same common goals? There are two political mindsets. or in the modern verbiage, two political paradigms. This difference in paradigms leads to misunderstandings, mistrust, and rancor between these two political factions.

Stephen Meyer has created this website to promote his book Rationally Right, a explanation of the conservative paradigm. He and I are looking at ways to get this message to as many voters as possible between now and the elections this fall. / News / Boston Globe / Opinion / Op-ed / Inspiring future social entrepreneurs: "Social entrepreneurs are change agents who, like their counterparts in the private sector, bring new ideas, techniques, systems and solutions to the civic and social sectors. As the Ashoka Institute describes, 'The job of a social entrepreneur is to recognize when a part of society is stuck and to provide new ways to get it unstuck.'"

When is a non-profit or government solution necessary? When direct creation of a for-profit business wouldn't solve the problem. Example: snow removal. Direct payment from those who benefit from the service just is not possible.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Zell Miller
I love my party but hate what it has become
: "As the Republican chairman and the Democratic co-chairman of the 9/11 commission said countless times, ties between al-Qaida and Iraq definitely existed. What we're not sure about is whether Saddam had anything to do with the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. And guess what? That's exactly what Bush said last year: 'We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with Sept. 11.' So much for deception."
East of Eden "Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite...

"Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miricle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anthying. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.

"And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared a war of extermination on that preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repressions, forced direction, and the stunning hammerblows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken.

"An this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost." Chap 13.

John Steinbeck knew this creative inspiration, what some call the Logos, is how businesses really get started.
Rocky Mountain News: Election: "The effort involves gay and gay friendly organizations working independently but collaboratively through the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado.
Volunteers are hitting the streets, taking a simple message to family, friends and strangers: 'Vote like your civil rights depend on it.'
They're posting campaign fliers in gay bars, coffee shops, lounges and restaurants urging people to back gay-friendly candidates. Voter registration tables are being set up at popular gay night spots."
The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Kerry Criticizes Bush's Definition of Values: "At a barbecue here, (Kerry) argued that there was 'nothing conservative' about values that produced growing deficits, stagnating wages and a middle class squeezed by rising costs for health, education and child care, all of which he tied to Mr. Bush.
Moreover, Mr. Kerry, a Roman Catholic, added: 'I'm a person of faith, and I know I'm surrounded by people of faith. But there's nothing conservative about allowing your administration to cross that beautiful line drawn by the founding fathers that separates affairs of church and state in the United States of America.'
Mr. Kerry also dealt with the issue so often cited by Republicans as evidence that he is outside the mainstream on abortion. Mr. Kerry has a 100 percent voting record with Naral Pro-Choice America, and has often spoken about his commitment to abortion rights and the appointment of judges who will uphold them.
But in an interview with The Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, published Sunday, Mr. Kerry emphasized his personal opposition to abortion. He also tried to counter the criticism from within his church hierarchy that an elected official could not advocate the right to abortion and be a good Catholic. Mr. Kerry said he was abiding by both his conscience and the line between church and state in America.
'I oppose abortion, personally,' he told the newspaper. 'I don't like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception. But I can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist ...who doesn't share it. We have separation of church and state in the United States of America.'

The New York Times > Technology > An Investor's 'Gong Show' for Billion-Dollar Dreamers: "'We've been approached by one of the major networks to turn this into a TV show,' Ms. Langley said. 'It could be like 'The Apprentice,' but it might be more of a panel show, like 'American Idol,' where Tim is one of the judges.'
Ms. Langley added, 'Tim's attitude is, if a network says this is a good idea and they want it, he'll do it.' "

Is this how successful businesses really start?
DFJ: "7. Get a customer. That should have been earlier. A customer is absolutely critical to your success because you need the feedback.
8. Now, go get another customer so that the first one doesn't own you."

According to Amar Bhide (info posted yesterday) DFJ's #7 step is usually step #1 for the successful startup.

Is the venture capital approach practiced by DFJ and preached by the Small Business Administration and nearly every business school in the country killing the true entrepreneur?
The New York Times > Opinion > A First Stone for Ground Zero: "They need to figure out how to pay for the memorial and the cultural complex. They need to figure out how to provide more housing downtown, a priority for Mayor Bloomberg. And finally, the most difficult part of the equation: Mr. Pataki and his supporters need to do some harder thinking about future transportation needs for Lower Manhattan."

Can New York City rebuild only through the natural operations of the free market, or is this type of government intervention necessary. When is the government necessary, and when is the unfettered operation of the free market best? How can the free market solve big problems like rebuilding NYC (or Denver), or little problems like snow removal after big storms? What do you think?
Keep It Simple: "Most inventors don't have the time or experience to market their product, so they hope to find a marketing firm to take over sales. How do you find a firm that will work for you?
The best approach is to attend one or two key trade shows in your target industry. You can find shows at or When you get to the show, you'll find booths selling products from many companies. They are either distributors or marketing agents, and you can talk to them about carrying your product.
If you can't attend, call the show's promoter, and request a directory that lists the exhibitors. Contact the firms with 'marketing' or 'distribution' in their names, and call those that carry products sold to the kind of retailers or distributors that might carry your product."

Or attend an IDEA Cafe meeting, each Friday, 3 p.m. at Panera Bread, 1350 Grant St. here in Denver. We always have entrepreneurs who share their startup experience and we do brainstorming.

Sunday, July 04, 2004 - John Moore: "One group working to save the Lowenstein has been headed by City Councilman Carol Boigon. She envisioned a public-private partnership among the city, Denver Public Schools and private investors. The idea was for the Lowenstein to reopen as a performing-arts center in partnership with DPS, which is spending $15 million to renovate the grounds around East High School. The Bonfils originally was designed as part of the entrance to the Esplanade, which is the gateway to City Park and includes East High.
She imagined street retail, shared parking with East and housing above the theater that would create additional cash flow. None of her imagined scenarios envisioned demolition.
'Not in my fantasy,' she said. 'If you ask the nine of us on the City Council who are working on the revitalization of East Colfax, all of us want to see the theater sustained.'
Ward said he has been working with the Boigon proposal for months but that it has no financing plan in place, and time is running out."

Here is a good test of the SCFD. Why hasn't it been able to help save this wonderful Denver theatre? - Sunday Style: "'We didn't have a business plan, we did it for fun. ... We took them down to the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show in October (2002), and they just exploded,' Boedecker recalls. 'We sold more in two days than we projected for two months.'"

Amar Bhide has found that successful businesses almost never had a formal written business plan before their first sale. That has certainly been my experience listening to entrepreneurs tell their startup stories at the IDEA Cafe each week since 1994 and in my consulting practice.

My friend Dr. Amar Bhide, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Harvard and now at Columbia, may know more than anyone in the world about how successful new businesses actually start.
Home Page of Amar Bhid�: "My book appeared at the height of the Internet bubble. Internet startups provided a fortuitous natural experiment for my theories: either I was looking at the world through a rear view mirror, or Internet startups represented an aberrant phenomenon. Naturally I took the latter position " | The Origin of the Entrepreneurial Species: "Finally, an answer to the question, What's the secret of start-up success?
I can't even begin to calculate how often people who are thinking about starting new businesses have asked me to name the one book that illuminates, more than any other, what it's essential to understand in order to create a successful start-up. For close to 20 years now, I've had to answer that there is no such animal. Don't get me wrong -- there are lots of perfectly acceptable books about almost every imaginable aspect of starting and running a new venture, from writing a business plan to raising capital. The limitation of such books is that, important though those tasks may be, you can get them right and still fall flat on your entrepreneurial face. But with the recent publication of The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses, by Amar V. Bhid� (Oxford University Press), there is now a book I can recommend to anyone starting a business."

Since Bhide is recognized as one of the leading experts in the world on startup, why is he almost never quoted in the business press? Is it because what he says flies in the face of SBA propoganda about the importance of market research and strategic planning for startups?
The New York Times > Fashion & Style > Cutting Edge in the Arts Now Is Joining a PAC: "the group's research indicates about 85 percent of its contributors have never given to any candidate or party before.
'It backs up our suspicions that you have this huge class of people who work in culture and information industries that are driving our economy, who are liberal culturally, but they really weren't doing very much,' Mr. Stowers said. 'A lot of people have worked on the environment or gay rights, and those things are important. But unlike the Christian right, which tends to focus on winning elections, liberals have tended to place their energies into issue advocacy and have not directly engaged in elections. It's a famous quote that `the left won the culture wars, the right won the elections.' '"

As artists become more directly politically active, will the funding structure of the SCFD still work? How will the $37 million be spent each year? How has it been spend over the last 20 years? Why hasn't one of our daily newspapers taken a look at this? What we know for sure is that symphony concerts are still half full in one of the best markets for good music in the country.
The New York Times > Books > Sunday Book Review > 'Politics': Pundit's Progress: "Delegates to political conventions ''wear funnier hats than they do in the Supreme Soviet, but their scope for discretionary decision making is more limited,'' and the ''only remaining function'' of conventions ''is to be the pretext for a gigantic press Woodstock.'' "

Do we want to really increase Colorado's influence at the two National Conventions? In four years let's send uncommitted delegates and let the make a final choice based on full and complete information and personal conversation with all candidates. Then we can set the date of our neighborhood caucuses based on what is good for Coloradoans, not what is good for NBC and CBS. If other states do the same, we can return real meaning to the conventions.

Conventions were first held because of communication problems. Long distances made it necessary to send delegates to make a final decision. Today, we need to return the right of decision to delegates for the same reason. Today we have communication problems caused not by too little information but the clutter of too much.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Sacred Space - This month's feedback: "So there you are: you're ready for a break at your PC, you'd really appreciate just ten minutes thinking about something else, and you really don't want to spend another thirty quid at Amazon, so what do you do? You look over your shoulder to make sure the boss isn't watching, and you type in an address: Yes that's right - Jesuit. Now don't panic! You won't get a Cardinal on your doorstep the following morning selling indulgences, or receive threatening phone messages from the Archbishop of Canterbury. IT'S OK. THIS IS ECUMENICAL. In fact, Sacred Space's feedback page is proof of how beautifully ecumenical it is: people email in from all over the world and from every christian persuasion, testifying as to how much the site has helped them. So what do you get? You get an attractively packaged, easy-to-follow, clearly explained session of guided prayer that has been put together according to the recommendations of an interesting chap from sixteenth-century Spain called Ignatius, who, far from being a member of the Spanish Inquisition, was actually one of its victims. The Jesuits are his official fan club. This website has been put together by his Irish aficionados in Dublin, who have translated it into umpteen (that's a precise estimate) languages, and provide links to other similar websites. I won't say any more about it other than to recommend you check it out...
Chester, England"
BreakPoint | Watershed Moment: "If God is thrown out of our history, we lose our basis for believing that individuals have rights and dignity. In an empty universe, we have no meaning, no value. Without God there are no unalienable rights, and no certain proof that liberty is better than tyranny or that life better than death. Everything is a matter of opinion and power."
Religion Journal: "Moore... has been influenced by one of the newly developing trends among the far left in the United States, that of professing to be a world citizen...people who belong to this group vehemently 'despise their own country and their own traditions.'"

GK Chesterton said the reason that Christians are commanded to love their neighbor and to love their enemy is because they are so often the same person. It's easy to have a fuzzy feeling of love for someone on the other side of the world.
Rocky Mountain News: Opinion: "Moore has pathetically tried to spin (distortions) as objective truth. Did we mention his suggestion that the U.S. is run by a cabal of business leaders who turn a blind eye to terrorism?
Not that this seems to bother many of the film's eager viewers, however, who are pushing ticket sales into territory usually reserved for star-laden blockbusters. And with a three-day weekend coming up, the movie is poised to post even more impressive attendance figures.
Fahrenheit 9/11 certainly does for the aggrieved political left what The Clinton Chronicles did for the livid right a decade ago. Seemingly well-researched, Chronicles told a disturbing tale of bribery, money-laundering, drug-running and even murder during Bill and Hillary Clinton's tenure in Arkansas. The difference, however, is that Chronicles was largely ignored by both mainstream film distributors and the reviewing media. Why? Because it was rightly perceived as vulgar propaganda intended to smear an incumbent president as he approached another election.
This re-election year is obviously different, but far from being a 'dissenting' hero, Moore is but one more contestant in the race to the polemical bottom, coming at a time when truth is often the first victim of the supermarket media values now embraced by a depressing number of mainstream journalists. Fahrenheit 9/11 places Moore squarely on the growing list of charlatans and hucksters engaged in a steady business pawning off their fabrications on an unfortunately credulous public."

Rocky Mountain News: Opinion: "It would be bad enough if Amendment 34 simply repealed a law that has existed for little more than a year and hasn't even been given a full chance to prove its worth (although anecdotal evidence suggests it's working just fine). Unfortunately, the amendment goes further: Its sweeping language against laws that 'limit or impair a property owner's right to recover damages' opens the door to lawsuits against any seller of property - an extraordinary departure from the enshrined principle of caveat emptor in the sales of older homes. And the amendment puts this expansive invitation to litigation in the state Constitution, where it can't be tweaked by lawmakers if it proves to open Pandora's box."

Who will fight Amendment 34 which is being pushed by the trial lawyers?
Rocky Mountain News: Opinion: "We are not leaving future generations worse off. Rather, today's bounty is leaving them with more capital and larger stocks of natural resources.
The basis of a better environment turns out to be the same 'secret' behind all other success stories, human ingenuity. As humankind grows more creative in using the natural world to improve life, the natural world responds with bounty. Julian Simon believed that the ultimate resource is human ingenuity. 'With every mouth comes two hands and a mind,' he said.
Or, as the great political economist Aaron Wildavsky put it, scarcity has yet to win a race with creativity."
Rocky Mountain News: Education: "Colorado currently has one of the lowest rates in the nation of high school graduates going on to obtain a college degree."
The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Strategy: Party Appeal to Churches for Help Raises Doubts: "'I find,'' he said, 'that a lot of church people, including a lot of evangelicals, are increasingly nervous about the credibility of the Bush administration on issues that a year or two ago people were ready to trust them on, like foreign policy.
'Rather than just assuming that evangelical churches are ready to hand over their membership lists, they would do much better to spend some time trying to convince us that they really do have the interests of biblical Christians at heart.'" :: The Official Re-election Site for President George W. Bush New Bush advertisement counters Kerry's claim to be an expert on terrorism because of a book he wrote.
The New York Times > Theater > News & Features > A Comedian Is Serious About Winning New York: "Mr. Moran, however, is not famous in the United States. 'I'm Joe Schmo here,' he said on a recent afternoon from his temporary apartment in Chelsea. 'Actually, I'm not even Joe Schmo here. I'm Joe Schmo's little brother.'"

Running for elected political office seems a lot like the problem the problem that the comic faces-- building an audience. That's what I'm trying to do with this blog, the 0ne-page newsletter John Wren's Journal & Downtown Denver Datebook (email me if you'd like me to send you a copy each week), and talking to as many people who live in the district as possible. How am I doing? Should I try and get my first laugh quicker?
The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Trend Still a Friend, the Bush Camp Says: "The work force participation rate dropped to 62.3 percent in Friday's report from 64.7 percent in the spring of 2000. Despite big monthly jumps in employment this spring, the participation rate has barely moved.
Some of that loss may be explained by demographic shifts and an increase in self-employment that does not show up in the official numbers. But the data still suggests that the American job creation machine may not be as vigorous as it once seemed.
Administration officials say that almost all economic indicators point to strong economic growth for the rest of the year. That, they add, proves that Mr. Bush's program of tax cuts and 'putting more money in people's pockets'' was the correct prescription for a recovery.
Administration officials also point out that the monthly jobs data is notoriously jumpy, based on estimates from two often-conflicting surveys. In an economy with 147 million workers, the margin of error in measuring fluctuations of 100,000 or 200,000 jobs is enormous and the numbers themselves are extremely volatile."

Friday, July 02, 2004

AP News - from Tampa Bay Online Kerry's going to e-mail in his choice for VP.
The Society for Philosophical Inquiry: "spreading a version of Socratic inquiry that enables each of us, within a group setting, to become more autonomous thinkers and doers and more expert questioners and listeners."

Socrates Cafe was locked out of Panera Bread tonight, which unexpectedly closed early because of the holidays. Should be open for us next week, sorry to anyone who couldn't find us a Pasquini's.

Topic tonight: Socratic Citizenship. What does it mean to be a citizen? How do we judge our political leaders? Do we have a different standard for elected officials and those who are seeking office for the first time? Books: Socratic Citizenship.

Thursday, July 01, 2004 | News: "DENVER (AP) - The four candidates seeking Colorado's open Senate seat clashed along party lines over tax cuts Thursday in the first debate to match all of them at once ahead of next month's primaries. " Check out the video by clicking above on KUSA and then on Video.

The NFIB (National Federation of Independent Businesses) who hosted the debate distributed a flier with the headline "Coors Says NFIB Endorsed Bill Is Not 'Appropriate'" It quotes Coors at the Arapahoe County Men's Club on Wednesday, June 23, where he called NFIB supported legislation "the Pork Bill."

Many attending tonight were unhappy with Coors lack of experience in and understanding of the small business community. In the debate Coors admitted he's never had a job outside of the positions he's held with giant Coors Corporation. Bob Schaffer has had a wide range of work and business experience, in addition to his outstanding record as a legislator-- the NFIB has endorsed him every time he has run and has rated his voting 100%.

The four candidates for U.S. tonight at the University of Denver Newman Center.