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."