Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007, Hello 2008!

On this day in: 1879 - Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time. 1891 – The immigration depot is opened on Ellis Island, New York. 1904 - The first New Year's Eve celebration is held in Times Square New York. 1929 - Guy Lombardo performs Auld Lang Syne for the first time.

Most of the feedback I've gotten from my change of party has been positive,
but I just got this email from a friend(?):


While I appreciate your energy, I simply cannot take time to be part of (pardon me if I am frank), reckless and non-productive enterprises. This is an election year and you are off the map so I have no time for you or your followers. I think you actually registered as a Dem. Why should I give any time at all to you? Now you are the enemy so "Get a life with the Dems and have a great time!".



So I emailed this back just now:

Hi M,

Your frank, open feedback is invaluable. Thank you.

It may be that what I'm doing is way off base, we'll see. In our free marketing economy, the marketplace renders the final decision.

The work I'm doing to try and encourage more grassroots civic participation and business entrepreneurship seems to be helping people.

It was people like you, good Republicans I offended with my change of registration, who I had in mind when I posted this on my blog last week:

On December 5, the deadline for affiliating with a party to be able to vote in the February 5 precinct caucus, I became a Democrat. A friend says I’m BAD, a Born Again Democrat. Some of my friends are asking why.

I started my political life as a Democrat. When I cast my first vote for President in 1968, it was for Hubert Humphrey. My friend was disappointed I didn’t support Eugene McCarthy.

A few years later when I owned a small business, Richard Nixon sent me what seemed to be a personal letter. This was before the wide spread use of word processors, so I wasn’t hard to fool.

Nixon’s letter got me thinking about politics, so when my business failed and I retreated to graduate business school at the University of Denver, I was easy pickings for cute girls at the College Republican’s table at registration.

This was during Watergate, so it was easy to rise to the top of College Republicans. Soon I was State Chair, meeting with Dwight Hamilton, Bob Tonsing, and the Colorado Republican’s Executive Committee each month. I helped Karl Rove give seminars around the country teaching about how to appeal to young voters. I appeared on a Republican National Committee TV special called “Republicans Are People, Too.” At that year’s National Convention here in Colorado, Karl and I met Dick Wadhams (then 18-years old, now Colorado GOP Chair).

Since then, I’ve been a Republican precinct committee person, district captain, and volunteer for various Republican candidates and organizations. In 2002 I was part of Save the Caucus which defeated Amendment 29 which would have killed our wonderful Colorado grassroots political system.

Over the years, everyone who I’ve respected, from Karl Rove to Phil Perington (past Colorado Democrat State Chair who was driving force behind the Save the Caucus effort) have said that it is important to affiliate with one of the major parties, but which one was a matter of personal taste.

Democrats are slightly biased towards justice, Republicans towards freedom, but they are both for freedom and justice. The 2-party system that has served us so well over the years is just a tool for encouraging good debate between the best and the brightest each party can put forth for each office. It’s like sports; I cheer for my team, but I’d be insane to believe my team was God’s choice, too.

David Fogel (past Denver County Dem Chair who helped with Save the Caucus) and Republican leaders I’ve spoken with privately have said that what makes the most sense politically is to join the majority party in your county if you are interested in helping improve local government. Pat Waak and Dennis Gallagher seemed open to the idea of me changing. So that’s what I’m doing. After 30 years, I’m a Democrat again.

Why now? The final blows were: 1) A note I got from a Denver Republican volunteer telling me that if I was prolife, they wouldn’t help me as a precinct committee person, making concrete the underlying current in the Denver GOP; 2) I was sensitive to this issue ever since I’d had no cooperation from a former Republican district captain because of the same issue; and 3) Finally, when Denver GOP leaders were so forceful about their support of pro-death candidate Rudi Giuliani. It became clear it was time for me to leave.

Besides, my beautiful finance Mary is a Democrat! She has shown me the light! We hope to both be volunteers at the Convention here next summer. Who knows, maybe we’ll decide to get married then. But that may be too soon. We’ve only known each other for 42 years; you don’t want to rush into these things!

M, to the extent that you and I share what I see as the foundational principles of the GOP, it seems to me I can be much more helpful in advancing those principles in Denver right now as a Democrat. If I can be helpful to you or the people you serve, please let me know.

If we don't agree on those foundational principles, we were enemies before, and you are just confirming for me the wisdom of my decision.

But I've been given instructions to love my enemy, so whether we are friends or not, I sincerely wish you a very happy & prosperous 2008!


The Denver Post has a “news” article in today’s paper about some of the political implications of the crazy compensation plan adopted by Denver Public Schools that was used as justification a yet another tax increase by Mayor J-Hic. To see the article, go to

Here is the comment I just posted in response to the biased article:

"(Denver) Republicans will favor it without thinking about it."

Yes, I certainly agree with this, it's one of the reasons I'm now a Democrat. Time after time, there has been no opposition to these kind of harebrained schemes by the Denver GOP.

"Denver's ProComp plan was a grassroots effort"

This is simply NOT true. It is an elitist plan that used propaganda to put on grassroots sheepskins as it went to the voters for yet another tax increase.

So how well is it working? It's been in place for over a year. Has recruitment of new teachers for Denver Public Schools been improved? Has retention of GOOD teachers improved? What do the teachers now think of the plan? How can a news article not address these critical issues?

I opposed ProComp because it forced another tax-increase on voters, using the gimmick of an incentive plan that was overcomplicated and that could only increase the very, very negative effect of CSAP, teaching to the test rather than truly educating students.

Happy New Year! I'll see you back here in 2008!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

A brief history of the Iowa caucus

1800s: Iowa political leaders adopted a caucus system even before the region became a state in 1846. The state's first caucuses were held in mid-spring, in the middle of the national presidential nominating schedule.

1916: Iowa held its first and only primary election. Only 25 percent of registered voters showed up. Iowa reverted back to its caucus system.

1972: Iowa's Democratic Party moved its caucus date forward, positioning the caucus ahead of the New Hampshire primary and making it the first nominating event in the nation. Sen. Edward Muskie of Maine, the front-runner, beat Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota by less of a margin than expected. McGovern went on to become the Democratic presidential nominee.

1976: A little-known Democratic governor from Georgia, Jimmy Carter, campaigned heavily in the state and wound up coming in second to "uncommitted." That almost-win positioned Carter to later take the Democratic nomination. Republicans moved up their primary to make the Iowa caucuses a bipartisan national event. President Gerald Ford narrowly beat Gov. Ronald Reagan of California. Ford later won the Republican nomination, but lost the presidency to Carter.

1980: Carter was the incumbent president, and he beat Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts. Ronald Reagan, meanwhile, did not focus heavily on Iowa. But his GOP competition, George H.W. Bush, did, and won the GOP contest. Reagan ultimately beat Carter. By this time, the media began relying on results in Iowa as an indicator of how the race would turn out.

1984: Reagan, the incumbent president, was unopposed. On the Democratic side, it was a wide open race, with Sen. Gary Hart of Colorado, former Vice President Walter Mondale, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Sen. John Glenn of Ohio facing off. Mondale, who won the Iowa caucuses, was ultimately the Democratic nominee. Reagan defeated him in the general election.

1988: An open race in Iowa and one that ultimately had no bearing on who both parties' nominees would be. On the Republican side, Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas beat televangelist Pat Robertson and then-Vice President George Bush in the caucuses, but Bush ultimately became the nominee. He also ultimately beat Democratic nominee Gov. Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, who came in third to Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri in the caucuses.

1992: Incumbent President George Bush was unopposed among Republicans, and any competitiveness in Iowa was rendered moot by the candidacy of Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, a beloved figure in the state. With him running, few other Democrats even bothered to compete. Bill Clinton went on to win the presidency.

1996: Democrat Clinton was the incumbent, and unopposed. Among Republicans, Bob Dole beat Pat Buchanan. Clinton beat Dole later that year in the general election.

2000: Iowa winners Al Gore and George W. Bush went on to win their party's nomination. Bush, the Republican, won the general election.

2004: Despite a surge in popularity from Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, Democrat John Kerry, who'd previously lagged in polls, won the caucuses. John Edwards came in second. Kerry went on to win the nomination. On the Republican end, Bush was unopposed, and went on to win a second term.

Source: Iowa Democratic Party, Iowa Republican Party, Drake University
(If you just looked at my video to the left, it talks about last Thursday’s posting here. I’ll change the welcoming video to date-neutral soon! John)

On this date:

James Gadsden, U.S. Minister to Mexico, and General Antonio López de Santa Anna, President of Mexico, signed the Gadsden Purchase in Mexico City on December 30, 1853. The treaty settled the dispute over the exact location of the Mexican border west of El Paso, Texas, giving the U.S. claim to approximately 29,000 square miles of land in what is now southern New Mexico and Arizona, for the price of $10,000,000.

U.S. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis had sent Gadsden to negotiate with Santa Anna for this tract of land which many people, including Davis, believed to be strategic for the construction of the southern transcontinental railroad. Many supporters of a southern Pacific railroad route came to believe that a transcontinental route which stretched through the Gadsden Purchase territory would greatly advantage southern states should hostilities break out with the north.

The first transcontinental railroad was, however, constructed along a more northerly route by the "big four" of western railroad construction—Collis P. Huntington, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker. A southern transcontinental route through territory acquired by the Gadsen Purchase was not a reality until 1881 when the tracks of the "big four's" Southern Pacific met those of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe in the Territory of New Mexico.

It's the birthday of the man who introduced us to Coca-Cola, Asa Griggs Candler, born in Villa Rica, Georgia (1851). He grew up during the Civil War and wanted to be a doctor, but his family was so poor that he could only receive an elementary school education before becoming a pharmacist's apprentice. But Candler proved to be business savvy, slowly building his own drugstore empire, and in 1886 he bought sole rights to John Pemberton's original formula of Coca-Cola and formed the Coca-Cola Company in 1890. Candler understood the importance of advertising. He used calendars, billboards, and posters to keep the Coca-Cola trademark prominent in the public's mind. After selling the patent in 1919, he went on to serve as Atlanta's mayor and funded a teaching hospital for Emory University's Medical School.
It's the birthday of musician and songwriter Bo Diddley, born Ellas Bates in McComb, Mississippi (1928). His big break came in 1955, when he recorded "Uncle John" and "Who Do You Love?" for Chess Records in Chicago, and these two songs became the foundation for early rock 'n' roll. He once said, "I opened the door for a lot of people, and they just ran through and left me holding the knob."

From today’s New York Times: Innovative Minds Don’t Think Alike When experts have to slow down and go back to basics to bring an outsider up to speed it forces them to look at their world differently and, as a result, they come up with new solutions to old problems.

Two ways to create this effect and get new solutions: 1) bring in an experienced consultant, not to tell you what to do but to listen and ask questions or 2) join a business peer support group. To find out more about the Franklin Circle for entrepreneurs, business owners, and creative managers I’m now forming, email me at

I just posted this on the Made to Stick website. Do you think I’ll get one of the free books?

Morris Massey was a popular teacher at the University of Colorado who made the concept of a "significant emotional experience" stick in one lesson, which I’ve borrowed many times.

Massey taught that "who we are now is where we were when" that our values were formed by the age of 5. These values change with a "significant emotional experience." What's that? To explain, Massey told this story:

"I was Dean of the business school at the University of Colorado when we build a new business school building. It was beautiful, with wood paneled halls on the main floor. Students at CU had developed a habit of bringing bicycles into class, and it was quickly clear that 1) the bikes were ruining our wood paneling and 2) students ignored the “No bikes” signs and verbal warnings . So I decided to create a significant emotional experience.

“When classes were changing, and the hall packed with students, I tore a bike away from a student and stomped out the spokes of both wheels with the hiking boots I was wearing. As you can imagine, seeing and hearing this happen gave me the full attention of all the students who packed the hallway around us. I picked up the bike and gave it back to the student as I said in a very loud voice, ‘If you don’t respect my property, I’m not going to respect yours. Don’t bring your bike in here, it tears up my beautiful new home.’ This immediately stopped the bike problem.”

I very often tell this story in training workshops to make my point about the importance of emotion in change, the story seems to make the point very sticky.

John S. Wren, MBA+
Business Consultant & Adult Educator

If you still have one of the 100 books, would you please send it to:
John Wren
960 Grant St. #727
Denver, CO 80203

Thanks for the very Good Work you are doing!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

(If you just looked at my video to the left, it talks about last Thursday's posting here. A change to make my welcoming video to date-neutral is in process! John)

On this day in: 1845 - Texas is admitted as the 28th U.S. state.
1851 - The first American YMCA opens in Boston, Massachusetts. 1934 - The first college basketball game at New York City's Madison Square Garden is played between the University of Notre Dame and New York University.

The Rocky Mountain News finally mentions our Colorado Caucus in today’s edition, a sidebar to the indepth coverage they have been giving us of the Iowa Caucus. Let’s hope they follow this up with more between now and February 5.

The Rocky finished a 3-part series on the Iowa Caucus today. You can finally find it on the Online Edition front page. I posted this comment:

"This is the way representative government is supposed to work."

I certainly agree.

But we need to improve the process here with our Colorado Caucus.

We say we Saved the Caucus when Amendment 29 was defeated in 2002, but it won't really be saved until it gets adequate media coverage, which has clearly not been the case for the last couple of decades.

Next week after the Iowa Caucus, will you come back and give this same kind of coverage to our wonderful Colorado Caucus? And will you or someone from the Rocky join us at the new Denver Grassroots Rally to tell us more about Iowa and the lessons we could learn from it for February 5? RSVP at

At this meeting we'll be giving recognition to the best pre-December 5 (the critically important deadline for affiliating with a party to be eligable to vote February 5) coverage of the Colorado Caucus, and announcing a similar contest for pre-February 5 coverage.

News Tip: the winner of the pre-December 5 coverage contest will be the one newspaper in Colorado that gave the deadline a front page headline. If the story was that important, why was it given so little attention in Denver? I'll give you my opinion at our Jan 4 Denver Grassroots Rally next Friday. Join us and tell us what you think! Just show up, or RSVP at

Also in the Rocky today, a great idea from Dave Kopel to localize a new Google service that allows people who are quoted, or misquoted, in a newspaper article to immediately respond. Another way to elaborate on or correct misquotes? Our new Denver Grassroots Rally, which I explain in my comment to Dave’s article. What do you think? Post your comment at:

Friday, December 28, 2007

(If you just looked at my video to the left, it talks about the day before yesterday’s posting here. I got a late start yesterday, the sun isn’t up yet! Guess I’ll change the welcoming video to date-neutral… after the sun comes up! John)

On this day in: 1869 - William E. Semple of Mount Vernon, Ohio patents chewing gum. 1895 - The Lumière brothers have their first paying audience at the Grand Cafe in Boulevard des Capucines marking the debut of the cinema. 1912 - The first municipally owned streetcars take to the streets in San Francisco. 1973 – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book The Gulag Archipelago was published in Paris, France. 2000 - U.S. retail giant Montgomery Ward announces it is going out of business after 128 years.

Today in 1973, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's history of the Soviet prison camp system, The Gulag Archipelago, was published in Paris, France. The book is based on Solzhenitsyn's experiences in the camps for eight years, as well as 227 other inmates he interviewed. When the book was released in the Soviet Union, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was arrested and exiled, but he was also finally able to go to Sweden and collect the Nobel Prize in literature he had been awarded in 1970.

On this day in 1895, Auguste and Louis Lumiere demonstrated the first movie projector, the cinematographe, in Paris, France. It projected its images out onto a screen, unlike Thomas Edison's kinetograph, which was a peep show that the viewer looked into, and it weighed only 20 pounds compared to Edison's half-ton invention. The first film they showed was "Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory." The movie opened with a concierge unlocking the gates, showed people walking through, and ended with the concierge closing the gates again. They made more than 2,000 films like this, without plots or characters, and thought of them just as moving pictures, and despite the thousands of people who lined up at their viewings every night, the Lumieres thought that movies would be a passing fad and Auguste went off to school to become a medical scientist, and Louis went back to working on still photographs.

Immigrants are responsible for more than one-third of the nationwide USA population growth of 2.87 million over the past year. New residents, both international and American, continued to flock to the South and West and away from the Northeast and Midwest.

Colorado gained 95,267 residents between July 1, 2006, and July 1, 2007, making our estimated total population 4,861,515. Texas gained more people than any other state. Its 2006-2007 increase of almost 500,000 was ahead of runner-up California, which added slightly more than 300,000.

Denver is the 4th most literate city in the country -- going past San Francisco and Boston, according to a study released this week by Central Connecticut State University.

But the oft-talked about "Colorado paradox" -- meaning the state's higher-than-average education levels in the workforce reflect that the state has imported them, and K-12 and higher education systems are not keeping pace -- could hurt the city's ranking in the future.

Central Connecticut State President Jack Miller studied 69 cities' Internet usage, newspaper readership and library memberships, among other factors. Minneapolis held the top spot.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I just sent this out as a letter-to-the-editor:

Why I'm a Democrat
by John Wren

On December 5, the deadline for affiliating with a party to be able to vote in the February 5 precinct caucus, I became a Democrat. A friend says I’m BAD, a Born Again Democrat. Some of my friends are asking why.

I started my political life as a Democrat. When I cast my first vote for President in 1968, it was for Hubert Humphrey. My friend was disappointed I didn’t support Eugene McCarthy.

A few years later when I owned a small business, Richard Nixon sent me what seemed to be a personal letter. This was before the wide spread use of word processors, so I wasn’t hard to fool.

Nixon’s letter got me thinking about politics, so when my business failed and I retreated to graduate business school at the University of Denver, I was easy pickings for cute girls at the College Republican’s table at registration.

This was during Watergate, so it was easy to rise to the top of College Republicans. Soon I was State Chair, meeting with Dwight Hamilton, Bob Tonsing, and the Colorado Republican’s Executive Committee each month. I helped Karl Rove give seminars around the country teaching about how to appeal to young voters. I appeared on a Republican National Committee TV special called “Republicans Are People, Too.” At that year’s National Convention here in Colorado, Karl and I met Dick Wadhams (then 18-years old, now Colorado GOP Chair).

Since then, I’ve been a Republican precinct committee person, district captain, and volunteer for various Republican candidates and organizations. In 2002 I was part of Save the Caucus which defeated Amendment 29 which would have killed our wonderful Colorado grassroots political system.

Over the years, everyone who I’ve respected, from Karl Rove to Phil Perington (past Colorado Democrat State Chair who was driving force behind the Save the Caucus effort) have said that it is important to affiliate with one of the major parties, but which one was a matter of personal taste.

Democrats are slightly biased towards justice, Republicans towards freedom, but they are both for freedom and justice. The 2-party system that has served us so well over the years is just a tool for encouraging good debate between the best and the brightest each party can put forth for each office. It’s like sports; I cheer for my team, but I’d be insane to believe my team was God’s choice, too.

David Fogel (past Denver County Dem Chair who helped with Save the Caucus) and Republican leaders I’ve spoken with privately have said that what makes the most sense politically is to join the majority party in your county if you are interested in helping improve local government. Pat Waak and Dennis Gallagher seemed open to the idea of me changing. So that’s what I’m doing. After 30 years, I’m a Democrat again.

Why now? The final blows were: 1) A note I got from a Denver Republican volunteer telling me that if I was prolife, they wouldn’t help me as a precinct committee person, making concrete the underlying current in the Denver GOP; 2) I was sensitive to this issue ever since I’d had no cooperation from a former Republican district captain because of the same issue; and 3) Finally, when Denver GOP leaders were so forceful about their support of pro-death candidate Rudi Giuliani. It became clear it was time for me to leave.

Besides, my beautiful finance Mary is a Democrat! She has shown me the light! We hope to both be volunteers at the Convention here next summer. Who knows, maybe we’ll decide to get married then. But that may be too soon. We’ve only known each other for 42 years; you don’t want to rush into these things!
(If you just looked at my new video to the left (on, it talks about yesterday’s posting here. I got a late start yesterday, the sun isn’t up yet! Guess I’ll change the welcoming video to date-neutral… after the sun comes up! John)

On this day in: 1904 - James Barrie's play Peter Pan premieres in London. 1932 - The Radio City Music Hall in New York City opens. 1947 - Howdy Doody, a children's television program, makes its debut on the National Broadcasting Company. 1968 - The long-running radio program The Breakfast Club signs off for the last time (ABC radio). 1979 - The Soviet Union seizes control of Afghanistan.

It's the birthday of novelist Wilfrid Sheed, who wrote My Life As a Fan (1993), about his love of baseball, and In Love with Daylight: A Memoir of Recovery (1995). He once said, "The American male doesn't mature until he has exhausted all other possibilities."

Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is pursuing legislation to make clear that it is not against federal law for an employer to require employees to speak English on the job. Sen. Alexander’s was prompted by a lawsuit filed in April by the EEOC against the Salvation Army for allegedly discriminating against two of the Army's employees in a Framingham, Ma., thrift store for requiring them to speak English on the job. The Salvation Army in Massachusetts clearly posted the rule, and the employees were given a year to learn. There were 200 similar lawsuits filed by the EEOC in 2006.

Entrepreneur Magazine has identified the organizing and facilitation of peer support groups as a growing trend and one of the top hot businesses to start.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

On this day in: 1606 - First Performance of William Shakespeare's King Lear. 1906 - The Story of the Kelly Gang is released, widely considered to be the world's first feature film. 1946 - The Flamingo Hotel opens in Las Vegas. 1979 - Soviet Special forces take over presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan.

From: The New York Enterprise Report
It Doesn’t Have to be Lonely at the Top--Your board of advisors is waiting to meet you at a local peer group meeting.
By: Mark A. Newman

As a business owner, it is not unusual for you to feel somewhat isolated. After all, you are the top dog in your own company. However, there are times when it would be helpful to have other top dogs to throw bones to, so to speak. In other words, no matter how much of an expert in your industry you are, it's always helpful to discuss challenges with your contemporaries.

But where do you turn when you are in a class by yourself?

The answer may lie in a professional peer group consisting of fellow business people from a variety of (non-competitive) industries who are facing similar problems and issues as you. Unlike traditional networking groups, many peer groups cater exclusively to top C-level business leaders and owners who are looking to solve problems in a more informal environment than an oak-paneled boardroom.

Ask me about the new business peer advisory group I'm now forming.
John Wren

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!
It's a White Christmas here in Denver.

On this day in : 274 - Roman Emperor Aurelian dedicates a temple to Sol Invictus on the supposed day of the winter solstice and day of rebirth of the Sun. 336 - Western Christians first celebrated Christmas on December 25. 800 - Coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome. 1066 - Coronation of William the Conqueror as king of England, at Westminster Abbey, London. 1776 - George Washington and his army cross the Delaware River to attack the Kingdom of Great Britain's Hessian mercenaries in Trenton, New Jersey. 1818 - The first performance of "Silent Night" takes place in the Church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria. 1979 - The Soviet Union airlifts forces into Afghanistan to begin its costly occupation. 1990 - The Internet is established.

Christmas is an annual holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. It refers both to the day celebrating the birth; as well as to the season which that day inaugurates, and which concludes with the Feast of the Epiphany.

The date of the celebration is traditional, and is not considered to be his actual date of birth. Christmas festivities often combine the commemoration of Jesus' birth with various cultural customs, many of which have been influenced by earlier winter festivals. Although nominally a Christian holiday, it is also observed as a cultural holiday by many non-Christians.
From Wikipedia
On this day in: 1818 - "Silent Night" is composed by Franz Xaver Gruber and Josef Mohr. 1953 - NBC's Dragnet becomes the first network-sponsored television program. 1968 - Apollo Program: The crew of Apollo 8 enters into orbit around the Moon, becoming the first humans to do so. They performed 10 lunar orbits and broadcast live TV pictures that became the famous Christmas Eve Broadcast, one of the most watched programs in history.

From today's Rocky Mountain News:

Worried about shrinking ice caps? First, do the math

In "Anti-warming strategy outlined," the Rocky Mountain News wasted 36 column inches on Dec. 19, advertising the global warming nonsense of Charles Kutscher, spokesman of Environment Colorado, and unnamed "Boulder scientists" who, according to Kutscher, claim the Arctic could be "completely ice-free within five to 20 years."

Really? The Greenland ice cap is 3,000 meters (9,000 feet) thick. It's melting at the rate of 20 millimeters (less than an inch) per century, according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. At that rate, it'll melt in a mere 1.5 million years. And Antarctica, much larger than Greenland, is gaining - not losing - ice.

Oh, wait, perhaps Kutscher just meant floating sea ice. But melting of floating ice causes no rise of sea level. In spite of that, Kutscher asserts sea level will soon rise "at the rate of more than a foot per decade." Ahem . . . Mr. Kutscher, sea level has risen 400 feet since the end of the last Ice Age, 20,000 years ago. That's an average of two feet per century, or less than two-and-a-half inches per decade. In the recent 50 centuries, the rate has been half a foot per century - much, much less than Kutscher's claims of "a foot per decade."

Why does the Rocky continue to bombard us with this ignorant nonsense?

Kutscher and the rest of Environment Colorado seem unqualified to do simple arithmetic. I see Kutscher is a past president of the American Solar Energy Society. Now I understand what Kutscher is selling. What is the Rocky selling? Tax increases?

Richard C. Savage holds a doctorate in meteorology. He is a resident of Franktown.

Great moments in Presidential history as poetry:

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

On this day in: 1913 - The Federal Reserve Act is signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, creating the Federal Reserve. 1947 - The transistor is first demonstrated at Bell Laboratories. 1979 - Soviet war in Afghanistan: Soviet forces occupy Kabul, the Afghan capital.

Mary and I saw Charlie's War last night about how Charlie Wilson the Congressman from Texas ran a covert operation to defeat the Soviet in Afghanistan. Shows the importance of staying the course, or the foolishness of nation-building, depending on which way you look at it. What do you think? Tell us what you think about this or anything else you have on your mind at our next Denver Grassroots Rally. More information and RSVP at

To caucus or not to caucus, that is the question in Colorado Springs:

I'm suggesting we talk about today’s Fred Brown column at our next Socrates Café:

Saturday, December 22, 2007

On this day in: 1808 - In Vienna, Ludwig van Beethoven premieres his Fifth Symphony. 1851 - The first freight train is operated. 1937 - The Lincoln Tunnel opens to traffic in New York City. 1956 - Colo is born, the first gorilla to be bred in captivity.

“How many observe Christ’s birth-day! How few, his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.” –Benjamin Franklin

My friend Fred Holden has been emailing out a series of documents intended to inspire civic participation. They are very informative and motivational, take a look at them on Fred’s new website that is in the early stages of construction. See

From The Bend Weekly, Bend, Oregon:

Armando Rodriguez’s autobiography, "From the Barrio to Washington," has just been published by the University of New Mexico Press with a cover photo in color of Armando and wife Beatriz being greeted by a beaming President Jimmy Carter.

An adept amateur wrestler, Rodriguez coached a San Diego State University team to the NCAA's championship round. He was voted State's 1949 "alumnus of the year," edging out such worthies as Art Linkletter. Meanwhile, he had become the first Hispanic to attain administrative status as a principal in the San Diego school system, later the second to serve as a college president (East Los Angeles) and first to serve the entire nation as a presidential appointee to commissions charged with overseeing the enforcement of racial and gender equality.

As many successful people have done, Rodriguez conceived something book publishers call a "vanity" publication - memoirs that a person may publish for family and friends. Vanity or not, the University of New Mexico Press bought Rodriguez's story and is publicizing it nationwide. It chronicles how one man beat the odds, refusing to accept society's judgment that his background alone left him unworthy of advancement…The book reads like Horatio Alger on his way to Yale University. A book launch will start January 17 with a talk and signing at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 4th Street SW, Albuquerque NM 87102. 505-766-6604.

Inspiring reading, Shadow's story reflects the attitude of a person who, despite such disappointments as his rejection for a college fraternity, never seems to have felt sorry for himself.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

On this day in: 1192 - Richard the Lion-Heart was captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin ending the crusade. 1522 - Suleiman the Magnificent accepts the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who are allowed to evacuate. They eventually re-settle on Malta and become known as the Knights of Malta. 1941 - World War II: First battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the "Flying Tigers" in Kunming, China.

His dad’s new book says 60 is the new 40, but Jack Linkletter, who followed in the footsteps of his broadcasting icon father, Art Linkletter who is 95 now, died Tuesday at age 70. Jack was the host of TV shows such as “Hootenanny” and special events such as the Miss Universe pageant.

Non-CEO executives accounted for 29% of new independent directors on boards of Standard & Poor's 500 concerns, according to an analysis of recent proxy statements by recruiters SpencerStuart. That's up from 18% in 2001. From today’s Wall Street Journal, which is now free online.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On this day in 1732, Benjamin Franklin began publishing "Poor Richard's Almanac" in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Franklin's almanac included weather reports, eclipses, tides, and tables of English Kings. But what made it famous were the witty proverbs about life that Franklin included as filler, such as, "Well done is better than well said" and "Haste makes waste" and "Neither a Fortress nor a Maidenhead will hold out long after they begin to parley."

Ben Franklin's inspiration may have come when he was 15 years old and he worked in his brother's print shop. He would sneak into work at night and leave letters to the editor signed "Silence Dogood." The letters became very popular, but when young Franklin told his brother James that he was writing them, the two came to blows and Ben ran away to Philadelphia. When Benjamin Franklin started 'Poor Richard's," his brother was publishing an almanac of his own called "Poor Robin's Almanac."

It was on this day in 1843 that Charles Dickens came out with "A Christmas Carol." He got the idea in mid-October and struggled to finish the story in time for the holidays. He published the book himself with gilt-edged pages and a red bound cover within a week of Christmas and sold 6,000 copies in the first few days.

The instant bestseller revived Christmas when it was on the decline in England, during the Industrial Revolution, and it launched Dickens into a fame much like The Beatles -- on his reading tours, Charles Dickens was mobbed by adoring fans, who would rip his clothes, wait in long lines to shake his hand, and pull down the windows on his train car to grab at him.

From The Writer’s Almanac, American Public Media, edited by my friend Rick Norton.

Reminder: Socrates Cafe is tomorrow, Thursday, December 20. 7 pm Trinity Church, 19th & Broadway. Free, and lots of free parking, most parking meters are free after 6 pm. RSVP at or just show up.

Also, IDEA Cafe, Friday, December 21. 2 pm at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant here in Denver. Two fantastic speakers this week. Details and RSVP at

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On this day in: 1865 - The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified by Georgia, fulfilling the two-thirds requirement for ratification, and banning slavery in the United States. 1892 - The first performance of Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker is held at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. 1932 - The Chicago Bears defeated the Portsmouth Spartans 9-0 in the first ever NFL Championship Game.

Have you ever noticed how money and time seem to just slip away?

Here’s a well written column about where the money goes. Waste thirty dollars a day, which isn’t hard for a family to do, and at the end of the year we’re missing $10,000!

Businesses have this same problem, profit leaks that can eventually sink the ship.

When it comes to waste, government is the worst offender, because there our millions and billions just don’t seem like real money. We can always raise taxes just a little, like we did again this year in Denver.

The Mayor’s A thru I campaign gave us the choice among 9 self imposed tax increases for worthy projects. “Let's take them all," we said, "they are small.”

We read and talk a lot about what we want the government to change, that’s a big part of the Presidential campaign right now. But what about me and you? What can we do about our personal money leaks?

And what about time? Can you believe it is already the end of 2007? Or that we are this old?

To stop the clock at the personal level, Joseph Heller had a solution called “Catch-22”: Don’t do things you enjoy and time will slow down. As a result, we won't necessarily live longer, but it will seem longer.

And we will die rich.

Merry Christmas.

John Wren

Monday, December 17, 2007

On this day in: 1903 - The Wright Brothers made their first powered and heavier-than-air flight in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. 1935 - First flight of the Douglas DC-3 airplane. 1969 - Project Blue Book: The USAF closes its study of UFOs, stating that sightings were generated as a result of "A mild form of mass hysteria, Individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, psychopathological persons, and misidentification of various conventional objects."

In today’s Denver Post:

Speaking of caucuses — those are the neighborhood meetings largely attended by the political diehards — Colorado party leaders are still hoping for a good turnout in February. By some accounts, there was a slight increase in party affiliation by the Dec. 5 registration deadline. Larimer County's Scott Doyle said his county experienced a "bump."

In 2004, only about 15,000 Democrats attended their caucuses in more than 3,100 precincts statewide. That's roughly five people per precinct. Some years have drawn only two people to a precinct.

But this year being a presidential election year, and with Colorado now viewed as a swing state, party leaders hope they can draw more voters to the schools and community centers where the meetings are held.

For the first time, this year's caucuses will poll affiliated voters on their presidential choices, then get that information to county chairs. They, in turn, will advise party headquarters in time to alert the media before bedtime. This will be the only voice Coloradans will have in selecting the presidential nominees in each party, since we don't have a presidential primary.

"People [in both parties] should attend these neighborhood meetings and participate with all the enthusiasm they can muster," said Bill Compton, the Colorado Democratic Party's policy director.

I posted this comment in response to the above:
The February 5 Colorado Caucus has the potential of being well attended, but only if our major Colorado newspapers give it adequate coverage. To learn more, attend the Denver Grassroots Rally January 4; we'll be giving awards to the best pre-December 5 (registration date to vote in the Colorado Caucus) news coverage. For details and to RSVP see

I just sent this to the Rocky Mountain News Online as a news tip:

I think readers would really be interested in news right now about the February 5th Colorado Caucus, how it will work, and how people who want to attend can find out where to go. Best research I've seen says that only 8% of the people in Colorado even know we have a system similar to the Iowa Caucus.

One of the Boulder newspapers ran a front page story about the December 5 registration deadline for voting in the February 5 caucus that mentioned me. A man emailed me, "What is the history of this, and why haven't I heard of it before?" Good questions! I think your readers would be very interested in the answers NOW, while there is still time to figure out where to go February 5 and how to participate.

Every two years we get a chance for a state-wide civics lesson here in Colorado with our wonderful caucus-assembly system for nominating candidates to the primary ballot. Shouldn't it receive at least as much coverage between now and and February 5 as you give the Bronco's or the Rockies' training camps?

How about giving it news coverage NOW and each week between now and February 5, give adequate coverage to the HUGH story February 5, and THEN write an editorial about what should be done for 2010?

A few of us are holding a free, open meeting each month to try and help people learn about how to pick a party and participate, could someone from the RMN join us for our next meeting January 4?

PoliticsWest has a great overview of the upcoming Colorado legislative session and a list of the Colorado Senate and House seats that will be contested.

Catholic Answers Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics
If you take your Catholic faith seriously then this voter’s
guide is for you. It will help you cast your vote in an
informed manner consistent with Catholic moral teaching
and fundamental human rights. This guide will help you
tell the difference between candidates’ positions that are
morally acceptable and ones that are so contrary to fundamental
moral principles that they are inconsistent with
public service.

Friday, December 14, 2007

On this day in: 1946 - The UN General Assembly votes to establish its headquarters in New York City. 1947 - The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is founded in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Bill Ritter is promoting his education plan in the paper this morning. What do you think of it? Go to: and post your comments. Here is what I commented:

In today's world, education is mandatory. School is optional.

Sometimes the solution to a problem is not a bigger hammer.

I’m forming a couple of new Franklin Circles here in Denver. Let me know if you’d like an invitation to a free informational meeting. Email me at with “Franklin Circle” in the subject line.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On this day in: 1884 - first performance of any of Richard Strauss's compositions in the United States (Symphony in F, New York Philharmonic) 1895 - Premiere of Gustav Mahler's Resurrection Symphony in Berlin. 1983 - The Denver Nuggets and the Detroit Pistons play in the highest scoring NBA game in history, with the Pistons winning 186-184 in triple overtime.

Would Ben blog?

Walter Isaacson and Allen Weinstein originally spoke to this question on 2 November 2006 at the National Archives as part of the Lemelson Center's fall symposium. This podcast was just released 18 January 2007 and I just discovered it today.

Walter Isaacson, as you probably know, is the author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. He opened the Lemelson Center's fall symposium last year by examining the history of communications technology in democracy. The 2 November 2006 program at the National Archives featured Isaacson and Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States.

What's wrong with Colorado schools?

Forbes Magazine lists the top 20 cities in the US for kids to get a good education. No Colorado school district makes the list. How would Colorado schools stack up using the given criteria? Why doesn’t one of our daily newspapers localize this story?

The Denver IDEA Cafe and Franklin Circles will be joining countries all around the world to carry the banner of Global Entrepreneurship Week, an initiative aimed at young people everywhere. During the week of November 17 - 23, 2008, partner organizations will conduct a range of activities - from simple speeches to comprehensive competitions - designed to inspire, connect, inform, mentor and engage the next generation of entrepreneurs. Let me know if you'd like to help us here in Denver.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On this day in: 1531 - Apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego in Mexico City. 1917 - In Nebraska, Father Edward J. Flanagan founds Boys Town as a farm village for wayward boys.

It truly does take a village to raise all of us from one decade to the next. Neighborhoods nourish us, sweetened by friendships we share with one another. Priscilla Dann-Courtney of Boulder is a clinical psychologist.

Last spring, M.E. Sprengelmeyer grew bored with subcommittee meetings in the Washington, D.C., bureau (of the Rocky Mountain News) and pitched his editors a radical proposal: "Close the D.C. apartment and move to Des Moines. It's where the action is."

Although national papers such as the New York Times and Washington Post jet in reporters frequently, the idea of a regional newspaper moving a reporter to Iowa months before the caucuses is thought to be unprecedented. His editor bought his idea of a blog called "Back Roads to the White House" and ongoing print coverage of the candidates in a state that can make or break them.
"We liked the idea of a blog to add to our Internet brand," said Jim Trotter, assistant managing editor. "It's been a lot of fun and very creative."

Des Moines Register

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

On this date in: 1792 - French Revolution: King Louis XVI of France is put on trial for treason by the National Convention. 1971 - The Libertarian Party of the United States is formed. 1997 - The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change opens for signature.

This Friday (Dec 14), at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant here in Denver (just a block from the Colorado capitol) two free, open meetings about the grassroots in business and politics. (Please forward this along to any of your friends who might be interested, OK?)

2 p.m. IDEA Café_ Entrepreneurs Mark Baisley, Jon Baracos and attorney David Fogel will share their startup stories. Free to those starting a new career, a new project, a new business, or a new campaign. Startup experience is shared and there is brainstorming. RSVP at

Then at 4 p.m. DENVER GRASSROOTS RALLY_ Final votes will be collected for the Pre-December 5 Caucus PR contest. Everyone is invited to share what is on their mind at an open microphone; it’s like a poetry reading for politics. Sign-ups to speak open at 3:30 p.m. Just show up, or if you want to be part of the leadership team and get priority on the speakers list, RSVP at

If you have any questions about either group, contact me at (303)861-1447 or

Monday, December 10, 2007

I just got this via email from my friend Fred Holden:

John –

I always marvel at the good work you do.

Recently you asked for comments about the importance of the Caucuses… (Here are my thoughts) use for your purposes.

Fred Holden

I can think of no more important and exciting a citizen opportunity and fulfilling responsibility than once every two years, attending a neighborhood caucus. Here is how I put it on page 321 in my book, TOTAL Power of ONE in America: Discover What You Need to Know, Why and How to be a More Powerful Person and Citizen:

"The formal national political cycle starts at the "neighborhood caucus" which usually takes place the first Monday of April or May in even numbered years. (February 5 in Colorado in 2008.) It is organized by both major political parties. Meetings are held in homes, schools or municipal buildings designated by politically defined boundaries called precincts. Each precinct contains approximately the same amount of registered voters--those eligible to participate. Just showing up can get you "put to work," and into a new position of status and influence.

"Nomination and election of those present fill official neighborhood committee positions. Issues are discussed and delegates are selected to attend various political assemblies which in fact determine who run for various offices. People from these caucuses formulate the official party structures and platforms, so your attendance at these meetings should receive your high priority. Determine and reserve these dates ahead of time, preempting vacations and other delayable or avoidable schedule commitments.

"As a delegate, you can be an effective supporter of the good candidates and a formidable foe of bad ones. You will be wooed and hopefully won by candidates for high public office, those who desperately need your understanding, support and vote. They will talk to you, answer your questions, seek your advice and solicit your opinions on issues. They will want you to sway others to vote for them too. You are a VIP, a very important person, especially to those who seek local and national elective office."


Then read Chapters 24 through 26, on how to make a difference.

Fred Holden, author
TOTAL Power of ONE in America: Discover What You Need to
Know, Why and How to be a More Powerful Person and Citizen.
(Tattered Cover Book Store, 303-322-7727, 1-800-833-9327, $29.95)
On this day in: 1869 - Wyoming grants women the right to vote. 1906 - U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt wins the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first American to win a Nobel Prize. 1948 - The UN General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today is also International Human Rights Day.

How do you get your world news?
Click here to listen to these two very interesting NPR stories:

Closing foreign news bureaus (5:15)

Many US news organizations are cutting their foreign bureaus and doing away with their foreign correspondents. Some online providers are hoping to capitalize on that void. But veteran journalists question whether bloggers and others can provide the depth of coverage needed. The World's Aaron Schachter has more.

Bloggers as reporters (4:30)

Some news organizations are downsizing their foreign bureaus. Bloggers are ready to fill the gap, but many journalists say they lack an editor's hand. Anchor Marco Werman speaks with Julien Pain. He's heading up a project for the France 24 News channel. Bloggers do the reporting, but experienced editors keep an eye on it all.

CITIZEN MEDIA is a collaborative FP6 research project which unites leading creative and technology experts from across Europe on research, development and validation of A/V systems to enable multiple non-professional users to co-create networked applications and experiences based on their own user-generated content.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

On this date in: 1851 - The first YMCA in North America is established in Montreal, Quebec. 1958 - The John Birch Society was founded in the United States.

Michael Gerson in Heroic Conservatism

A Republican Party (that abandons the idealism of the Declaration of Independence) will not earn or deserve the support of moral and religious voters। And with their departure, the politics of the Republican Party would consist mainly of commercial interests and libertarian selfishness—hardly a winning combination

Conservatism without idealism and compassion is dead. Only a heroic conservatism can appeal to the conscience, inspire the nation, and change the world.

Friday, December 07, 2007

On this date in: 1787 - Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the US Constitution; 1941 - World War II: Attack on Pearl Harbor - The Imperial Japanese Navy attacks the US Pacific Fleet and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; 1963 - Instant replay is used for the first time in a Army-Navy game; 1988 - Yasser Arafat recognizes the right of Israel to exist।

I haven’t posted here in the last few days, because I wasn’t quite sure how to say this। I’m still not sure, but I need to say something so here it is: Wednesday, with much regret, I changed my party registration from Republican to Democrat so I can participate in the February 5 Colorado Caucus as a Democrat. I have many reasons for doing this, the main one being that a Republican in Denver has no political voice. We’ll see… Watch here for more details about how it goes. Maybe Pearl Harbor Day is the right time to announce this.

New research shows the American workforce is steadily becoming less educated just when better and more diverse educational opportunities are essential for our labor force to maintain its justifiably famous productivity, flexibility and ingenuity।

Researchers speculate that unless the United States makes critical adjustments now to its national human capital investment strategies, our education attainment levels will stagnate and future economic growth will slow।

How about encouraging workers to join or start a Franklin Circle?

Friday, November 30, 2007

November 29, 2007


Next Tuesday, December 4, Noon, at Denver Pavilions-Maggiano's, 500 16th Street, 16th St Mall, The Lions Club of Denver is hosting a special program on the Colorado Caucus। December 5 is the deadline for registering to vote and affiliating with a party to be able to vote in the February 5 neighborhood precinct caucuses that will be held across the state.

Announcing the meeting, John Wren, Lions Club of Denver board member, said, "This is not a debate about which party to join, but rather a joint presentation about how the Colorado Caucus system can serve the average person who wants to make a difference। We hope the meeting is of value to our community as those new to the state and new to politics decide how best to participate in our unique Colorado Caucus system.

"One survey has shown that only 8% of the people in Colorado know about our bi-annual caucus, and most of them have not attended in the past. I personally hope this program helps change those sad facts, and that it serves as a model to encourage other Lions Clubs and other service clubs and groups across the state to make a Colorado Caucus Day a bi-annual event."

Paat Waak, Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party www। and Dick Wadhams, Chair of the Colorado GOP will speak on "Since 1912-- The Colorado Caucus: The Best Chance for the Common Person to Serve in Elected Public Office."

John Wren was one of the founders of Save the Caucus which defeated Amendment 29 in 2002 which would have ended the Colorado caucus-assembly system for nominating to the primary ballot, and the founder of the Colorado Caucus Community of Practice which is now holding a weekly Denver Grassroots Rally. He is also the Denver GOP District 5 Captain।

The meeting is open to everyone, lunch is $15 for guests. For more information, see or call (303) 504-6293.

ON THIS DAY IN: 1782 - American Revolutionary War: Treaty of Paris (1783) — In Paris, representatives from the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain sign preliminary peace articles (later formalized as the 1783 Treaty of Paris). 1874 – Born: Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Nobel laureate (d. 1965) 1995 - Official end of Operation Desert Storm.

DENVER POST Editorial about the Colorado Caucus: Remember, it's not enough to be registered, a process that's automatic if you voted in the last election. You must also be listed as a Republican or Democrat (by next Wednesday, December 5) to attend that party's caucus. If you are, this year your voice may help choose a president.

Join me this afternoon for:

Denver IDEA Café Startup Workshop. 2 pm, Panera Bread, 13th & Grant St. Free and open to all, we just as you bring your brain for the brainstorming. Info & RSVP at

Denver Grassroots Rally, 4 pm, Panera Bread, 13th & Grant St. Like a poetry reading for politics. Sign up sheet to speak opens at 3:30 pm, or RSVP at This afternoon we will be discussing the Colorado Caucus system, or whatever else is on your mind. Join us!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Happy birthday daughter Brooke!

I just went to, put in your office address and found,
and the flowers are on the way to your office! David said they should be
there in about 2 hours. I love you!

Ben Franklin impersonator in Washington State:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On this day in: 1660 - At Gresham College, 12 men, including Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, and Sir Robert Moray decide to found what is later known as the Royal Society. 1905 - Irish nationalist Arthur Griffith founds Sinn Féin as a political party with the main aim of establishing a dual monarchy in Ireland. 1925 - The country variety show Grand Ole Opry makes its radio debut on station WSM. 1975 - As the World Turns and The Edge of Night, the final two American soap operas that had resisted going to pre-taped broadcasts, air their last live episodes.

Steamboat Pilot Newspaper Entry into Colorado Caucus PR Contest:

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It’s a rare chance to participate in national politics at the grass-roots level, and voters who don’t declare a party affiliation by Dec. 5 will miss out on the opportunity.

Next Wednesday is the deadline to declare party affiliation in time to participate in the Feb. 5 precinct caucuses for the Republican and Democratic parties. Those who participate will discover that caucuses can provide an avenue to address political issues important to them as well as have a say in which candidates eventually make it onto their party’s primary ballots. This year’s caucus also provides the opportunity to influence both parties’ presidential nominations.

This year, Colorado — like many other states — moved its caucus date from late March to early February in an effort to have more of a voice in presidential nominations, which often were decided well before Coloradans had a chance to participate.
But that’s not the only reason caucuses often see limited voter participation. Quite frankly, the caucus system can be confusing and intimidating.

While the former may be true, the latter shouldn’t be, Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland said.

“It’s kind of intimidating to some people, but it’s just neighborhood meetings,” she said. “It’s truly a party function. It’s the beginning of the political process.”
Caucus attendees will elect delegates for the county assembly and county convention. Delegates typically are elected to advocate for the issues and candidates expressed by their fellow caucus attendees. In other words, the delegates represent the votes of their electors.

The county assembly and county convention entails a similar process, with delegates nominating county-level candidates to appear on local ballots as well as platform issues to carry on to the state and national assemblies and conventions. The county convention leads to the state, congressional and national conventions. It is at the national convention where Republicans and Democrats officially nominate their candidates for president. With the 2008 Democratic National Convention taking place in Denver, some Routt County voters could be there to see it happen.

Almost 6,000 of Routt County’s registered voters are unaffiliated; 5,038 are registered Republican, and 4,500 are registered Democrat. Voters who want any say in the nomination process for local, state and national candidates and party platforms must declare party affiliation, and they must do so by Dec. 5. We encourage all voters to be active in the process. For more information about local caucuses, call Weinland at 870-5556.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Rocky Mountain News entry into pre-Caucus pr contest:

Registration cutoff near for caucuses
By David Montero, Rocky Mountain News

There are only nine days left to register to vote if you want to participate in the Colorado presidential caucuses Feb. 5.

With 55 delegates at stake for Democrats and 46 for Republicans - coupled with eight candidates on each side - both political parties in Colorado would like to see people register to vote and make themselves eligible to participate.

"We want to be sure that people understand that if they want to be a part of this process, they have to be registered with a party," Colorado Democratic Party Chair Pat Waak said.

The deadline to register to vote in the caucus is by the close of business Dec. 5.
The rules are simple, if you want to participate in the caucuses that will help select each party's presidential candidate for the general election.

First, you must register as a Democrat or a Republican with your local county clerk and must be affiliated with either party for at least two months before the caucus. Secondly, you must be a resident of a precinct for 30 days prior to voting.

There is also one exception: Any registered voter who turned 18 or became a naturalized citizen during the two months preceding the caucus meeting may vote at the caucus.

Dick Wadhams, chair of the Colorado Republican Party, said the GOP has not engaged in any extensive voter drive but has instead relied on the media to publicize the deadline - a course also being followed by Democrats.

He did say his office has noticed an uptick in calls inquiring about voting eligibility for the upcoming caucus.

Waak said there is increased interest because Denver is hosting the Democratic National Convention Aug. 25-28 and people want to be delegates.

Why isn't this story featured on the front page of the Rocky Mountain News Online? Why doesn't it come up when "Colorado Caucus" is the search term? Is the Rocky intentionally burying the story?

Technology centers with a greater concentration of immigrant entrepreneurs in their state averages include Silicon Valley (52.4 percent), New York City (43.8 percent), and Chicago (35.8 percent). Three technology centers had a below-average rate of immigrant-founded companies: Portland (17.8 percent), Research Triangle Park (18.7 percent) and Denver (19.4 percent).
Like to entrepreneur org

Monday, November 26, 2007

9News entry into DGRR pre-Dec 5 caucus info contest:

"The caucus process is grassroots democracy," said Bill Compton, who is the political director for the Colorado Democratic Party. "We want (voters) to come out and have a say on who the presidential candidates are ultimately going to be. It requires people to get involved and to make the effort to go to those caucuses."

The push to register voters by next Wednesday might be the rare issue Colorado's two major political parties agree upon.

"A caucus, it sounds mysterious, kind of insider, but you know (what) it really is? It's nothing more than a neighborhood meeting," said Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams. "I think this is a great opportunity for Coloradans to be directly involved in the Republican and Democratic nomination process."

"I think the results of our caucus will mean something that night," said Wadhams.

The Cherry Creek News and Central Denver Dispatch caucus news contest entry:

Dems urge voter registration in time for Colorado caucus
by Matt Sugar
Monday, 26 November 2007

Party Caucus Voter Registration Deadline is 5th

The deadline to register party affiliation in order to participate it the party “caucus” process is December 5, 2007.

Pat Waak, Democratic Party Chair said, “With the Democratic National Convention coming to Colorado next August Coloradans have a heightened interest in playing a role in our nations future. One of the first steps in the political process is party affiliation so I’m urging all those legally qualified to vote to register at there local County Clerk and Recorders office.”

In order to vote in a precinct caucus, the voter must be a resident of the precinct for thirty days, and have registered to vote no later than twenty-nine days before the caucus, and be affiliated with the political party holding the caucus for at least two months as shown on the books of the county clerk and recorder; except that any registered voter who has turned 18 years old or has become a naturalized citizen during the two months preceding the meeting may vote at caucus even though the voter has been affiliated with the political party for less than two months.

Also in The Cherry Creek News and Central Denver Dispatch:

Being Optimistic - helping kids, living longer, and finding community
Written by Devon Barclay
Thursday, 15 November 2007

When Buffalo Bill Cody was still alive, Denver saw the formation of one of the world's first Optimist Clubs. In what would later become the Mile Hi Optimist Club, in 1916 a group of Denver businessmen decided it would be good to set a weekly meeting to get together and talk hopefully about the city they lived in. Over the years, new members joined, and in 1988 the club accepted its first female members. Now, the club is one of the oldest and most successful Optimist clubs in the country, and works to be a "friend of the youth" by offering and supporting a suite of programs throughout the year that give members a chance to work with young people and help make society better.

But, in weekly meetings at the Denver Country Club, there's still a sense of the club's original feeling. Each Thursday, the Mile Hi Optimists host a guest speaker - anyone from Mayor Hickenlooper to Detective Estrada - sit down for lunch, and enjoy the good graces and fellow feeling that comes from sitting in a room with the distinct purpose of looking at the bright side.

"I lived in Steamboat, and thought, 'how can I be involved with kids throughout the year,'" says Pam Kirk, who now works with kids through the club on an ongoing basis at Valdez Elementary.
The Denver Post had a news article about the Dec 5 deadline for registering to vote in the Feb 5 Colorado Caucus. This will be entered into the Denver Grassroots Rally contest for pre-December 5 media coverage:

Colorado voters face Dec. 5 caucus deadline
By: Karen Crummy, The Denver Post

Colorado voters have only two weeks left to register with a political party if they want to participate in the Feb. 5 presidential caucuses.

The registration deadline is Dec. 5.

Voters can switch parties, and unaffiliated voters, who make up about one-third of the state's electorate, can register with a party in order to take part in the caucuses.

Colorado, which usually holds its caucus in the third week of March, is now one of more than 20 states that are holding, or planning to hold, their presidential caucuses or primaries Feb. 5. Both Democratic chair Pat Waak and GOP chair Dick Wadhams wanted the caucuses moved up so Colorado would have more of a voice in the presidential nomination.

"I do believe we will see an increase in attendance at precinct caucuses," Wadhams said.

The Democrats have been "actively recruiting" voters so they are registered prior to the Dec. 5 deadline, said party spokesman Matt Sugar.

The caucuses will operate as a preference poll. It is not until the Democrats hold their state convention on May 17 in Colorado Springs and Republicans conduct their convention on May 31 in Broomfield that delegates officially select their presidential candidates.

By then, however, both the GOP and Democratic nominees will likely be known.

Karen Crummy: 303-954-1594 or [1]

Source URL:

This is the comment about the above article that I just posted online:

Thanks for mentioning the December 5 deadline for registering
for the Colorado Caucus. It will be posted on my blog
and entered into the Denver Grassroots Rally contest for the best
pre-December 5 caucus coverage.

Why the discouraging comment "by then (Feb 5) both the GOP and
Democratic nominees will likely be known." On what do you base that
opinion? And why did you choose to put it in a news story?

Also, why isn't the December 5 deadline featured on the front page of
Denver Post Online, or at least Politics West? Few people even know
about the caucus, the one's who learn about it at our new Denver
Grassroots Rally seem very interested.

From The Washington Times:
"-30-: The Collapse of the Great American Newspaper" is worth (reading) if you care about journalism and its importance in a democratic society.

Why is the classic American big-city daily newspaper becoming such an embarrassing irrelevancy at a time when there is a desperate need for the citizenry — especially the young — to be better informed?

There is a glaring error at the root of that question. Newspapers are not merely a sacred and inviolable product that should be fashioned and sold like coffee or motor cars by brand alone. First and foremost, newspapers are a service where content matters most. What the majority of today's newspaper owners appear to forget is that the printed broadsheet newspaper is simply a convenient medium for transmitting vital information.

Colonial Americans flocked to Ben Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette because it provided the widest possible flow of dependable information, and, as added attractions, opinions based on authority and amusement based on genuine wit. Starved for information that was weeks in coming and questionable when it arrived, Franklin offered a vital service in product form. When combined with his control over the colonial postal delivery system and his ties to other newspapers along the Atlantic seaboard, Franklin (not Al Gore) can truly be said to have invented the first American Internet.

What's wrong with the classic American newspaper is that it no longer is the sole source of vital information that is authoritatively presented to the citizenry. And while the Internet of today is messy, raucous and politically bent in many aspects, it is the service an increasing number of people — including those darling youngsters — turn to each day, or rather, each hour.

"Email delivers the highest ROI by an eye-popping margin:a whopping $57.25 for every dollar spent on it in 2005." -- DMA, October, 2006

Sunday, November 25, 2007

There is a now-legendary story about (Ewing M.) Kauffman’s start in the business world. Fresh out of the Navy, he caught on with a pharmaceutical company in the Midwest.

He was so prepared, so motivated, so charismatic and so convincing that the commissions he made his first year were more than the salary of the company’s president — who reacted by trimming Kauffman’s commission and shrinking his territory.

Kauffman didn’t much care for that, so he quit and started Marion. He gave the company his middle name for two reasons. He never did like his first name (he also disliked the formality of “Mr. Kauffman,” which is why he went with Mr. K) and he wanted to give the impression that his was more than a one-man operation — even though, at the beginning, that’s exactly what it was.

“I’d go out (in the morning) and call on doctors and sell to them,” Kauffman once said, “come home at night and bottle the pills and label them, put cotton in them, put the lid on them, go to the typewriter and type up the order, go back and package them and then, maybe 11 or 12 o’clock at night, run to the post office and mail them.
“Boy, it was fun. It really was.”

Governed by Kauffman’s business model — essentially the Golden Rule applied to pharmaceutical sales — Marion went from $30,000 in gross sales its first year to $930 million in fiscal 1989. When the company merged and became Merrell Dow (now Aventis), the transaction created more than 300 millionaires.

Kansas City Star

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Two more entries into the Denver Grassroots Rally "Promote the December 5 caucus registration deadline" contest:

Longmont Times-Call
Deadline nears to choose party affiliation
Voters have until Dec. 5 to pick a side so they can participate in caucuses
By John Fryar

Fort Collins NowKirk Brush has a busy winter ahead.
By Rebecca Boyle

The new Larimer County Republican chairman, elected to his post just two weeks ago, has plenty of organizing to do before the upcoming statewide caucuses in February.
Here's an entry into the Denver Grassroots Rally "Promote the December 5 Deadline for Registering for Colorado Caucus" contest.

Join us next Friday for the Denver Grassroots Rally, bring your entry! If nothing else, write a letter to the editor of your favorate newspaper, bring copies for us! RSVP at
From The Los Angles Times:,0,5117576.story

By making hundreds of lectures from elite academic institutions available online for free, Apple is reinvigorating the minds of people who have been estranged from the world of ideas.

For several years universities have posted recorded lectures on their internal websites, giving students a chance to brush up on their classes or catch ones they missed.

But 28 colleges and universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford and Yale, now post select courses without charge at iTunes.

Check out Dr. Amar Bhide’s “Hustle as Strategy” in which he makes the case for true entrepreneurship and against formal market research and strategic planning.
Correction: This is the link to the Rocky Mountain News article where you can post your comment
80 is the new 30 for senior citizen entrepreneurs, says America On Line and Inc. Magazine. Includes a profile of the world’s oldest entrepreneur, Denver’s Jack Weil.

Lead story Rocky Mountain News Online this morning:

No-holds-barred abortion battle
'Personhood' amendment could ban some birth control, stem-cell research
Read the article, then post your comment there on the new Rocky Mountain News Online.

Here's the comment I posted there:

When does a woman become a mother, and her child gain equal rights?

When the child draws its first breath? When it is conceived? When it can defeat its father in physical combat?

Who decides? In our representative form of government, in the long run it is our elected representatives. The League of Women voters has said your voice counts most in electing them at your neighborhood caucus.

Resolutions on both sides of the question are sure to be offered across the state February 5 at the 6000 or so meetings with neighbors at our Colorado caucus. To be part of the discussion, you must register as a Republican or Democrat by December 5. To learn more Google “Colorado caucus.”

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

"I think of myself ... as a troubadour, a village storyteller, the guy in the shadows of the campfire," (Louis L'Amour) once said. "That's the way I'd like to be remembered."

"He always felt that if he could get an education in public libraries," Kathy L'Amour says, "it is possible for anyone."

Education is manditory, school is optional. I wish L'Amour could have joined us for Socrates Cafe.

Maybe if we'd met around a campfire...

(Yes, mandatory is misspelled above. Emerson said, “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” I’ve always put standard spelling in that category. Catagory? Maybe it’s time for me to spend a little more time in the library!)

The first Thanksgiving

The following account of the first harvest and thanksgiving observance at Plymouth colony in 1621 is from writings of two of the settlers, Gov. William Bradford and Edward Winslow, as compiled for 'The Pilgrim Reader' by George F. Willison. The spelling is that of the original manuscripts.

YOU will understand that in this little time that a few of us have been here, we have builte seven dwelling houses, and four for the use of the Plantation, and have made preparation for divers others.

We set last spring some twentie acres of Indian corne and sowed some six acres of barley and peas. And according to ye manner of the Indians, we manured our ground with herrings, or rather shads (or rather, alewives), which we have in great abundance and take with great ease at our doors.

Our corne did prove well and - God be praised! - we had a good increase of Indian corne, and our barley indifferent good. But our peas not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sown. They came up very well and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom…

And although it be not always so plentifull as it was at this time with us, yet, by the goodness of God, we are so farr from wante that we often wish you partakers of our plentie.

(Today) there are LOTS of (GOP) folks still on the sidelines, including Iowa's Chuck Grassley, who appears happy staying unaffiliated. Jeb Bush would be a big get but one gets the sense he, too, wants to stay out of the fray. Ditto with his presidential brother and father. Is Arnold Schwarzenegger more interested in supporting Michael Bloomberg more than the eventual GOP nominee? The Doles, as a couple, could be a good one-day story for someone should they decide to pick a candidate. The NRA, if they truly put their political muscle behind someone, would a real difference maker. Like the Doles, Nancy Reagan would be a nice story for a candidate, particularly if she decided NOT to endorse John McCain. But since the Reagan library is hosting another GOP debate in January, she'll likely be on the sidelines. Frankly, the biggest "gets" will be when the two eventual frontrunners (whoever they may be) start fighting over the big-time dropouts.

ACROSS THE NATION: Primary calendar
November 21, 2007
Jan. 3: Iowa caucuses
Jan. 5: Wyoming GOP caucuses
Jan. 8: New Hampshire primary
Jan. 15: Michigan primary
Jan. 19: Nevada caucuses, South Carolina GOP primary
Jan. 26: South Carolina Democratic primary
Jan. 29: Florida primary
Feb. 1: Maine Republican caucuses
Feb. 5: Alabama primary, Alaska caucuses, Arizona primary, Arkansas primary, California primary, Colorado caucuses, Connecticut primary, Delaware primary, Georgia primary, Idaho Democratic caucuses, Illinois primary, Kansas Democratic caucuses, Minnesota caucuses, Missouri primary, New Jersey primary, New Mexico Democratic caucuses, New York primary, North Dakota caucuses, Oklahoma primary, Tennessee primary, Utah primary
Feb. 9: Kansas Republican caucuses, Louisiana primary
Feb. 10: Maine Democratic caucuses
Feb. 12: District of Columbia primary, Maryland primary, Virginia primary
Feb. 19: Hawaii Democratic caucuses (Hawaii Republicans will have no primary or caucus.), Washington primary, Wisconsin primary
March 4: Massachusetts primary, Ohio primary, Rhode Island primary, Texas primary, Vermont primary
March 8: Wyoming Democratic caucuses
March 11: Mississippi primary
April 22: Pennsylvania primary
May 6: Indiana primary, North Carolina primary.
May 13: Nebraska primary, West Virginia primary
May 20: Kentucky primary, Oregon primary
May 27: Idaho Republican primary
June 3: Montana primary, New Mexico GOP caucuses, South Dakota primary

In today's Denver Post:

Rodgers (detective paid to dig up dirt on Ritter) was not working for the Colorado GOP, as had been alleged, but was paid $750 by Trailhead, a political group founded by former Gov. Bill Owens, oilman Bruce Benson and beer baron Pete Coors. Rodgers, the former chief investigator for the Harris County DA's office, declined to name his friend, but said he was retired and possibly under a criminal investigation.

Here's my comment on this disclosure, which I posted on the above article:

GOP Gang

It’s widely acknowledged that the state of Colorado has turned blue because of it’s powerful leaders, the four big financial contributors.

Where were our GOP leaders? Our Three Stooges, Owens, Coors, and Benson, were stabbing Bob Schaeffer in the back, supporting C and D, supporting A thru I, and conducting back-ally attack politics. Is it any wonder that it’s almost impossible to find GOP volunteers in Denver right now? Or that phone calls to GOP county headquarters don’t get returned? Why would anyone in Denver want to be a Republican for this election cycle?

December 5 is the deadline for changing affiliation to vote in the Republican or Democratic neighborhood caucus that will be held February 5.

We have a lot to be thankful for today, but that does not include the GOP in Denver. Do we rebuild or abandon ship?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Christ’s instruction to the Apostles:” Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give” (Matt. 10:8) resonates with the soul of Ignatius. He harked back to the same concept repeatedly - in the Spiritual Exercises, in the Constitutions, and in his personal correspondence. “People will listen to us only when we can show them that we have nothing to gain from what we are calling them to.”

When the first Jesuit school was opened in Messina in 1547 gratuitous teaching was a novelty which in the following 150 years was continued by all Jesuit schools. The need to get involved in education arose from the fact that young Jesuit students needed training. If the Society were going to have schools for their own students, why not give the same opportunity to young people who are not Jesuits? Ignatius commissioned his secretary, Father Polanco, to provide examples of how the schools might be funded: by the city, by some prince, by some private individual, or by a group of individuals.

“Thus not to charge for education was a corollary to one of the most fundamental graces Ignatius received: to give freely what one has freely received, to minister without worrying about benefit and without support of gold or silver, concepts almost foreign to the way” Some dioceses and congregations are seeing things perhaps in India today even in some highly Christianised States. When the secretary of Ignatius, Fr. Polanco, wrote the programme for non-Jesuit students, he began by saying: ”First of all, we accept for classes and literary studies everybody, poor and rich, free of charge and for charity’s sake, without accepting any remuneration.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Interesting video of Robert Kiyosaki just went up on YouTube, I just linked to it. What do you think of it? Have you read his book? Message is don’t just be an employee if you want to be rich. Be self-employed, or better build a business and be an investor. I’m going to talk about his “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” book at the next few IDEA Café sessions.

Bella is supposed to be the movie to see on Thanksgiving. For details see

And they are off!!! The Colorado Legislative Council announced the 30 bills that will go before the Colorado Legislature. More to come, these bills do not go against the 5 bill limit for each legislator. Hold on to your wallet. With A thru I there will be a real possibility for the state to use the same Chinese menu technique with a referral to the 2008 ballot. For list of bills already pending see:

Businesses in the 21st century trying to practice sustainability -- balancing environmental and social concerns with generating profits -- would do well to open their U.S. history books and study the contributions of inventor, author and diplomat Benjamin Franklin.

"He was the epitome of values-based leadership," Walter Isaacson, former media executive and author of a 2003 biography of the Philadelphia statesman, told a Pittsburgh audience yesterday…

Mr. Isaacson was the keynote speaker at a symposium on sustainable business sponsored by Duquesne University's Beard Center for Leadership in Ethics and Palumbo Donahue School of Business. About 200 attended the event in the Hilton Pittsburgh, Downtown.

As the proprietor of a print shop in Philadelphia, Mr. Isaacson said, Mr. Franklin spearheaded the Leather Apron Society -- a group of tradesmen who met every Friday to talk about how they could best serve their community. "They asked themselves the moral questions of the day," which are the same moral questions facing business owners today, Mr. Isaacson said.

Mr. Franklin believed that successful business people had an obligation to be civic and community leaders, "And that's a key to sustainability," said Mr. Isaacson, whose most recent book is a biography of Albert Einstein.

To meet the growing demand for business leaders better versed in the concepts of sustainability, Duquesne's business school this fall began offering a master's degree in the topic and has earned high ratings by the Aspen Institute for its program and for being among the few small universities in the United States to have one.