Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm about to send out this media release:

Thursday, January 31, 2008
Contact: John Wren cell (720)495-4949 TIPS FOR COLORADO CAUCUS NEWCOMERS.
or Veteran community activist gives advice.

Citing a lack of political voice for Colorado's grassroots, veteran community activist John Wren announced today that he is distributing a tip sheet for political newcomers (see my posting earlier this morning here on this blog below) who are planning on attending their neighborhood meeting for the Colorado Caucus next Tuesday, Feb 5. The tip sheet will be distributed to local media for publication, at the meeting of the Denver Grassroots Rally on Friday, Feb 1, 4 p.m. at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant and on Wren’s website Contact or (303)861-1447.

Announcing the effort, Wren said: "The USA used to be a nation of shopkeepers, but we are rapidly becoming a nation of clerks working for large corporations. Our founding fathers were small business owners and entrepreneurs; we must get more of today’s business owners and entrepreneurs involved in local politics and government if we are to preserve our Republic."

John S. Wren, MBA+ is an adult educator and consultant. He is outgoing president of the Denver South Optimists Club, and a member of the board of directors of the Denver Lions Club. He is the past-president of the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association, the Denver City Club, the Colorado College Republicans, and the University of Denver Graduate Students Association. He is one of the founders of Save the Caucus which defeated Amendment 29 in 2002 which would have destroyed the neighborhood caucus-assembly system for nominating to the primary ballot. He has service as precinct committee person, district captain, and on the executive committee for state and county political parties. He formed the first Franklin Circle in Denver in 1996, based on the group Franklin formed in 1727 in Philadelphia.

Are you new to the Colorado political system? You are not alone!

Colorado has a wonderful caucus-assemly system for nominating candidates for local political office to the primary ballot. Unfortunately participation has dramatically decreased in the past couple of decades.

This year the Colorado Caucus is getting lots more media attention because of the fact on of the national conventions is going to be held here in Denver and other reasons.

Because of all the publicity, many political newcomers are thinking about attending their neighborhood precinct caucus for the first time next Tuesday.

Here are tips for these newcomers I'm sending to the local media today:

Just show up!

Next Tuesday, February 5th, will you show up for your neighborhood precinct caucus? The League of Women Voters has said it is at this bi-annual neighborhood meeting where the voices of the common person, people like me and you, counts for the most.

Tip O’Neill once said, “All politics is local.” Politics does not get more local than this meeting with your like-minded neighbors, held every two years here in Colorado since 1912. Everyone is welcome to attend, and those who were affiliated by last December 5 can vote.

My friend Sue O’Brien, long time activist and political reporter with the Denver Post, said it best when she was still with us:

“(The Colorado Caucus is) a vibrant neighborhood forum for hashing out ideas—the last remaining arena in which you can get on the first rung of the ladder toward political effectiveness by just showing up.” (Sue O’Brien, Denver Post Columnist, 10/6/2002)

Newcomers are sometimes hesitant to just show up, and that is really too bad. The meetings are usually short, a lot of fun, and they are a very good way to meet your neighbors, which we need to do at least every couple of years!

The meetings strengthen our neighborhoods, they improve our local government, and, most importantly, each is a place you can identify and encourage new, fair-minded, open, grassroots neighborhood leaders for the bi-annual renewal of our political system.

I’ve served as precinct committee person (or neighborhood leader) district captain (of an area of 40 or so neighborhoods) and on the executive committee at the county and state level, volunteered in several campaigns, and I’ve recently started something called the Denver Grassroots Rally to encourage more civic participation to improve our local government.

Based on my experience, here are 7 suggestions for using your neighborhood caucus to choose better political leaders and representatives, and to perhaps eventually get elected to serve yourself:

1. If you don’t do anything else on this list, just show up! Show up at 7 p.m. next Tuesday (Feb 5). Find out where to go from one of the presidential campaigns or your county or state political party listed in the phone book. It helps if you come early. Everyone can attend and participate in the discussion; if you were affiliated by December 5 you can vote. Without question, this is the #1 networking activity in the State! Just show up! Which party? Neither is perfect, just pick one and jump in! The political party is simply a tool for expressing your values and philosophy.

2. Take a few minutes between now and next Tuesday and talk with your precinct leaders in advance. Volunteer to help. Your county or state political party should be able to give you a phone number. If your precinct leader is open and welcoming, support him or her. If not, plan on getting elected as precinct leader yourself or supporting someone else who offers to serve.

3. Do something to help your precinct leader. Invite a neighbor or two to go with you. Bring cookies and an information sheet about yourself if you want to volunteer to be elected as the new precinct leader or delegate.

4. Just say “yes.” Volunteer to be a precinct leader and delegate to all the nominating assemblies. If others are picked by your neighbors for these elected jobs, be a good sport and volunteer to help whoever is chosen between now and the next caucus in two years. You will eventually get your turn.

5. Very few new players make the starting line-up at their first practice. Be patient and learn all you can. It may not be your turn to be a leader or delegate. But you can make a big difference by voting for precinct leaders and delegates who are fair-minded and open. And you can attend the county and state assemblies and conventions as an observer or, better yet, as a volunteer; contact your county and state party and tell them you’d be willing to help.

6. Get involved with the political party of your choice! Join one of the many political clubs such as the Young Democrats or Young Republicans or a group for the party, candidate, or issue of your choice. Don’t let the volunteers for the various presidential campaigns have all the fun! Volunteer to help in your neighborhood with a local political campaign for a candidate or cause that is important to you.

7. Finally, get involved in your neighborhood. Learn the names of the owners of the local businesses in your neighborhood. Start reading your local newspaper or newsletter, if you don’t have a good one in your neighborhood, start one! Get active in your local neighborhood association, the Neighborhood Watch program through your local police department, your local church, temple, or synagogue, and other local clubs and activities. You’ll improve your neighborhood, and you’ll be ready to help your neighborhood precinct caucus be even better in two years!

Every two years here in Colorado the torch of liberty is passed to fight the powerful forces that would deny us this privilege. Next Tuesday (Feb 5) you and I can show up and vote for neighborhood leaders and delegates best able to carry this torch and renew our system of self-government.

Brave men and women have died to give us this sacred privilege. After so many have given everything, is it too much for us to give just a couple of hours next Tuesday? And then, perhaps, for an hour or two each month until we meet again with our neighbors to select our leaders and delegates again in a couple of years?

After you attend next Tuesday, tell us about your experience and find out more at the new Denver Grassroots Rally. See our message board anytime or join us for our next meeting. Get more information and RSVP online at

What have I left out? Post your comments here, or better yet call into radio talk shows here in Colorado between now and next Tuesday and give newcomers your encouragement and the benefit of your experience. Feel free to use my tips above as a starting point, create your own list, and then email your friends and encourage them to attend.

Can you join us tomorrow (Friday, Feb 1) for the Denver Grassroots Rally? We hope to get some media coverage of us passing out copies of the above tips, and people like you getting up on a soap box to give political newcomers tips about the caucus. (Will someone bring a video camera and put it up on You Tube?) More info about tomorrows meeting and optional RSVP at

Finally, watch Channel 9 here in Denver Sunday (Feb 3) morning at 10:30 a.m., they will be talking about the Colorado Caucus and may even air a short video of me talking about it.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It’s Mozart birthday today, who said, "When I am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone, and of good cheer — say traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep — it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best, and most abundantly. Whence and how they come, I know not, nor can I force them."

Probably not, especially since in this hotly contested election year, many who have never participated before are expected to show up. So you won’t be alone. Plus, these caucus meetings are scripted so that any average Joe can walk in and follow along or even run the meeting.

From the Colorado Springs Gazette;s well done Q & A on the Colorado Caucus today:

The Denver Post continues it’s daily profile of people who plan on attending their neighborhood precinct caucus February 5.

What does the Colorado Caucus mean to you? The Denver Post wants to hear about it:

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Last night 9News story on the upcoming February 5 Colorado Caucus:

And now this morning a story about the Colorado Caucus in the Rocky Mountain News!
Will wonders never cease? posted this comment:

I learned about the Colorado Caucus from my neighbor Lyle Lindesmith, who earned his living selling office supplies and taught thousands of us about our wonderful Colorado neighborhood system for nominating to the primary ballot. He taught me to love the system, what he believed was the best hope for the average, common person to serve in elected public office.

We became friends after I knocked on his door distributing literature, and I helped him put on what I think were the last two sessions he ever held of his Action Class in Practical Politics. A neighborhood activist named Jeanne Faatz attended one of those sessions, who writes about how she applied that information in this column. Thanks for the good memories, Lynn.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Denver Post started running a series of profiles of people in Denver who have volunteered their opinions of our Colorado Caucus. It's buried in the Online edition, here's a link to it:

This is a very strange way to cover this important story, in my opinion. What do you think? Go there and post your thoughts on how the Post is covering the story. I just posted this comment:

So far, this new feature misses the real story of the Colorado Caucus.

Featuring political newcomers and disgruntled old men is a very poor way to capture the true spirit and potential of our wonderful Colorado system for nominating to the primary ballot, in my opinion.

Would the Post cover the Rockies by writing about people who have never been to a baseball game, or who have grown to hate pro-sports? Tell us about the players and the coaches, not those cowering on the sidelines!

It has been said that democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner; liberty is a well armed lamb objecting to the vote. Colorado wolves would kill our wonderful Colorado Caucus; please, Denver Post, arm the lambs! Write about some of the True Caucus Heroes, not just the curious, the complainers, and the confused!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mike Rosen recently discussed patriotism in his Rocky Mountain News column, and it has stimulated lots on comments. Here's my comment:

I'm going to suggest patriotism as the topic at our next Thursday evening Socrates Cafe. Free and open to all. More info and RSVP at

Something happens that I think might best be called "thoughtful discussion" when people are sitting in a circle face to face with each other that just doesn't seem to happen when people are separated by the Internet, the radio/telephone, and especially when we are separated by a printing press or TV camera.

I've repeatedly invited Mike Rosen to join us at the Denver Socrates Cafe, he seems to have no interest in what we are doing. Might be for the best; people who aren't open to listening and new learning, who come only to impress their ideology on others, usually are very frustrated when they are suddenly confronted with a level playing field.

But I'll try once more: Mike, how about joining us next Thursday? You can RSVP and plug your radio show, newspaper column, scheduled speaking engagements, etc. if you want in the RSVP comments. More info and RSVP at

Friday, January 18, 2008

Calling all politically active ColoradansBy

Are you planning to attend either a Democratic or Republican caucus in Colorado on Feb. 5? Or are you an unaffiliated, but politically active, voter who wishes you, too, had a say in winnowing the presidential field? If your answer is yes, we'd like to hear from you. We're looking for men and women of all political stripes to profile in stories about election excitement. Send an e-mail with "Caucus" in the subject field to And please provide the information requested below.

Give us your views E-mail your name, phone number and political affiliation to
On this day in 1964 - Plans are revealed for the World Trade Center in New York City.

Yesterday we celebrated Ben Franklin’s 302nd birthday at North High School here in Denver. Here’s Chris Lowell aka Ben Franklin(, a video of who’s powerful endorsement of the Colorado Caucus, shot by my brother Jay, will be posted here soon. Ben's here in costume at intermission from “An Evening with Ben Franklin”, and then Chris out of costume with Joel Cannon who represented Ron Paul in the talks before the Presidential straw poll. Ron Paul supporters turned out in force and won the straw poll contest between all Democrat and Republican candidates by an almost 3 to 1 margin over the nearest competitor.

Are you going? I'll be there.
Friday, January 25, Independence Institute, 13952 Denver West Parkway, Suite 400
Golden. Hear former Denver Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jerry Wartgow
share some of the perspectives featured in his new book
Why School Reform is Failing and What We Need to Do About It.

From a New York newspaper column yesterday: It bothers me that there is no particular national celebration of (Ben Franklin’s) birthday. Oh, someone will probably mention it — probably in a political “elect-me” speech — and maybe a history teacher will comment about it, and, at some place which is named for him — a “Franklin” School or a “Franklin” something-or-other — will make a minor matter of it — but it won’t be a big celebratory issue. That’s too bad, considering the impact that the man had on every part of modern life.

In an age when the political leaders generally came from wealthy families, Ben was born into a modest, though hard-working family of candle-makers. As Ben was the tenth son in his family, his father decided to “tithe” him to the church, so he was enrolled in school. After two years, Ben’s father realized that there was no money in the ministry, so he withdrew him. Ben, therefore, was certainly not the institutionally-generated person whom we expect in politics, today.

The Denver Post is about to launch a new online forum for people to report on their local neighborhood caucus. Watch here for details or go to

What you are reading now,, is one of the longest running blogs in the country. What would it take to get the Denver Post to add it to their listing of political blogs?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Colorado's caucus system dates to the late 1800s, according to Bob Loevy, a Colorado College political science professor, but it has evolved over the years. Colorado Independent

Tonight, Jan 17, 7:30 p.m. __ Chris Lowell's ( An Evening with Ben Franklin and Presidential Straw Poll, at North High School, 2960 N. Speer Blvd sponsored by North High School, Optimist Clubs, Blacktie, Denver Daily News, Villager Newspaper, and Colorado Statesman Newspaper. Tickets are $15 on Event Code: BenFranklin, or $30 at the door. For group discount and questions, call John Wren at (303)861-1447.

We've had good publicity for this event, it's the headline story today in the North Denver Tribune, the Denver Daily News and the Colorado Statesman Newspapers have ads in their current issue. Get your ticket online now, save money, and join Ben & me tonight at North High tonight to celebrate his 302nd birthday!

Tomorrow, Jan 18, 2 p.m.__ Denver IDEA Cafe, Panera Bread, 1350 Grant St., Denver. Speakers share startup experience and we brainstorm. Today Betsy Wiersma and Alexandra Dilley Free. Open to anyone starting a new career, a new project, a new business, or a new campaign, we just ask you bring your brain for the brainstorming. RSVP at, questions call John Wren (303)861-1447.

Monday, January 14, 2008

North High here in Denver is really getting behind the Optimist's An Evening With Ben Franklin & Presidential Straw Poll. This is going to be a fun evening! To get the details and RSVP, click the link to the left.

A fund is being started to give tickets to North High students, Fred Pasternack has contributed $100, let me know if you'd be willing to chip in. Also, let me know if you'd be willing to be a volunteer ticket seller, usher, or vote counter. Email Thanks!

What would Ben Franklin think about the Colorado Caucus?

Here's Ben Franklin's statement via Chris Lowell who will appear next Thursday (Jan 17) at North High School (details and RSVP at Event Code BenFranklin):


In the latter part of my life, I wrote somewhat wistfully of how wonderful it would be to return to America two or three hundred years hence to see how our Republic was faring. Remarkably, I WILL be able to make such a journey through time, thanks to the Optimists, North High School, and Citizens John Wren and Christopher Lowell, who will bring me to your city of Denver on my birthday, the Thursday, January 17 at North High School.

When, after over four months of strenuous effort, we delegates emerged from our Constitutional debates in Philadelphia that hot summer of 1787, the wife of the Philadelphia mayor greeted me with the not unexpected question "What kind of government have you got for us, Dr. Franklin?"

I answered, "A Republic, madam, if you can keep it."

And only by the vigorous debate of issues and candidates for public service, only with the participation of us all can we truly keep the Republic we Founding Fathers so carefully crafted.

It is not for the elite but for all citizens to hold our public officials accountable to us and to continue to make government a servant of the
people and not the other way around.

The full flowering of this Republic of ours is your Colorado Caucus, which will once again be celebrated February 5. Every two years citizens of Colorado have this opportunity for a state-wide civics lesson, and I applaud that effort to reach out to and educate new citizens.

Political parties were unknown in our times, but I understand that now political parties choose delegates representing your views as you prepare to vote in presidential elections. And, more importantly, you, in keeping with the ideals we embodied so long ago, each and every one of you, has a voice in choosing these delegates through your Colorado Caucus.

Even today, your government is not formed by an elite, but by you, the ordinary citizens of the land. I applaud this! After all, I was the son of a simple candle and soap maker, and always proud to be of the "middling class," the "leather aprons" as we called ourselves.

It was to throw out the concept of elite government and to place our faith in the people's will that we created our Republic during the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Now, 200+ years later, you still have the opportunity, through your Colorado Caucus, to continue to create a government responsive to your needs and wishes. Few nations give their citizens this trust and this power! I urge you to take advantage of this and become engaged in the exciting process of charting your own destiny and your children's future!

I am eager to see you all in Denver and delighted to discuss my life and times with you good citizens and take your questions later this week. Until then, I remain, your faithful, and obedient servant,

Ben Franklin

Saturday, January 12, 2008

On this day in 1915 - The Rocky Mountain National Park is formed by an act of U.S. Congress.

Caucus Media Coverage Increases

Unless you live in Boulder, you probably didn't see that the Colorado Daily had an article about the Colorado caucus last week. There was very brief local TV coverage here in Denver on Ch 2, Ch 4, and Fox.

The Denver Post had a front page, headline story on the Colorado Caucus last week. And today there's a full page story on the caucus in the Rocky Mountain News. There were so many local newspaper stories around the state, they are too numerous to list here. Already, this is much, much more coverage of the Colorado Caucus than we’ve seen in past years, and it will only increase between now and February 5, and rightfully so.

Turning Point for the Colorado Caucus

I predict that this year the Colorado Caucus will become the major story locally it deserves to be, and that between now and Feb 5 we’ll be seeting visits from Presidential candidates.

Decades from now, we'll look back and see that this year, 2008, was the turning point in Colorado joining Iowa to become a show-case state in Presidential elections. That's if our local leadership siezes the opportunity. Where is the PSA with Gov Ritter and Mayor Hickenlooper for the caucus like the one produced in 2006 with Gov Owens and the Mayor?

The Denver Grassroots Rally Caucus contest for the best Pre-December 5 (deadline for registering to vote to be able to vote in the Feb 5 Colorado Caucus) may have played some part in encourging this increased media attention. The winner of the contest will be announced next Thursday (Jan 17) at the Evening With Ben Franklin & Presidential Straw Poll (see below)

RSVP Online for An Evening with Ben Franklin & Presidential Straw Poll

Chris Lowell really does make Ben Franklin come alive. Don’t miss this great chance to see him, you’ll enjoy it, so will school age kids and grandkids. Everyone will vote in the Presidential preference poll, you can even vote for Ben!

There are still tickets available, have you RSVPd yet? If not, please do so now, click on the link in the upper right hand corner of this page or here for all the details.

Please email me at if you'd be willing to volunteer to help me and Ben next Thurday.

And please forward a link to this along to your friends who might be interested in joining us next Thursday. They will thank you, and so will I if you'll let me know what you've done!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

"[Nature] knows the people are a tide That swells and in time will ebb, and all Their works dissolve ... As for us: We must uncenter our minds from ourselves; We must unhumanize our views a little, and become confident As the rock and ocean that we were made from." Robinson Jeffers

It was on this day in 1776 that Thomas Paine published his political pamphlet Common Sense arguing for American independence from Great Britain. At the time of the publication, Paine had been living in America only two years. He'd grown up in England, where he'd struggled to earn a living as a tax collector. He saw firsthand the corruption of the British government, and had recently been fired from his job when he met Benjamin Franklin in London, and Franklin encouraged him to move to America.

He arrived just in time to see the colonies rebelling against problems in the British tax system, similar to what he had experienced back in England. He got a job as a journalist, and he immediately began to write about the political situation. After the Battle of Lexington and Concord in April of 1775, he decided that the only solution to the conflict would be total independence for the American colonies. But when he expressed those ideas in his newspaper, he lost his job.

He spent the next several months traveling around Pennsylvania, going to various bars and taverns and talking to ordinary people about their opinions on American independence. He used these conversations to develop a writing style that an ordinary person could easily understand, and he used that style to write his pamphlet "Common Sense," published on this day in 1776.

The pamphlet sold more than 500,000 copies, more copies than any other publication had ever sold at that time in America. It helped persuade many Americans to support revolution, and seven months later, the colonies officially declared independence.

From The Writer’s Almanac

The Denver Post Online has a feature article on the Colorado Caucus today:
Interest Builds in the Colorado caucus
The first comment on the caucus story complained about boredom.

This is what I posted in response:

I hope the Denver Post will reprint Sue O'Brien's column on the caucus-assembly system from 2002. She captured the excitement of seeing new political leaders and future elected representatives getting started at their first neighborhood precinct meeting.

Dick Gibson told me one time that he felt sorry for the young people who couldn't appreciate good jazz, so he tried to help with his jazz radio station and concerts. The Colorado Caucus needs that same help. It takes someone like Sue to help people hear the music of our wonderful system! Who among the living will now continue that important role at our local newspapers?

We'll have copies of Sue's column at the free Denver IDEA Cafe meetings each Friday from now until the Colorado Caucus (Feb 5). Meetings are free and open to everyone who is starting a new project, campaign, career, or new business. So if you are thinking of starting a new political career as a vocation or avocation you'd be more than welcome. There is more information and you can RSVP at

Or if you have questions you'd prefer to ask me privately rather than here, feel free to email me at

Ben Franklin said we have a republic if we can keep it.

Can we?

John S. Wren, MBA+
This life is short, let' get started!

Think you might be an alcoholic?
If you decide alcohol is a problem for you and you want to stop drinking,
email me and I’ll tell you what worked for me.

Socrates Cafe tonight!
Good discussion about interesting topics we choose at the meeting. No preparation required. Hope you'll join us. More information and RSVP at

Denver IDEA Cafe each Friday.
Join us any Friday you aren't sure what you're going to do Monday morning.
The former head of the marketing department at the University of Denver was with us last Friday as he starts his new consulting practice. Click here to see his comments about the meeting:

If you haven't RSVPd yet for next week's 302nd Ben Franklin Birthday Party, please do so at once! It will be a lot of fun, and we hope to generate some postive publicity for our wonderful Colorado Caucus. Thanks to my friend Kenton Kuhn at Blacktie for doing the ticketing More information and RSVP by clicking on the link on the upper left hand corner of this page.

How may I help you?

Monday, January 07, 2008

It's the anniversary of the first motion picture that was made, in 1894, when Thomas Edison Studios filmed a comedian named Fred Ott sneezing.

It's the birthday of landscape painter Albert Bierstadt, born in Solingen, Germany (1830), who joined a survey team in the American western frontier in 1859 and sketched the magnificent scenery he witnessed, including the Rocky Mountains, the Yosemite Valley, and the Merced River.
And on this day in 1927 the first transatlantic telephone call was made, from New York City to London.

"In God's Name," that airs from 8-10 tonight here in Denver on KCNC-Channel 4. It focuses on 12 of the world's most influential spiritual leaders, probing their thoughts and following their daily routines.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Interesting new research has just been published that finds that banks can do just as well as peers at monitoring and enforcing loans and generating high repayment rates. Surprising that this research comes from a Yale economist who has a new internet tool to make peer monitoring using the computer easy. I’m testing his software right now, may make it part of what I’m doing with the IDEA Café. Take a look at it:
John McCain on Meet the Press today:

Voters have lost confidence in America, I'll restore that trust.

I'm proud to have been a foot soldier in the Regan revolution, but he combined tax cuts with spending cuts which we've not been doing.

We should reward no one for illegal behavior, but we need to deal with illegal immigration in a humanitarian and compassionate way. Our economy has grown depended on these people.

I'll stop Osama BinLaden, if I have to follow him to the gates of hell!

The greatest challenge of the 21st century is radical Islamism. I'm the only one running with the background, experience, and judgement (to do the job needed in foreign affairs.)

After the John McCain interview two top political consultants agreed that it looks like the two Presidential nominees will be John McCain and Barack Obama.
It's the birthday of French military leader Saint Joan of Arc, known as "the Maid of Orleans," born in Domrémy, France (1412), to peasant-stock parents.

At the age of 13, she began to hear voices and see visions she believed came from saints Michael, Catherine, and Margaret. These saints urged her to embark on a divine mission to help Charles Dauphin (later King Charles IV of France) and save France, embroiled at that time in the Hundred Years' War with England.

She went to Charles and told her story; Charles sent her before a board of theologians who approved her religious claims; he then provided her with troops to lead into battle. Dressed as a male soldier, her hair shorn, carrying a white banner symbolic of God's blessing on the French campaign, Joan guided them to a decisive victory for France.

Charles was later crowned king with Joan at his side. At age 18, Joan was divinely led to embark on another campaign against the English at Compiégne near Paris, this time without the support of Charles. She was captured by the Burgundian allies of the English, and was tried for heresy and sorcery at the ecclesiastical court in Rouen. She was burned in the Old Market Square in Rouen in 1431 at the age of 19. Years later, the Church reexamined her case and found her innocent.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

John Temple, publisher of the Rocky Mountain News, writes today about his paper’s coverage of the Iowa Caucus and his plans for covering the Colorado legislature.

I responded with this:

Why is the Iowa Caucus worth a full time reporter, yet you give no coverage of what's being done here for our Colorado Caucus? Just doesn't make sense to me.

I went to a packed meeting room this morning at Sante Fe & 8th, filled with enthusiastic volunteers every bit as interesting as the folks in Iowa. Meetings like this will be held over and over again from now until February 5. Why aren't they worth covering?

Does it have to be on the nightly TV news for you to consider it worth a reporters time? Maybe it would be a national TV news story if our local papers were covering it like the Iowa papers cover the Iowa Caucus.

Why aren't you assigning a reporter to tell the story of how our Colorado delegates get selected to the national convention this year? Because of TV, do you think your readers are more interested in Iowa than what is going on right here in Colorado? If so, you have an insultingly low opinion of your readers.
On this date in: 1759 - George Washington marries Martha Dandridge Custis who’s wealth and management ability enabled him to play a key role in the founding of the United States. 1914 - Ford Motor Company announces an eight-hour workday and a minimum wage of $5 for a day's labor. Henry Ford wanted his employees to be able to buy one of his cars and to have time to enjoy it with their family. 1943 – Death of George Washington Carver, American educator (b. 1860) who encouraged independence through individual initiative and hard work. He would have hated the idea of a Neighborhood Czar.

The Mayor wants neighborhood organizations, churches, and other volunteer groups to come up with plans for getting sidewalks shoveled by the poor and disabled who can’t do it themselves, can’t afford to hire help, and who won’t ask neighbors and family for help. Can you smell a Snow Tax or a Neighborhood Tax in the air?
Here’s my tongue-in-cheek comment to the article about this in today’s paper:

I ask my Libertarian friends who want almost no government, what about snow removal? Aren't we better off centralizing it, turning it over to the government and allowing them to tax us? And if we expect the government to clear the roads, why not the sidewalks and private parking lots?

We need to recognize the fact that volunteer neighborhood organizations, churches, and neighbors have disappeared, that the disabled and elderly would rather not have to develop good relationships with their neighbors and family, and that functions that were once done by volunteers now need to be done by government employees.

To get the poor and disabled in Denver to show up for their Feb 5 precinct caucus, why don't we promote this as a resolution in Denver: "Denver government should hire people in each neighborhood to develop and execute a Neighborhood Snow Removal Plan that includes sidewalks. The people hired should be called Neighborhood Czars, and their budgets should be made part of the annual city budgeting process."

This could be an effective way to get people thinking in a more cooperative way about using the government to provide a higher level of care for all citizens, to enable the poor and disabled to not only get shelter when they are "homeless" but to also stay in homes which they can no longer care for, to be independent, and to not have the burden good relations with family and friends and asking for help.

The Neighborhood Czar program would provide a good foundation for the replacement of neighbors and family with dependable government help, and it could be expanded eventually to include house painting and maintenance, lawn care, gardening, shopping and other help that will provide the help the disabled and elderly need to enjoy their golden years, while living independent and free of meddling family and neighbors.

I suggest we call the program "Shelter: First, Last, and Always."

Friday, January 04, 2008

It's the birthday of the inventor of calculus, the mathematician and physicist Sir Isaac Newton, born in Woolsthorpe, England (1643). He solved many mysteries of physics involving light, optics, gravity, and motion. Newton always gave credit to his scientific predecessors for his achievements, and he wrote in his journal, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

It's also the birthday of one of the Grimm brothers, Jacob Grimm, born in Hanau, Germany (1785), who, with his younger brother Wilhelm, collected over 200 German folk tales of the early 19th century and published them as Grimm's Fairy Tales (1812), including "Sleeping Beauty," "Little Red Riding Hood," and "Snow White."

Join me today for the IDEA Café and the Denver Grassroots Rally, RSVP on links to the left or just show up. Then stick around if you want for Denver’s original Socrates Café, which follows at 6 pm; no RSVP, but you can’t find out more at

The Rocky Mountain News has a news article about the Colorado Caucus, sort of. Calls Colorado political leaders junkies. Obvious that the News would rather just have us all consume advertising and propaganda, then go into the voting booth to vote for whoever they have endorsed. The article is buried in the News Online edition, you can’t find it unless you know to look for it, no a sign of it on their front page.

At least the News has an article on the Colorado Caucus. Nothing in the Denver Post that I can see. How can the papers ignore what could be such a big Colorado story? One reporter told me it’s because they have cut so far back on reporters, there is just not time to cover local politics adequately.

Seems like a void that some competitor needs to fill. Good local government demands that we have a daily newspaper that takes Denver politics seriously, we don’t seem to have one now.

Will the newspaper to fill that void be the Denver Daily News? They’ve agreed to sponsor Ben Franklin’s Birthday at North High School January 17, along with the Villager Newspapers, the Colorado Statesman newspaper, and Blacktie. Net proceeds will benefit You can find out more and get tickets on the link to the top left on this page. Let me know if you’d like group rates, or if you’d like to have a display table for your candidate or cause.

Here’s a fun way to follow the Presidential campaign:
Who’s followers are buying the most political buttons?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

We'll be celebrating Ben Franklin's 302nd birthday on January 17. Thanks to my friend Chris Lowell, who will be celebrating it with us here in Denver as Ben Franklin (see his for the correction.
On this date in: 1496 - Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tests a flying machine. 1825 - Rensselaer School, the first engineering college in the U.S. is opened in Troy, New York. It is now known as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 1870 - The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge begins. 1888 - Marvin C. Stone patents the drinking straw.
1899 - The first known use of the word automobile, in an editorial in The New York Times. 1957 - Hamilton Watch Company introduces the first electric watch. 1977 - Apple Computer is incorporated.


I just made this news release. Can you join us January 17?

January 3, 2008

Contact: John Wren
Cell (720)495-4949

PRESIDENTIAL STRAW POLL TO BE HELD AT BEN FRANKLIN’S 301st BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION—BEN TO ANNOUNCE HIS CANDIDACY. presents An Evening with Ben Franklin, Thursday, January 17, 7:30 p.m. at North High School, 2960 N. Speer Blvd. in Denver. Tickets are $15 online from Event Code: BenFranklin, with $5 rebated to referring groups, or $30 at the door. Groups and those interested in an exhibit table and/or an ad in the program should call John Wren at (303)861-1447.

In the first half of the evening, Ben Franklin (Chris Lowell, will flesh out Ben’s life in an engaging, accessible way, giving general audiences an intimate look at what made our most revered Founding Father tick. Chris’s energy and wealth of knowledge make Ben’s role in our history come alive in this wonderful 45 minute program.

Before and after the event and at intermission, Liberty Day Kids will distribute free copies of the US Constitution and ask people questions about the Constitution. Net proceeds from the event will benefit Liberty Day. Net proceeds will benefit Liberty Day (

In the second half, each Presidential candidate (or their stand-in) will have 2 minutes to present, as will Ben Franklin. Questions from the audience will then be entertained, as the straw-poll election is conducted. The top vote getter (other than Ben) will be video taped with Ben Franklin and the video posted on You Tube.

An Evening with Ben Franklin is being sponsored by the Optimists, Villager Newspapers, the Denver Daily News, and the Colorado Statesman Newspaper. Other sponsors will be listed in the program for the event. All sponsors will have a table in the lobby of the North High School Auditorium. For sponsorship and other advertising opportunities, contact John Wren at (720)495-4949 or is the Internet home of John S. Wren, MBA+. Wren is a business consultant and adult educator. His education activities include: seminars and workshops on business topics; a free open meeting once a week for people who are starting a new career, a project or a new business (see; and business peer advisory groups called Franklin Circles. For a video of Wren’s 299th Franklin Birthday celebration held 1/17/05 at Thomas Jefferson High School, see


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year!

Dick Wadhams and Pat Waak on Jay Leno?
See my email to the Tonight Show below.

From Garriosn Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac:

It was on this day in 1897 that the author Stephen Crane (books by this author) (1871) survived the sinking of a boat headed for Cuba and he wrote about the experience in his short story "The Open Boat" (1898), which was one of the first works of fiction based on actual reportage.

It's the birthday of Isaac Asimov, (books by this author) born in Petrovichi, Russia (1920), who started a book whenever he wanted to learn about a topic that he didn't fully understand, and so he published books about outer space, nuclear physics, organic chemistry, history, astronomy, Greek mythology, and religion.

It's the birthday of war novelist Leonard B. Scott, (books by this author) born in Bremerhaven, Germany (1948), who was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star in Vietnam. He was working a desk job at the Pentagon in Washington in the early '80s, when he heard the opening ceremonies of the Vietnam Memorial on the Mall, and said, "The dam just broke. Seeing my old comrades squelched my fears of attempting to write; I had to tell our story of the war and how it really was." His books include Charlie Mike (1985), The Last Run (1987), and The Hill (1989).
It's the birthday of writer William Scott, (books by this author) born in Janesville, Wisconsin (1914) author of The Plowhand (1957), Red Sunrise (1958), and the poetry collection On My Knees in the Field (1977), who wrote late at night after working all day on his small, 80-acre farm in southern Wisconsin.

Have a book you’d like to publish? Consider the exploding new technique of on-demand publishing. Unlike vanity publishing, in which aspiring authors pay to have their books run on traditional presses, on-demand publishing doesn't have to cost writers a cent.

What will the writer's union do if Leno's ratings are higher tonight and in the weeks ahead?

Jay Leno and David Letterman return to TV tonight, Leno without writers and the normal celebrity guests; tonight Leno's guest will be GOP Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, Letterman's will be Robin Williams.

I just sent this email to the Jay Leno show:

"I'm posting to my blog this morning the following suggestion along with my comment, "what will the writer's union do if Jay Leno gets higher ratings tonight and in the weeks ahead. Leno has a great opportunity to make his show "grassroots" TV, which I think would have much more appeal to more views that the celebrity small talk that is the normal fare.

Here are my guest suggestions:

Colorado has a caucus similar to Iowa's February 5. I suggest you invite the chairs of our state GOP and Dems, there was a good article about them and the February 5 caucus recently in the Rocky Mountain News

I recently left the Denver GOP and became a Democrat, both the state chairs know me, and I'd be willing to be on the show if you can't find a Democrat who will cross the picket line.

Also, Chris Lowell does a fantastic character impersonation of Ben Franklin, who's 301st birthday will be January 17. More about him at He just got back from Paris, France where he was hired for a celebration of an historical event that involved Franklin.

Finally, why don't you have something you could call "Hometown Talent Search" in major cities across the US. Winners could appear on your show each night. If you'd like my help, please email me at or call me at (303)861-1447.