Monday, June 30, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008

Have you forgotten what we were like then
when we were still first rate
and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth

it's no use worrying about Time
but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
and turned some sharp corners

the whole pasture looked like our meal
we didn't need speedometers
we could manage cocktails out of ice and water

I wouldn't want to be faster
or greener than now if you were with me O you
were the best of all my days

Frank O’Hara who was born today in 1926, died in 1966. He went to Harvard, decided to write poetry, sold postcards at the Museum of Modern Art where he eventually became a curator.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

There’s an expanded letter to the editor in today’s Denver Post about the committee that’s picking a committee to oversee the remodeling/replacement of Boettcher Concert Hall. I posted this comment:

I've always loved the current concert hall, which opened to rave reviews. So I was against Mayor Hickenlooper's request for remodeling money.

A thru I wouldn't have passed without the Mayor's support, so I hope he is now staying on top of how the money is being spent.

I understand that this was not done with the new addition to the Denver Art Museum, and that we are now facing serious roof issues because the construction was not properly done, and that the contract for the work was not well negotiated so that the city is now responsible for the necessary replacement.

Will the Mayor approve the plans and oversee the constructions for the new concert hall on behalf of the Denver citizens who he convinced to vote for A thru I?
How is the other A thru I money being spent? Has the city issued any kind of a progress report?

I invite the Mayor to update us at the next Denver Speakers Corner, Sunday, July 6, 4 p.m., Civic Center North Pavilion, on Colfax just across the street from the Denver Newspaper Agency. More info (including video of our first two meetings) and optional RSVP at hppt://

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns ... instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink." and "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." George Orwell, the writer made famous by his book Animal Farm, who was born today in 1903. He died in 1950 just after his last book 1984 was published. At a time when most British intellectuals still supported Communism, Orwell became one of the first leftist writers to speak out against Stalin. In 'Why Write?' and 'Politics and the English Language' (1948) Orwell argued that writers have an obligation of fighting social injustice, oppression, and the power of totalitarian regimes.

In today’s Rocky Mountain News, Colorado State Senator Shawn Mitchell is critical of the Denver Chamber of Commerce for opposing Amendment 47, which he says will return the balance of power to business-labor relations in the state after then actions of the past couple of years.

The large organizations that are increasingly dominating our society, government, corporate, and labor, naturally seek power and control of the individual. This country was founded on the belief that there is another way.

We each need to think for our self about the many issues that we face at this critical time in our nations history, and then speak out. This is difficult when collecting a paycheck from one of those large dominate economic organizations, as an increasing proportion of our population is today.

That’s why I just posted a comment at the end of Sen. Mitchell’s column encouraging people to join us for Socrates Café and Denver Speakers Corner. Will you?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Honey, I just forgot to duck." Jack Dempsey, the great boxer who was born on this date in 1895 here in Colorado. (d. 1983)

Visa is giving a $100 advertising credit on Facebook to each of the first 20,000 U.S. businesses that download the Web application needed to join the network, which debuts Tuesday. About 80,000 small businesses already have profiles on Facebook. I just signed up, how about you?

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Denver Post's Al Lewis questions the value of social networking sites like Linked In and Facebook in his column yesterday. I've been on both for some time now, not sure any business has resulted from either. What do you think, are they worth the time?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

“I am endlessly intrigued by relationships, particularly by the gap between what people say and what they truly feel, and the gap between what they do and what they really want." From a New York Times interview with novelist and psychotherapist Amy Bloom, who was born today.

Former Colorado Education Commissioner William Moloney's columns have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer and the Baltimore Sun. He write today in the Rocky Mountain News about education reform in Colorado, and the foot dragging now taking place. I posted this comment online:

What is the solution? I'm going to read this column to my Optimist Club, make it the topic for discussion today (Wed, June 18). Join us, especially if you are a teacher, parent, or administrator with an idea about how Optimist Clubs, who's main focus is being of service to youth, could help with this problem.

Denver South Optimist Club, Perkin's, Colorado Blvd and Buchtel (just South of I25 & Colorado), Noon to 1:15 p.m. $15, includes lunch.

Read Moloney's column, then post your comment. What do you think can be done about getting schools back on track here in Colorado?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"(The essence of the economy lay) in the psychological relations between people and in the mental state of the individual... The spiritual community is an infinitely complex and sensitive organism... each individual industrialist or merchant who sets afloat his own little boat." Joseph Schumpeter, as quoted in Thomas K. McCraw's Prophet of Innovation--Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Distruction, p. 110.
Appointments missed, then
Messages ignored again,
Comes now at last truth.
Oprah's June 15, 2008 graduation address at Stanford. Main points: Trust your gut; learn from failures; choose service. Worth watching.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

On this day in 1215 King John signed the Magna Carta (Latin for Great Charter, literally "Great Paper"), also called Magna Carta Libertatum (Great Charter of Freedoms), It explicitly protected certain rights of the King's subjects, whether free or fettered — most notably the writ of habeas corpus, allowing appeal against unlawful imprisonment.

Magna Carta was the most significant early influence on the extensive historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law today. Magna Carta influenced the development of the common law and many constitutional documents, such as the United States Constitution.

NYT Primer for Young People Starting New Job, good reminders for us all.

Happy Father's Day Pop, where ever you are. I'm still working on the obit.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone." Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) who was born today, and is best remembered as the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, which helped galvanize the abolitionist cause and contributed to the outbreak of the Civil War.

Colorado Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien writes today in the Rocky Mountain News about the big jump in poverty here in Colorado.

This is the comment I just posted:

Yes, safety net measures are needed to help the wounded.

But the real question is: WHY ARE THEY INCREASINGLY NEEDED?

The Small Business Administration was formed in 1954 to “help” new businesses and small businesses. The SBA’s misguided thinking has permeated our schools and society. What's been the result?

We used to be a nation of shop keepers, but we've become a nation of clerks dependant on big corporations and institutions.

What is it that's been changed in our society that keeps so many today from achieving the True American Dream, “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement…Being able to grow to fullest development as man and woman, unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had developed for the benefit of classes rather than for the simple human being of any and every class. And that dream as been realized more fully in actual life here than anywhere else, though very imperfectly even among ourselves. It has been a great epic and a great dream. What, now, of the future?” (The Epic of America, James Thurslow Adams, 1932.)

Lt. Gov. O’Brien, how about using your Childrens Campaign experience to start a new Colorado Entrepreneurs Campaign, starting with a summit meeting to identify the real problems. What’s changed in the last 100 years? What has the SBA and the government done, what have schools, political parties, the media and other powerful forces done, that is creating this American Nightmare, a nation of low-paid clerks who can never get ahead working for the wealthy few? And more important, what can be done now to reopen real opportunity for the children of the poor?

What candidates for high office will make this part of their campaigns? They would get my vote, and I’ll bet a lot of others, too.

What author will research and write about how we can rekindle the True American Dream?

I’m going to suggest this as a topic at the Denver Socrates Café next Thursday. Will you join us? More information and optional RSVP at

What do you think?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love!" Ann Frank, whose birthday is today. On her 13th birthday she received a diary as a gift from her father, which she filled with thoughts like this that have made it the 2nd best selling book next to the bible since it was published in 1947 after her death.

On this day in 1967 - The United States Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia declares all U.S. state laws which prohibit interracial marriage to be unconstitutional.

In 1967 I started working full time for my father, which I did for the next two years as I finished my BA at the University of Denver after getting married. I hired the first black employee for his company. In the early 60s there were no blacks or hispanics working in most Denver grocery stores.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

On this day in 1184 BC - Trojan War: Troy is sacked and burned, according to the calculations of Eratosthenes. 1776 - The Continental Congress appoints Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to a committee to draft a declaration of independence. 1979 - John Wayne, American actor died (b. 1907), who had said "That'll be the day!" as Ethan Edwards in The Searchers - Spoken several times; inspired Buddy Holly to write a song with that title.

What did you think of John Wayne? Did he influence you?

Starting a new career, project or business? Join us the Friday for the Denver IDEA Cafe! We have a couple of great speakers this week. For details see And tell your friends who might find it helpful, OK?

Monday, June 09, 2008

High Flight (An Airman's Ecstasy)
by John Gillespie Magee Jr.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

"High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee, Jr., Public Domain.

Today is the birthday of the man who wrote this most famous inspirational poem about aviation — a sonnet about aviation — John Gillespie Magee Jr., born in Shanghai, China, in 1922, the son of missionaries. He was an American, but like thousands of other young Americans he served with the Royal Canadian Air Force before the United States officially entered WWII.

He had a scholarship to Yale, but after high school he enlisted in the air force, and he was sent to combat duty in England. A month or maybe two months later, he wrote a sonnet, "High Flight," and sent it to his parents on the back of a letter, saying "I am enclosing a verse I wrote the other day. It started at 30,000 feet, and was finished soon after I landed."

Three months later, the U.S. entered the war, and just three days after that Magee died in a plane crash. The sonnet was widely copied and distributed, and it is still referenced in novels, television shows, and political speeches. All first-year cadets at the United States Air Force Academy are required to memorize and recite it.

From The Writer’s Almanac
Speakers Corner yesterday was fantastic!
Thanks to everyone who helped. Dennis says
he'll be with us again for our next meeting.

I just send out this release to the media:

June 9, 2008

Meeting now part of Wikipedia article on Speakers Corner.

Yesterday the new Denver Speakers Corner combined efforts with it's source of inspiration, People Speak at the Denver Peoples Fair. Pete MacKay from FM 99.5 The Mountain helped introduce the meeting. Each future meeting will have a local radio sponsor, for more information contact John Wren (303)861-1447. For a video of yesterday see

The next Denver Speakers Corner will be Sunday, July 6, 2008, 4 p.m., Denver Civic Center North Pavilion, on Colfax across the street from the Denver Newspaper Agency. For more information and optional RSVP see

Announcing that a video of yesterday is now available, long time community-activist John Wren said, "the attendance and participation yesterday shows that we are headed in the right direction in making Denver Speakers Corner a Denver institution. We will start meeting weekly in July or August depending on the willingness of local media, political parties, elected officials, candidates for local office, and others to help us get the word out.

"We hope to be going strong with weekly meetings by the end of August when the Democratic National Convention will be here, and that national news coverage will help spread the Speakers Corner concept across the country, combining London's old institution with modern technology as a way to get out local news and opinion in an interesting and helpful way. Wikipedia now lists our group in its Speakers Corner article.">">

"Much thanks to my long time friend Denver City Auditor Dennis Gallagher for being a continuing source of encouragement and guidance as we launch this new effort. He was not able to be with us yesterday, but he promises that he will be with us in July to emcee."

Denver Speakers Corner has evolved from Save the Caucus, the group formed to fight Amendment 29 in 2002 which would have killed the Colorado caucus-assembly system for nominating candidates to the primary ballot.

It was inspired by the People Speak that has been part of the Denver People’s Fair for the last couple of years, and by Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, London. It has been organized as a new by John Wren.

A video of each meeting will be made available for free on the Internet. For a video of the 1st meeting in May, go to

John S. Wren, MBA+ (303)861-1447 is an adult educator and consultant. Wren is founder of the IDEA Cafe and the author of Daring Mighty Things—The Simplest Way to Start Your First (or Next) New Business that was sold for years in local bookstores and is now available on his website for free. He is immediate past 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 formed the first Franklin Circle in Denver in 1996, which is based on the group Ben Franklin formed in 1727 in Philadelphia. He held the first Socrates Cafe in Denver, and he now leads the Denver Socrates Cafe each Thursday evening at Trinity Church in Denver


John S. Wren, MBA+

Thanks to the Westword blog for helping us get the word out about
what we are doing with the new Denver Speakers Corner.
This is their post from June 4 at

“Cor ad cor loquitur” should be the motto of the Denver Speaker’s Corner, says City Auditor Dennis Gallagher, citing the Roman adage “heart speaks to heart.” It’s certainly fitting for this open forum, where participants can air their political views in three-to-five-minute ad hoc speeches.

Held in Civic Center Park, the Speaker’s Corner is modeled after the famous Hyde Park Speaker’s Corner in London where citizens with opinions have been voicing them for over one hundred years. Organizer John Wren hopes the meetings will grow from the “handful” that attended the first session in May. But the small size doesn’t mean varied views are in short supply: the meetings welcome participants of all political persuasions who are encouraged to speak about political issues, candidates, causes, and local news.

The first hour of every meeting will be videotaped and placed on the web, so attendees are advised to RSVP and arrive early. Meetings are held each Sunday after the first Friday of every month. The next meeting is on June 8 at 4 p.m. Sign-up begins at 3:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information visit or call 303-861-1447. -- Maddie Wolberg

Saturday, June 07, 2008

On this day in 1099 - The First Crusade: The Siege of Jerusalem begins. 1966 - Former movie star, Ronald Reagan, becomes the 33rd governor of the state of California.

(The Rocky Mountain News's) new streamlined Web site,, (is) designed for people with mobile devices who want to stay in touch with the news during the day.

Photos and graphics are stripped away, and you're left with a column of bare-bones links to the latest news, weather, opinion, and features. The emphasis is local. There's a link at the bottom to sign up to receive breaking news alerts by e-mail.
The new Web site exemplifies how news outlets are trying to gain a competitive advantage by finding the most convenient ways to deliver news to customers, like you and me, who want to get news efficiently and on their own schedules. is beautiful in its simplicity - though I'd mix in more national stories. And you'll like this: There are no advertisements - yet.

In today's Rocky Mountain News from Jason Salzman, president of Cause Communications and board chairman of Rocky Mountain Media Watch, is the author of Making the News: A Guide for Activists and Nonprofits. Reach him at

I went by his office yesterday and confirmed with Dennis Gallagher that he'll be with us tomorrow for Denver Speakers Corner. Hope you can join us to take your turn on the soap box or to just cheer the others on. We'll video the first hour and post it here on Monday. Tomorrow, Sunday (Jun 8), 4 p.m., Denver Civic Center, North Pavilion, on Colfax across the street from the Denver Newspaper Agency. More information and optional RSVP at

Friday, June 06, 2008

It’s the birthday of Donald F. Duncan, Sr. (June 6, 1892 - May 15, 1971) often miscredited with invention of the yo-yo. In fact, he never even held a patent on the toy, although the name Yo-yo was a trademark of his company until 1965. He did invent the parking meter and founded a parking meter company which is still active, and he is credited with being the founder of incentive marketing.

On this day in 1933 - The first drive-in theater opened, in Camden, New Jersey, United States. The previous year we had the first gasoline tax.

I just posted this as my comment on a very interesting column in the Denver Post this morning about the sudden increase in civic participation we've seen in the last year or so:

Article Discussion: The populist uprising
by JohnSWren on 7:39 am, Fri Jun 06

Thomas Jefferson said the strength of our system of government is that it allows a bloodless revolution every 20 years or so.

Right now we face a choice: Change for the better, or chaos.

If you'd like to see change for the better, we'd like to hear from you this Sunday (June 8th), 4 p.m., at Denver Civic Center, North Pavillion on Colfax across from the Denver Newspaper Agency. RSVP and get on the speakers list early, or just show up and get on the list at the meeting or just listen to what others have to share.

We'll video the first hour and put it up on Google Video, just like we did for our first meeting last month. Denver City Audior Dennis Gallagher has agreed to MC this meeting.

After the groundswell February 5, there is an unusual opportunity for new political leaders to emerge in both major political parties.

Please help us by forwarding this along to your friends who might be interested, OK?

For more information and optional RSVP see


What do you think? Is there an opportunity for us to get back to what the founders had in mind? Take a look at the Denver Post article, and then post your comment there, OK? Go to

Pass this along to any of your friends who might be interested, and then join us yourself Sunday for what we hope becomes a new Denver institution for amplifying the voice of the common person, the true grassroots that has served this country so well in the past.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Starting something new? Join us for the
Denver IDEA Cafe, each Friday, 2 p.m.
Details & RSVP at

Join us this Sunday (Jun 8), 4 p.m. for the new
Denver Speakers Corner. Take your turn on
the soap box, or just listen to what others
have to say. More information and optional
(See video of our last meeting to the left)
Interesting combination of birthday’s today:

It's the birthday of economist Adam Smith, born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland (1723), a little fishing village with a busy seaport. Out the windows of his boyhood home, Smith could see all of that bustling activity, and he grew up to write an important book in the history of economics: The Wealth of Nations (1776), which said that market forces serve the public good, and that government regulation, for the most part, does not.

Today is also the birthday of the economist John Maynard Keynes, born in Cambridge, England (1883). He's best known for his book The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, published during the Great Depression in 1935. He argued that governments can correct severe depressions by spending lots of money, even if it means running a deficit, to put people back to work. Keynes's ideas greatly influenced Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal polices, and his ideas have been used to justify budget deficits ever since.

It's the birthday of Richard Scarry, born in Boston (1919). He's the author of more than 300 books for children. He said that what made him happiest as an author was receiving letters from people telling him that their copies of his books were all worn out, or were held together with Scotch tape.

From The Writer’s Almanac

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

On this day in 1876 - An express train called the Transcontinental Express arrives in San Francisco, California, via the First Transcontinental Railroad only 83 hours and 39 minutes after having left New York City.

“To live life at its fullest you have to have the chutzpah to accept challenges. You don’t need nerves of steel. I’m not saying that sometimes you won’t be shaking in your boots after accepting some major challenge. But you can’t let that stop you. It really is better to fail than not to try, because if you never try, you’ll never succeed, and as bad as failure feels, success feels so much better.” Dr. Ruth Westheimer, German-born American therapist and author, who was born on this day in 1928.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

My computer has crashed, if you need me please call (303)861-1447. Please call me if you know a good computer tech who might help me!

Dennis Gallagher has agreed to be the MC at Denver Speakers Corner next Sunday, hope you can come too! More info and RSVP at