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.