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 CafĂ© 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