Judicial Extremism

Editor's note: This is the last scheduled post on Mount Virtus for the next 10 days or so. The author is taking a self-imposed "blog vacation" but shall return to his wit and witticisms after the Memorial Day weekend holiday. May God bless our brave but media-beleaguered men and women in uniform both today (on Armed Forces Day) and on Memorial Day. They and their families remain in our thoughts and prayers. Until then, enjoy the following.... Throughout the crescendoing rancor of the ongoing debate over the judicial filibuster, the Senate Democrats and their MSM allies perpetually reassert two suppositions: 1) That President Bush's nominees are radical and outside the "mainstream." 2) That Republican Senators should not implement … [Read more...]

Could You Define That, Please?

The same week as several Republican state legislators launched their "First Class Education for Colorado" ballot initiative proposal, following a national organization's lead in calling upon school districts to spend at least 65 percent of their operating budgets in the classroom, the Denver Public Schools Board of Education makes this declaration under the announcement of its proposed 2005-2006 budget: DPS Budget Facts 69.1 percent of every dollar spent is allocated to instruction and instructional and pupil support. This includes the learning support provided by counselors, librarians, nurses and others, in addition to books, supplies, computers and other classroom equipment. 23.4 percent of every dollar covers school … [Read more...]

Rossputin on the Big Stage

Colorado's own Ross Kaminsky, of Rossputin fame, found a bigger platform for his eloquent insights into Social Security reform (had you forgotten about this issue) with today's Real Clear Politics Commentary. Ross thanks Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler for proposing a whopping tax hike as an alternative to the President's personal account plan. Check it out. … [Read more...]

Where Are the Riots?

Food for thought for the moral and religious equivalence crowd - how many Christian-led riots has this incited? How many have died as a result? Where's the equivalent outrage? Though I can't vouch for its complete veracity, the story from Saudi Arabia certainly has much more comprehensive credibility, much more established detail, and a much longer history than Newsweek's factual faux pas that sparked a firestorm of riot in Afghanistan and heightened distrust of American intervention in the region. The larger questions must continue to be asked: How compatible is Islam with liberal Western notions of democracy, pluralism, and the rule of law? What Islamic leaders, if any, will take the mantle of reform and make a widespread and … [Read more...]

No Surprises Here: A “Can’t-Do” Reaction to First Class Education

Yesterday I asked to see what the CEA's reaction would be to the "First Class Education for Colorado" proposal that would put 65 cents of every dollar of current education expenditures into the classroom. Well, the Rocky Mountain News got the scoop on that one this morning: "The Colorado Education Association, the union of teachers, views the proposal as more political than educational, spokeswoman Deb Fallin said. "What is valuable for kids is a lot bigger than what Rep. Stengel is proposing," Fallin said. "It includes counselors, school nurses, teacher training and curricular development. "School counselors are very key to student achievement and success and to reducing the dropout level." Interesting analysis. Ask the … [Read more...]

Stengel Leads Colorado Toward “First Class Education”

While most of Colorado's political observers have their eyes fixed on this year's fight over Referendum C or towards next year's gubernatorial race, a highly important new development was scheduled to emerge at a press conference this morning at the State Capitol. House Minority Leader Joe Stengel (R - Littleton) and several of his Republican colleagues have unveiled an initiative they are promoting to put on the ballot in the November 2006 general election. "First Class Education for Colorado" would encourage every school district in the state to spend 65 cents on every dollar (excluding capital construction projects) in the classroom. Most people may be startled to learn how little of their designated K-12 education tax dollars … [Read more...]

Update on Teachers’ Union Complaint

While I plan to blog on this more at length later this week, I wanted to pass on the information about today's hearing of the complaint by Fort Collins parents Wayne Rutt and Paul Marrick against the teachers' union. A good summary update can be found over at "From the Desk of...." Let me just add these observations of the tedious all-day affair: the CEA / PEA legal team passed up the chance to cross-examine the complainants' campaign expert Rich Beeson and instead filed another motion to dismiss, mostly on flimsy charges (the judge ruled against them on all but one count). It was a sight to see when Marrick's and Rutt's attorney Scott Gessler unloaded both metaphorical barrels on the union's political expert Craig Hughes. The … [Read more...]

Let Him Eat Waffles… and Explain Himself

If you're in the Denver area this Sunday and looking for something to do, then get out the butter and the maple syrup: Republicans in Douglas and Arapahoe Counties have invited Senator Ken Salazar to join them for a waffle brunch, and they're inviting you, too. After running on a conservative independent platform that included allowing the President's judges to receive fair up-or-down votes on the Senate floor, Colorado's junior senator and failed Dairy Queen franchisee Ken Salazar has completely flip-flopped. The spokesperson for the citizen activists, Republican Party district captain Laura Teal, says they have invited Salazar to join them to explain why he has switched his position and joined the hyper-partisan liberal Democrat … [Read more...]

The Time for Truth in Education

Looking for a worthwhile cause to support? Know someone who is? Then please read this message from Paul Marrick, co-founder of Parents for Truth in Education: We’re two parents in the town of Fort Collins, Colorado. Next week we go head-to-head with the teachers unions in court, and we desperately need to get the word out about our cause. We filed a legal complaint against our local union for violating election law last year. In our first hearing, the union’s motion to dismiss was rejected and we managed to get the statewide Colorado Education Association and the local school district enjoined as co-defendants. We go to trial next week. Our legal complaint states that the union illegally conducted blatant campaign … [Read more...]

Read About Our Meeting with the Governor

Yesterday afternoon, upon the kind invitation of Sean Duffy, four members of the Rocky Mountain Alliance - American Kestrel, View from a Height, Clay Calhoun, and myself - spent more than an hour with Governor Bill Owens in his office discussing key issues facing the state. Needless to say, I want to give that meeting a fair and thorough write-up. Look for that to come over the weekend or early next week. Thanks again to Governor Owens, Sean, and Mark Salley. I truly appreciated the time and the opportunity. … [Read more...]