2005: Highlights of a Blog Year

As my first complete calendar year of blogging comes to a close, I decided for a little self-linking retrospective, featuring the two most momentous, interesting, illustrative, or off-the-wall posts from each month. Some summon memories of meetings and activities generated by my blog, a few by the general affairs of life, and most from the things I read on the Internet. The topics range from critiques of Democrats in the Colorado statehouse to observations of national & international events, from tiny trifles to happenings of great significance, with touches of humor and personal hopes dashed in to round things out. This post is as much an exercise for me as for any of my readers. For the few of you with patience and interest, I give … [Read more...]

The Post and Democrat Candidate Recruitment

The Denver Post might want to make a second attempt to get to the bottom of this story: Forti's counterparts at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are not actively recruiting military veterans, spokeswoman Sarah Steinberg said. "They absolutely serve a very good contrast against Republicans," she said. "But in every district, our goal is to recruit the best possible candidate we can." To read Jim Hughes' article in today's Post is to get the impression that military veterans are spontaneously coming forward as Democratic Congressional candidates - as opposed to what has been documented as really happening: a purposeful national strategy to shore up the Donkey's Achilles' heels of national security and military … [Read more...]

Another Sign the World is Changing

When you read in the New York Times that the governor of Michigan is aggressively courting a Japanese auto manufacturer to invest production and jobs in the Great Lakes State, you know the world is changing. For those who aren't aware, such an action not long ago would have been like touching the third rail of Michigan politics (and still seems far from perfectly safe). Yet while the economy is recovering well across most of the United States, the land of my childhood lags behind in employment and other key indicators. Gov. Jennifer Granholm's efforts to woo Toyota are a healthy sign for the future economy and quality of life of Michigan residents. The Big Three aren't quite able to protect their turf like they once did, and should … [Read more...]

Legislation for the Birds

Does the Colorado General Assembly have any serious issues to tackle during the upcoming legislative session, or do our state lawmakers need to take their lead from the Michigan legislature and find something to crow about? Only a little more than two weeks to go before debates reopen in Denver's statehouse. Incidentally, as a native of the Great Lakes State, my vote is to stick with the robin. No need to swap state birds mid-flight. Do you think anyone out here in my adopted home state is that attached to the prairie lark finch? … [Read more...]

Driven over the Edge by a Red Bow

Some people might chalk off my decision to post this as the result of repressed bourgeois greed and envy, or as a sign I've joined the Left-wing class warfare crusade, but I assure you it's neither. As an ardent supporter of the benefits of a free-exchange capitalist system, I am content to know that companies manufacture expensive automobiles and that consumers are willing and able to buy them. Yet there is so much that I despise about the televised ad campaigns depicting youthful upper middle-class people surprising their loved ones with a red bow-topped luxury car in the driveway on Christmas morn. Every year, my angst grows toward these commercials. And today the Washington Times reports how real people participate in the … [Read more...]

Drawing the Lines on Christmas

Cal Thomas is the closest to a modern-day, old-style Christian prophet that can be found anywhere in American news pages. His recent column on the kerfuffle over public celebrations of the Christmas holiday is a must-read for every believer. While you don't have to agree with every conclusion, he makes an excellent point: The effort by some cable TV hosts and ministers to force commercial establishments into wishing everyone a "Merry Christmas" might be more objectionable to the One who is the reason for the season than the "Happy Holidays" mantra required by some store managers. I have never understood why so many Christians feel the need to see and hear "Merry Christmas" proclaimed to them at stores by people who may not believe … [Read more...]

Detroit Lions Fans: Mad as Heck

It's finally come to this: an organized fan protest of the Detroit Lions and general manager Matt Millen. As a native of southeastern Michigan, I can sympathize with their plight. While there certainly are much worthier causes to march for - if marching is in your blood - you know the Lions franchise has lingered in the depths for too long. When you read this account from the Detroit Free Press, however, you realize just how pathetic an attempt the fan protest was. All you can say is... wow. It's embarrassing to think that Super Bowl XL comes to Ford Field in seven weeks. One might suggest the timing could hardly be worse. … [Read more...]

2nd Annual Beethoven’s Birthday Blog

Following in the spirit of this day's post from last year, a happy 235th anniversary of the birthday of the great Ludwig van Beethoven. This year, consider one of the master's all-time great works, the bittersweet pinnacle of his composition career: the Ninth Symphony, and the theme of joy. It's a familiar tale: an aging Beethoven, ill and deaf, conducting the orchestra and chorus in the premiere of his Ninth Symphony, conducting even after they had ceased to perform, after they had reached the end of the stunning new work, after the audience had already begun to applaud, continuing to conduct until a singer turned him around so that he could see the thunderous cheers that were resounding throughout the hall. The image is deeply … [Read more...]

I Guess They’re Not Reading My Blog, Anyway

Ouch... sometimes it's hard to realize there is a whole other world out there. A new study from the National Assessment of Adult Literacy shows that 5 percent of 222 million American adults simply cannot read or write English. And of the remaining 211 million: Some 30 million adults have "below basic" skills in prose. Their ability is so limited that they may not be able to make sense of a simple pamphlet, for example. By comparison, 95 million adults, or 44 percent of the population, have intermediate prose skills, meaning they can do moderately challenging activities. An example would be consulting a reference book to determine which foods contain a certain vitamin. I'm guessing that most of my readers emanate from the ranks of … [Read more...]

Voices from Iraq

On a day like today, I think it best to let my handful of readers listen to what people are actually saying from Iraq - eyewitnesses to the election and other activities. So enjoy: For some perspective, start with Byron York's analysis of an Iraqi poll downplayed in the MSM. Bill Roggio observed the huge electoral turnout in the Sunni city of Barwana. A reporter from Fairbanks, Alaska, visits Iraq and has her illusions shattered. Mohammed of Iraq the Model reports through PajamasMedia that high turnout extended the election one hour. Stay tuned... … [Read more...]