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 you Ben’s blog highlights from 2005 –

January: Things heated up at the Colorado statehouse as the Democrats took charge for the first time in a long time. Members of the Rocky Mountain Alliance were treated as special guests for the Governor’s State of the State Address. Shortly thereafter, some of us accepted the invitation to a special meeting for GOP state legislators hosted by then-DU President Marc Holtzman, someone who had and still has his eyes on the governor’s office.

February: After returning from a weeklong Biblical Counseling Conference in Indiana, I posted on the Four Rules of Communication, something to ponder seriously as renewed spiritual resolutions for 2006. While I had plenty to say about the Ward Churchill fiasco and the emerging debate over Terri Schiavo, I had the most fun in February responding to Hugh Hewitt’s Vox Blogoli question – should the GOP go Grant or go McClellan?

March: March was a busy month. For the sake of a truly memorable event, the recap of the Blogfest at Borders in Lakewood deserves one of the two final slots. While I wrote many times about Terri Schiavo, my post titled “Reflections” merits a second look. Consideration was also given to accounts of Bob Schaffer’s grassroots rise to the National Committeeman post and Hugh Hewitt’s bid to be president of the University of Colorado in the wake of Betsy Hoffman’s resignation.

April: My annual rite of renewed and soon-to-be-crushed optimism for the Detroit Tigers once again manifested itself on Opening Day… all I can say is Ouch! And since legislative session wasn’t over, one considerable critique of the Democrats in charge of the state legislature also won a spot. Honorable mention to the critical dissembling of a couple of national polls.

May: Two posts rise to the top for this month. First, a look at Major Mike Coffman stepping down from his state treasurer position to serve in Iraq. Second, I’ve decided to highlight my pet area of education reform with a look at a potent and effective David Harsanyi column detailing the hypocrisy of the Colorado Education Association. Somebody really did their research on this one! Many others were of noteworthy contention.

June: Events slow down in the summertime, which allowed this satirical recap of Minnesota history for the benefit of Fraters’ Chad the Elder to make the cut. Also my first book review for Mind and Media finished in the top two. Missing the cut were comments on the Dick Durbin outrage and poking fun at Progress Now.

July: Some early analysis of the Colorado Republican gubernatorial primary and a kudos to Jim Cannon for making the Seattle papers top the list.

August: In the month of the Mount Virtus relocation to another Denver area residence, a good hearty laugh at the Referendum C campaign calling the Independence Institute an “ivory tower” and some acute observations of consumer behavior at the gas pump get the nod.

September: Tough choices, but the sit-down Joshua and I had with gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez makes the cut. And how could I neglect the scoop this blogger picked up at a legislative committee meeting where Democrat legislators couldn’t resist their own inclinations to promote another tax increase idea, even before the Referenda C & D election. Also noteworthy were the several posts urging contributions to Operation Renewed Hope’s relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

October: In the single lightest month for blogging (go figure), I somehow took time to question the Dead Governors’ phantom polling proclamations, and create a clever billboard. A busy month at work, no doubt, but the theme of the tax increase on the ballot clearly dominated discussion.

November: The meeting of three members of the Rocky Mountain Alliance with gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman caused quite a stir. My own personal connections to the quixotic story of an 18-year-old being elected mayor of Hillsdale, Mich., made the post a shoo-in. Honorable mention fall to analysis of a poll showing the 65 percent education plan to be “political gold,” and a Mind & Media book review that garnered the positive attention of the book’s author.

December: To close out the year, the top two posts of recent weeks were the analysis of an American literacy survey that turned into one of my now-familiar education policy rants, and my critique of the materialistic Christmas present car-buying trend. The gender-related absurdity of global warming, musing over the Michigan governor courting Toyota to build factories in the Big Three’s backyard, and the annual Beethoven’s birthday post all fell just short.

Happy New Year to everyone! May 2006 bring bright moments that bring you true contentment and gratitude – may this next year also find you filled with greater love, joy, and strength to face the daily challenges and trials that lie ahead.

Philippians 1:6 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 6:31-34 “Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Lamentations 3:21-25
“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.
The LORD’s lovingkindesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.
‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I have hope in Him.’
The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.”

Psalm 103:6-14
“The LORD performs righteous deeds, and judgments for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel.
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
He will not always strive with us; nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.”

Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Joshua 1:7 “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.”

Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

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