June 7: Week in Review

June 7: Week in Review

In a couple of major ways, and some minor ones, this week certainly didn't go according to my plans. But I've already had the chance to see clearly how one of those unwanted developments probably worked out for a better purpose. Despite the challenges and setbacks, this week also included my first gubernatorial bill signing (as pictured above -- House Bill 1382, K-12 Online Education) and National Donut Day. So there's no need to complain too much, right? All that and my latest Complete Colorado column led to a Thursday morning appearance on the Mandy Connell Show (630 KHOW). From the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Orsch Private School Tests Education Ideas (Podcast) New ACE Study Opens Mind on Comparing Public, Private … [Read more...]

February 22: Week in Review

February 22: Week in Review

From the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Teacher Tenure and a Tale of Two Court Cases (Podcast) HB 1262 Incentive to Reform Educator Pay Certainly Has Caught My Attention (Ed Is Watching) A Beautiful Day to Celebrate Coming Major School Choice Victory in Mississippi (Ed Is Watching) Finished One Good(read) Book This Week Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America's Greatest Virtue by David J. Bobb: I picked up the book because of the author's Hillsdale College connection and my own acquaintance with him during my freshman year. Largely familiar with the stories of the five profiled American leaders, I nonetheless found the virtuous thread binding it together to be worthwhile and edifying. Top Social Media Links of the … [Read more...]

February 8: Week in Review

February 8: Week in Review

I offered recorded commentary for an American Family Radio News syndicated report on the Colorado Education Association's legal and legislative challenge of the state's 2010 tenure reform. More from the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Task Force Looks at Policy Answers for Online Learning (Podcast) Will President Obama Set Record Straight on How School Choice Has Helped Kids? (Ed Is Watching) Open Negotiations in Jeffco Schools? That Old Momentum Looks Like It’s Back (Ed Is Watching) Finished One Good(read) Book This Week Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson #2) by Robert A. Caro: If you have a sensitive moral conscience, you also will need a hard stomach. But this second installment in Caro's intensely … [Read more...]

If Obama Didn’t Avoid Gettysburg…

Thank you for indulging me in a moment of satire. For more serious fare, you can read my review of the 2012 movie Lincoln, a brief reflection on the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, and my recommended list of essential Lincoln books. News reports indicated that President Obama had opted to steer clear of the festivities surrounding the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's immortal Gettysburg Address. But at the last moment, searching desperately for some positive publicity to stimulate his flagging poll numbers, the Commander-in-Chief changed his mind. Quietly trying to stay out of the limelight, and pull off a public relations surprise, Obama and his contingent of senior staff and security boarded the high-speed … [Read more...]

Despite Minor Flaws, Spielberg’s Lincoln Worthwhile Viewing for History Geeks

Finding enjoyable movie fare for American history geeks typically presents a challenge. The nature of the genre leaves diehard purists perpetually frustrated. Yet even those of us willing to allow some minor transgressions of fact or character to pass too often are disappointed by the shallow Hollywood luster that insults its audience and kicks a compelling true story to the curb. Now and again, though, one can leave the theater with a contented smile. On Friday evening my wife and I took in Lincoln at the local multiplex. The usher at Arvada's Olde Town Stadium Theatre entered the nearly packed auditorium and gave some introductory remarks about the movie's production and casting. The movie, already a long time in director Steven … [Read more...]

Ed Quillen’s Argument against Douglas County Vouchers Flunks U.S. History

In yesterday's Denver Post Perspective section, hoary-bearded columnist Ed Quillen further expounded on his ignorance of 19th century American history, with particular venom directed at the Douglas County Choice Scholarship program. Under the almost-witty headline of "Thou shalt smite vouchers" Quillen takes a leap of faith that goes something like this (I'd insert a direct quote or two but am not interested in attracting the costly legal animus of Righthaven): Leading 19th century American politician James Blaine had a Catholic mother; therefore The Blaine Amendment he crafted into the state constitutions of Colorado and numerous others were bastions of modern "secular" thought promoting the separation of church and state, as … [Read more...]

Lincoln’s “Better Angels of Our Nature”: For Wisconsin 150 Years Later?

It's easy to overlook, especially if you're not a student of U.S. history. But once upon a time, before the ratification of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, presidents were inaugurated on March 4. Which makes today the sesquicentennial (that's the 150th anniversary, for Buckeye fans) of Abraham Lincoln swearing the oath of presidential office in a moment of profound national crisis and delivering his First Inaugural Address:We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the … [Read more...]

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to my faithful few readers and anyone else who stumbles across this posting. A few links commended to you, followed by a couple important passages. First, the links: Michelle Malkin gives thanks for American ingenuity Al Maurer explores lessons of capitalism in the origins of Thanksgiving Many of us can echo Rossputin's expression of gratitude Check out or re-visit my 2008 series on "What I'm Thankful For" to help stir the mind to thankfulness and focus the heart on the meaning of the occasion Next, a psalm of David from the Scriptures for Thanksgiving Day reflection:Psalm 103:1-18 (NASB) … [Read more...]

Memorial Day Reflection

One of our pastors shared this story from the pulpit yesterday morning about the late Medal of Honor winner Captain Ed Freeman, who put himself in harm's way to rescue many young wounded American servicemen in the Ia Drang Valley in November 1965. Dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who gave their lives in the military service to help preserve our freedoms: Spend a moment today to reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day, and find a way to show your appreciation to a military member, veteran, spouse or family member. And God bless America! … [Read more...]