How to Train Your Politician: Conservative Ed Hanks Urges Intentional Voting

How to Train Your Politician: Conservative Ed Hanks Urges Intentional Voting

On December 20, 2014, I chatted by phone with Ed Hanks about his new book How to Train Your Politician: Intentional Voting as a Path to Tea Party and Constitutional Victory. Hanks, an acquaintance and Jefferson County conservative activist who has been one of Colorado's leading voices for Personhood, graciously shared a Kindle copy of his book for me to read prior our conversation. We talked in the wake of the lame-duck Congress passing the corporatists' dream bill, known as Cromnibus, fueling the fires of populist conservative discontent (including yours truly). A mounting frustration definitely brings a growing interest in the strategy Hanks endorses. Yet what I find most appealing about the book and its author is his historical … [Read more...]

Medical Malpractice Problems Still Exist, Call for Real Solutions

Medical Malpractice Problems Still Exist, Call for Real Solutions

No system is perfect. Even the relatively well-run U.S. health care system includes its share of practitioner error. In some instances, the results can be devastating. While the top-down, convoluted Obamacare model contains its own fundamental flaws and costly contradictions, that doesn't mean American health care status quo ante was anywhere close to ideal. As the infographic below (by School Matters.com) demonstrates, medical malpractice remains a real concern in the overall scope of our health care system. The call to repeal Obamacare carries with it a strong political appeal, for many reasons, but at best such a move brings us back to square one. We need to look at real solutions, and be willing to think outside the box, to help … [Read more...]

Election Day Is Nearly 3 Weeks Away… Must Mean It’s Time to Vote!

Election Day Is Nearly 3 Weeks Away… Must Mean It’s Time to Vote!

The mail-in ballot arrived at the humble homestead yesterday. My 2014 personal guide to the Colorado ballot is posted. Check it out. Remember... While you want to cast the most informed and thoughtful ballot you can, it's also vital to vote sooner rather than later. Electioneering communications quickly will stop, and campaigns can conserve scarce resources. … [Read more...]

July 5: (Two) Week(s) in Review

July 5: (Two) Week(s) in Review

Last week the Virtus clan was on a mini-vacation in the Colorado mountains. With very little to miss, today's entry recaps the best of the past fortnight. Highlight? The Franklin Center shined its Citizen Spotlight on me and co-editor Joshua Sharf. Hope everyone had a Happy Independence Day! From the Ed Is Watching Blog Friedman Survey Finds Big Shift on Standardized Testing, Not to Mention…. Florida Doubles Number of States with Cutting-Edge Choice through ESAs Holyoke’s Pursuit of Innovation Status Raises Real Questions to Answer Finished One Good(read) Book This Fortnight Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff My rating: 4 of 5 stars Zuckoff recaps … [Read more...]

June 14: Week in Review

June 14: Week in Review

It was the biggest week of the year for birthdays here. Nearly a full week ago, the youngest member of the clan blew out the "3" candle. And yesterday the lovely Mrs. Virtus celebrated a birthday that begins with the number "3" and ends with another. In between my league softball team not only won a game but actually did so in convincing fashion, while last night brought the rare Friday the 13th plus full moon combination. All that, and today is both Flag Day and the 239th anniversary of the U.S. Army. Soon, the season will officially change to fit what we already start to feel: Summertime is here! From the Ed Is Watching blog Denver Builds on Low-Income Charter Success Stories: Will Jeffco Follow Suit? High Fives All Around: … [Read more...]

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...]

May 31: Week in Review

May 31: Week in Review

A short work week was hollowed out by the fitting remembrance of those "who here gave the last full measure of devotion" in service to our nation. On the morning of Memorial Day, a small band of veterans, relatives, and respectful citizens gathered at our local cemetery for a modest and uplifting ceremony. No doubt many such activities took place across the nation. Here, our kids wouldn't let us miss the Memorial Day parade either. I also did something a little different. To go along with the Ken Burns project "Learn the Address," I made a two-minute recording of a memorized recitation of the Gettysburg Address. "Fourscore and seven years ago...." On a much different note, I was quoted in a Tuesday Denver Post story regarding the new … [Read more...]

May 24: Week in Review

May 24: Week in Review

In our house, it was the last week of school for 2013-14, including a special kindergarten graduation. But the excitement didn't end there, with back-to-back days of tornado warnings in Denver -- including some localized flash flooding outside the Independence Institute's Freedom Embassy on Thursday afternoon (see picture above). From the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: K-12 Legislative Highlights Reveal Missed Opportunities (Podcast) Arizona, Florida ESAs Show How Colorado Could Help Kids Like Nathan (Ed Is Watching) Colorado Course Choice Pilot Programs Have New Resource to Consult (Ed Is Watching) Denver Post on School Safety Reporting Shows What’s Old Is New Again (Ed Is Watching) Finished One Good(read) Book This … [Read more...]

May 17: Week in Review

May 17: Week in Review

This week the Greeley Tribune published my column on the progress Colorado is making -- and still needs to make -- in order to ensure fair funding for public charter schools. More from the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Charter Schools Look for Fairer Funding (Podcast) Amy Oliver Show: An Outside Look at Douglas County Reform (Podcast) How Can Jeffco Union Leaders' Bad Faith Bargaining Be Good for Kids? (Ed Is Watching) International Report Shines Light on Colorado Education Performance Gap (Ed Is Watching) So Glad to Find Insights and Direction for HB 1382's K-12 Online Pilot Programs (Ed Is Watching) Finished One Good(read) Book This Week Life After Art: What You Forgot about Life and Faith since Leaving the Art … [Read more...]

Survey Says Colorado Losing Luster with Business Executives

Survey Says Colorado Losing Luster with Business Executives

Business executives’ opinion of Colorado as a place to engage in commerce has continued its downward slide during the administration of a governor ironically noted for his business background. In the 2014 edition of Chief Executive‘s Best and Worst States for Business, released on May 8, Colorado checks in at 16th. The rankings are based on surveys of more than 500 CEOs, grading states based on a series of measures that include “tax and regulatory regime, the quality of the workforce, and the quality of the living environment.” …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Wire Colorado…. … [Read more...]