Social Media Buzz Cannot Be Safely Disregarded

Social Media Buzz Cannot Be Safely Disregarded

In today's fast-paced social media world, disengagement is simply not an option. Whether it's an independent author like myself monitoring what people are saying about my eccentric title character, or a large corporation with millions of dollars of profits on the line, there is no excuse to lose track of what's being said about your brand on Facebook, Twitter, or other outlets. In this way, business and marketing are a lot like democratic politics -- a prominent topic on this site. It doesn't matter if the buzz is true or not. Our famous 16th president Abraham Lincoln once said about statesmanship: "A universal feeling, whether well or ill-founded, cannot be safely disregarded." Despite what some satiric Lincoln memes might suggest, Old … [Read more...]

Felony DUI Bill a 2015 Colorado Commonsense Success Story?

Felony DUI Bill a 2015 Colorado Commonsense Success Story?

With a partisan split in the state legislature, Colorado won't see as many laws passed this year. For the most part, I count that as a positive occurrence. An important exception is House Bill 1043, brought forward by second-term Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone). HB 1043 would make it substantially easier for district attorneys to prosecute repeat DUI offenders with a felony offense. Earlier this month, the bill unanimously passed through the House Judiciary Committee. It must make a stop in the House Finance Committee before getting its first full floor hearing. As you can see in the graphic below, Colorado has one of the highest rates of DUI arrests per 10,000 residents. Would making the law somewhat tougher help? Fewer fatalities, one … [Read more...]

Independent Foreclosure Reviews May Offer Better Chance Second Time Around

Independent Foreclosure Reviews May Offer Better Chance Second Time Around

Going through a home foreclosure often can be a painful and difficult experience. I feel blessed to say my family has never had to go through the process, though it did happen to the previous owners of the house where we currently live. Foreclosure must be hard enough if the event happened as a result of one's own poor decision-making, or as a result of unexpected, unfortunate circumstances. But it has to be even worse if someone was harmed and removed from their residence because of errors made by the bank or other lender. Who is held responsible when such an injustice occurs? Congress stepped in to try to solve the problem, particularly for those adversely affected during the height of the economic downturn in 2009 and 2010. Yet … [Read more...]

Supreme Court Ruling Could Make Colorado a School Choice Destination

Supreme Court Ruling Could Make Colorado a School Choice Destination

Anticipation is building among school choice supporters for a Colorado court ruling that could create wide and deep ripples in the fabric of American K-12 education. On Dec. 10, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Taxpayers v. Douglas County Board of Education. The case’s third and decisive round of legal hearings will test whether an unprecedented local school choice program not only will survive, but also could multiply. The ruling could embolden other local Colorado boards of education to offer parents educational options outside the public system, and inspire policymakers hoping to expand choice in other states. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Arena…. … [Read more...]

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...]

Parents Handing Out Common Core Flier Meet Push-Back

Parents Handing Out Common Core Flier Meet Push-Back

In generating a lot of interest from parents, the heating Common Core debate also has generated a lesson about the value of two-way communication. El Paso County mom Traci Burnett decided to distribute event fliers to other parents in Lewis-Palmer District 38. Along with other volunteers, the plan was to place copies of the homemade leaflets on the windshields of vehicles in five different elementary school parking lots while parents were gathered for back-to-school night on Sept. 4. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Wire Colorado…. … [Read more...]

Colorado Union of Taxpayers Sees Slight Gains for Legislature

Colorado Union of Taxpayers Sees Slight Gains for Legislature

The state’s leading citizen taxpayer advocacy group touts a slight improvement in the Colorado legislature’s 2014 record, while the governor repeated his dismal showing on key fiscal issues. Founded in 1976, the Colorado Union of Taxpayers publishes an annual newsletter rating all 100 members of the state legislature and the governor on key votes related to its fiscally conservative mission. The latest release rated lawmakers favorably for opposing 28 bills and supporting two others introduced during the 2014 legislative session. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Wire Colorado…. … [Read more...]

Time Running Out for Teachers to Ask Money Back from Union

Time Running Out for Teachers to Ask Money Back from Union

A national commemoration includes a special roadside message for Pueblo educators who carry an extra burden as part of their job. The reminder to many teachers that they have to ask every year to get hundreds of dollars of their own money back also makes the case that union leaders simply should ask first. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Wire Colorado…. … [Read more...]