Thursday, 13 December 2012 10:07 by Admin
Centennial Institute proudly announces our custom-designed silk print necktie for men and fashion scarf for women. The 1776 motif will start many a conversation about what you stand for. The tie or scarf makes a great gift for yourself or others, at Christmas time or any time. $30 postpaid.
Talk about "making spirits bright." Centennial's 1776 neckwear is just the thing for a conservative morale boost as the battles of 2013 begin.Order here. We'll send your merchandise immediately.
Thursday, 6 December 2012 10:38 by Admin
Centennial Institute honored Colorado businessman and philanthropist Jeffrey H. Coors with its annual accolade for contributions by a conservative, the Zebulon Pike Award for Colorado Leadership in Fidelity to Jeffersonian Principles, Tuesday evening at a Christmas reception in Denver.
The Colorado Christian University think tank convened many of its major donors and policy fellows to pay tribute to Coors, who returned the compliment by stating in his acceptance speech that America's best hope lies not in politics as usual, but in the renewal of character such as sought by Centennial Institute in the public square and by CCU in its educational mission.
"The Jeffersonian principles of limited government and individual freedom, including life and liberty endowed by our Creator, are as vital for our country in 2012 as when he first articulated them with the Declaration of Independence in 1776," said John Andrews, director of the Centennial Institute. "We are delighted to recognize Jeff Coors for his life achievement in helping build institutions that summon Coloradans and all Americans back to those principles."
The Zebulon Pike Award citation reads in part: “Never out of sight in our wanderings” was Captain Pike’s salute to the great peak he discovered in 1806 when exploring the West for President Jefferson. Centennial Institute salutes the conservative leaders of today who stand tall in exemplifying freedom and responsibility for all Coloradans. The award was originated in 2011, with former Colorado Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp as the first recipient.
CCU President Bill Armstrong, left, and Centennial Institute Director John Andrews, right, with Zebulon Pike honoree Jeff Coors after the December 4 ceremony at the Wellshire Inn in Denver.
At the conclusion of the Washington Week trip I am left physically exhausted though intellectually and civically energized! Led by Professor Schaller, Dr. Krannawitter, and Dean Saxby, students visited think tanks, memorials, monuments, historical battlefields, renowned authors, museums, both chambers of Congress, the Becket Fund, and other influential D.C. individuals. We learned about foreign policy, education, our founding, the civil war and the ideas that led to the conflict, political persuasion, and many more issues facing our generation. [More]
My time in D.C. with the CCU and Centennial Institute Washington Week clan began with not the greatest of surprises – after driving 1,670 miles from Denver my car’s fuel pump failed just twenty miles short of our destination. Sparing you further details of the dilemma; I had a very interesting discussion with the driver of the tow truck, Kevin. Kevin made it very clear that he backed Obama for re-election. After unsuccessfully prying into his reasoning for such a stance, I began to lose hope for the discussion. Then Kevin introduced the idea of term limits for Congress. Kevin was highly in favor of a possible limit of service on the Hill for both chambers. This proposition is not foreign at CCU, Centennial Institute, or conservative dialogue in general, and provided a needed common ground between Kevin and myself on our short ride to the garage. This conversation would not be the last time that term limits would be raised during this trip.
On Friday, former Colorado Congressman and Senator, Hank Brown led CCU students on a tour of the Capitol. Senator Brown has extensive knowledge of the Capitol’s art, history, and symbolism. As a former Senator, Hank Brown provided CCU students a nearly unlimited access tour of both chambers. One very special place we found ourselves in was the House Appropriations Committee room. In this room, a portion of the fresco is composed of a painting of the Roman Senator and leader Cincinnatus being called from his plough to defend Rome. Senator Brown told us the significance of this lies not in the fact the Cincinnatus heard the call of duty and went to save Rome, but that he returned to his farm and denied the dictatorship of Rome after completing his service. This historical event was repeated in the life and service of George Washington. Both men loved their country, they left their home to serve and defend but returned when their service was no longer required, turning down dictatorial power.
These two men, Washington more commonly, are cited by those who argue for a Congressional term limit. We have seen a handful of men go to congress and serve valiantly at their posts as Senators of Congressman then return to their homes and occupations, imploring others to do the same. But are these self-imposing term limiters to be compared to Cincinnatus and Washington? To know this we must know the enemy in all three cases. In Cincinnatus’s time the enemy was the attacking Aequi forces. During Washington the threat was the British Empire. But today the greatest fight in front of a conservative congressman or woman is the fight to stop & reverse government growth and defend constitutional government. And while universally imposed term limits would theoretically aid that pursuit, Conservatives are not raising the memory of Cincinnatus or Washington when they leave the government in the hands of the entrenched spenders while patting themselves on the back for showing restraint. I applaud the honorable service of these Senators and Representatives, though I feel this is one area where leading by example hurts our cause. These strong conservative members should fight to the end of the battle; until term limits are instated, then leave their posts with dignity.
Friday, 20 January 2012 08:09 by Admin
"It's time to take back our system of education from government control," proclaims the New Jersey Tea Party Caucus in announcing its forum in Jersey City this Sunday, Jan. 22. Details are here http://www.njteapartycaucus.com/?page_id=115 "We'll kick off National School Choice Week by asking the tough questions" about why public education costs so much, performs so poorly, and seems impervious to reform, the website adds. William J. Moloney, former Colorado Education Commissioner and now a Centennial Institute Fellow, heads the speakers panel for the half-day event. Moloney will outline an agenda for real change, based on his Centennial policy brief, "Much Better Schools on Much Lower Budgets." Bob Bowdon, producer of "The Cartel," a hard-hitting documentary film about teacher unions and the education establishment, will serve as panel moderator. Other panelists include New Jersey education activists Derrell Bradford, Chris Kniesler, and Dan Hagerty, along with Hillsdale College charter school experts Philip Kilgore and Terrence Moore. Moore is well-known to Coloradans for his past leadership of Ridgeview Classical Schools, an award-winning Fort Collins charter school.
Spend Less, Achieve More Centennial Inst Jan 2012.pdf (340.16 kb)
('76 Contributor) "Have the media failed America?" That was the question at an all-day conference in Colorado Christian University's Beckman Center on December 2. Media experts gathered to discuss the changing face of news and journalism's role in a free society. It was part of a project called News in the 21st Century, sponsored by CCU through its think tank, the Centennial Institute.
Through the means of classroom instruction and civic engagement the News in the 21st Century Project seeks to equip both CCU students and the public to be critical consumers of media, as well as objective producers. "To be self-governing citizens, we all need reliable information about our world," said Centennial Institute director John Andrews. "The News21 project addresses that need."
Funded by a grant from the Smith Foundation in New York, the project is fulfilled in part by Persuasion and News in the 21st Century, a required general education course. Dr. Chris Leland, the professor of record, taught the first two-thirds of the class on basic persuasive theory. Then, students got their hands dirty: under the tutelage of veteran journalists Stephen Keating and Jay Ambrose, they examined firsthand the persuasive messages, bias and tactics that media sometimes uses. Starting with Keating's first question, "Is Facebook news?" students considered how they got news, what they called news, and how they can trust news.
Bringing media notables onto campus was an appropriate climax, as students heard from men and women that they can read in the paper, watch on television, or see on the computer screen. Exhibiting both conservative and liberal views, the panels discussed the effectiveness of the media, as well as the role for consumers today. Students were continually reminded that media is changing, and the divide between consumer and producer is breaking down. Referring to an individual's role, Patti Dennis of 9News reminded all: "Your job is to enlighten yourself." With the rise of the internet and the democratization of news, there is ample opportunity.
Building on this idea, Brent Bozell, who founded the Media Research Center, exhorted students to become storytellers. "If you learn how to become storytellers, you're going to change the world."
Indeed, that was the goal of the class, and remains the ongoing goal of the project -- which will continue in the spring. According to Dr. Leland, students, "gained interpretive skills and interests they didn't have before. They could see how the theory of persuasion works in the real world. And, they saw the clash of ideas in culture."
Still, this class is a beginning for students: with the tools to add to the cultural dialogue, they now have the confidence to do so from a Christian perspective. "Karl Barth said that every Christian should get up in the morning and read the newspaper and the Bible," explained Leland. "They need to know what's going on and how God wants them to react." The News in the 21st Century project aims for exactly that.
"We invite everyone to keep up with the project through our website at www.news21ccu.com," said John Andrews. "That includes suggesting topics for our blog on media bias, and attending future conferences."
The next conference is set for Friday, March 2, 2012, again at the CCU Beckman Center. It will take up the issue of how fair and accurate is the media's treatment of religion and faith.
Saturday, 10 December 2011 05:20 by Admin
Centennial Institute honored Mike Kopp, former Colorado Senate Minority Leader, with the Zebulon Pike Award for Colorado Leadership in Fidelity to Jeffersonian Principles at a ceremony on Dec. 6.
The award will be presented annually to an outstanding conservative who has set a high example for Coloradans, providing a landmark as Pike's mountain did for the 1806 exploring party sent out by President Jefferson, said Centennial Institute director John Andrews.
Kopp, who led the Senate Republicans from spring 2010 until his resignation for family reasons in 2011, spoke as follows in accepting the Zebulon Pike Award:
Thank you for this honor. The idea of this particular award is an intimidating one. I hope my attempt to justify my being its first recipient will not fall short. Many of my former legislative colleagues are here, and if I embellish too greatly they’re likely to call a caucus and censure me for perjury. So it is intimidating to me to receive this, especially from people I so deeply admire, for two reasons:
First, Zebulon Pike himself. The man truly lived an extraordinarily courageous life, while it lasted just 34 years. Pike was always ready to risk for the country he loved. He led men in the exploration of the resources of an unknown land. The pattern of his life and leadership was to habitually trade away personal safety in order to accept uncertain leadership assignments fraught with real peril. This compulsion of his to do his country’s bidding ultimately drove him to the battlefield at York where he gave his own life for a fledgling republic in the War of 1812.
Secondly, to be recognized for conservative leadership in a time when Coloradans want reassurance that our best hopes about America can still be gamely pursued, assumes that this recipient has played a significant role in leading that pursuit. A role? Perhaps. How significant? Certainly a small one. In any event, that question can’t be the important one for any leader to ask.
No, the important question is this: what problems in society am I presently analyzing in order to apply trustworthy conservative wisdom to so that conservatism can lay claim on the future just as it has in the past?
If we don’t ask this question of ourselves, regularly, are we not thereby forgetting that the future of a free and prosperous America is both the birthright of our children and a vapor that can quickly vanish if conservative leaders don’t prevail?
And what is conservative leadership if it’s not accompanied by the courage and appetite for risk that Pike’s life so beautifully epitomized? It is nothing. It is only words. It won’t do. And besides, there’s plenty of people already engaging in it.
Words do not the future make. Actions do.
But our actions, friends, need to be bigger than we’ve ever dared. Decisive. Persistent. Wise. Timely. Consequential. Ambitious. Not just ambitious, transformational.
Because anything less has us acting as mere managers stuck in a system we feel powerless to change. Let’s not be that generation of conservatives.
Pike may well have been the kind of transformational leader we need today. Why not think of ourselves as scouts just as he was? In all situations, let’s force ourselves to look beyond our circumstance. Let’s grasp the whole context, not just a few of the interior parts, and further assume that it can be shaped by us into something different than it is as the moment. Something that more closely aligns with a conservative worldview.
This is the legacy of a Pike, or a Madison, or a Lincoln, or Goldwater or Reagan. That’s the shadow that we have been blessed to labor in and that we ourselves now must help enlarge for the sake of our posterity.
Yes, just imagine if each us leaned into the belief that the Almighty is actually concerned with how we govern ourselves. And imagine the outcomes if we further embraced that understanding as a sign of our personal leadership responsibility to claim the future?
I think that is the work of CCU and the Centennial Institute. That is why I am humbled to participate in some small way with them in that endeavor. It is why we should all be very proud indeed of the quality leadership that is guiding that ship.
In conclusion, while I feel unworthy of an award like this, I do lay claim to Martin Luther King’s brilliant leadership proclamation, when he said: “I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him.”
Fellow conservative leaders, may it be so with us, too. Thank you.
Sunday, 20 November 2011 14:49 by Admin
Environmentalism, marriage, sharia law, and the Occupy Movement are among the issues on tap for Centennial Institute forums and briefings in the early months of 2012, director John Andrews announced today. The full calendar is here: Centennial Institute Events 2012.pdf (129.61 kb)
Still upcoming in 2011 is an all-day conference on media literacy and media bias, "Have the Media Failed America?" with keynote speaker Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center in Washington, DC. It will be held on Friday, Dec. 2, at the CCU Beckman Center. Register here.
Issue Monday on Dec. 12 has been postponed till after the New Year, Andrews noted. There will be no event on that date.
The intended program, a debate on the Tea Party vs. the Occupy Movement, is now set for Monday, Jan. 30, also at the CCU Beckman Center.
The Colorado Family Institute is truly on the frontline of the battle for our values and principles and we thank you so much for your work. Today, I wanted to share two things with you: my narrative and how this narrative relates to our work at the Centennial Institute.
Editor: How can conservative groups in Colorado help each other? What is the unifying vision for their efforts? Centennial Institute director John Andrews asked staffer Karthik Venkatraj to address those questions on Pastors' Day at the State Capitol, April 29, sponsored by the Colorado Family Institute. This is what he said.
My mother and father are my inspiration. My father dreamt of coming to America and conferred with his family about his desire. His sister agreed to sell her gold to purchase a ticket for the young couple to come to America in addition to some spending money - -one hundred dollars. They started their life in the mire of poverty in one room of an apartment in Brooklyn, New York City, where I was born.
Eventually, my father found a job in the subways of New York City ferrying x-rays between hospitals and my mother found a job as a nurse’s aid in a busy Manhattan hospital. Ten years later, my father would be graduating from New York University as a PhD in Molecular Biology and my mother would be finishing her MD. This position was a far cry from their struggle to make ends meet each month as well as raise a child. Indeed, I can distinctly remember the culmination of a month’s paycheck in a splurge of eight dollars at a run-down Chinese buffet in Brooklyn.
Once again, this narrative would be possible in no other country, within the context of any other ideals than that of our nation. Indeed, these values and ideals that propelled my narrative and that of my parents hearkens to those ideals and values that informed the Declaration of Independence as well as our Constitution.
And that is why I am here at Centennial institute, because I want a better nation for my children and their children, a nation with values and a solid moral compass. I am here because I am convicted that it is the duty of all Americans to preserve our republic and I am very concerned that we are losing that duty. I, like most Americans, do not want to see an America of 2076 as an irrelevant nation that has passed the torch of global leadership to another country, but as a nation renewed and convicted in its role as a global leader.
Let us not be naïve to the great challenges our nation faces. Our nation is hurting and her people are shouldering the hurt. Families are having to make tough choices, cut out any expenses that are not completely essential, hold on to their jobs, or begin the most arduous task of finding a job. Worst of all, our nation’s children and their children are already mired in debt after years of government spending.
Some may ask: “Where is the Spirit of 1776? Where is our nation going?” I would answer that the Spirit of 1776 is here: it’s in the coffee shops and diners, it’s in the dinnertime conversations of families, it’s in the ranches and farms of rural America, in our servicemen and women, and in the pastors writing their sermon for their Sunday service.
In short, it’s in all Americans who love and care for our republic. The way this spirit will manifest and direct our people will determine 2076. Let us not forget the absolute providence that has guided our nation since its conception. Let us take solace in the fact that this spirit in conjunction with providence has and will always lead to miraculous events and glorious beginnings. It is why I am convinced that even though my generation will face the greatest challenges we have witnessed since World War II; we will also see our greatest triumphs.
But let’s face it. In the end, we as an Institute can only do so much. To be clear, we live in a fallen world and in a nation in the context of this fallenness. The only salvific and redemptive element of our society is the church. That is why I exhort each and everyone of you to keep doing what you’re doing. Without it, our efforts lose meaning. God Bless you and let us pray that God continues to bless our great nation.
A support group for families of US armed forces killed on duty will benefit from ticket sales and auction proceeds at Tribute to the Troops with Sarah Palin, May 2 at Colorado Christian University.
All revenue from the event is being donated to TAPS, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. Costs will be covered out of CCU's budget, with special help from friends of the Centennial Institute.
The charity auction features a Rockies baseball game with Dan Caplis of KHOW Radio, golf at the exclusive Sanctuary course with Mike Rosen of KOA Radio, and a fishing excursion in Summit County with Medal of Honor winner Drew Dix. Details on the auction are here: palin auction flyer 0428.pdf (432.65 kb)
To donate directly to Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, go to www.TAPS.org.