Archive for February, 2008

The Latest Parent-Friendly Push: Western Slope Edition

Posted by on Feb 29 2008 | Uncategorized

One of the Education Policy Center’s recent reports took a look at how well the 20 largest Colorado school districts use their websites to let parents know about their open enrollment options. The fact that the Mesa County School District in western Colorado earned the lowest ranking caught the notice of the local newspaper. A Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reporter talked to our own Pam Benigno about the reasons for Mesa Valley’s poor performance. Regarding the recommendations in our report, Mesa Valley spokesman responded by saying the school district would “take those into consideration.” Pam and her crew are always on the lookout to help schools become more parent-friendly. Here’s hoping that more districts will take a close look at the new open enrollment report.

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Friday’s Funny

Posted by on Feb 29 2008 | Uncategorized

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© 2008, Benjamin Hummel. To see more cartoons like this go to www.politixcartoons.com.

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Whom Should You and Your Gun Trust?

Posted by on Feb 29 2008 | Uncategorized

So you are a gun owner and you’re wondering who you should support in the upcoming election. Well, you’re in luck. I sat down with David Kopel, our expert on 2nd amendment issues the other day to discuss the three potential picks for the next president and their take on gun rights. They all have their faults, but one is a little better than the others. Can you guess which one? (Hint: it rhymes with Ron McSpain). Out of the other two, one has got the really tough anti-gun talk down to a science, and the other is a do’er, not a talker. Tune in to ivoices.org to figure out who’s who.

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Cato Is Coming and more!

Posted by on Feb 28 2008 | Uncategorized

Next Thursday, March 6 you are invited to ask questions of one of the nation’s leading experts in responsible health care reform.  Michael Tanner, Director of Health and Welfare Studies will join us to discuss the shortcomings of individual mandates and government dictated health care.   Judging from the recommendations of Colorado’s 208 commission on health care, we could use some responsible dialogue on the issue.  Join us for the reception at 5:30 p.m. followed my the program at 6 p.m.  Please rsvp to rsvp@i2i.org

Want to know the dirt on rail transit in Colorado?  Join us on Monday, March 10 for an evening with our own Randal O’Toole when he discusses his latest paper for the Cato Insitute.  Randal exposes the dirty truth of rail transit…it’s not eco-friendly.  In fact, it utilizes more energy than it saves!  Also, Property Rights Project Director Jessica Corry discusses RTD’s nasty habit of property seizures on behalf of FasTracks.  Reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the program at 6 p.m.  RSVP to rsvp@i2i.org.

Finally, if you were unable to attend our recent Sheldon Richman event, you can watch it here (bear with the sound in the beginning, it gets better as it goes on. Unfortunately, he was sick that night). He also did me the honor of coming on Independent Thinking the other day and that airs tonight at 8:30pm on KBDI channel 12, with a repeat showing the following Tuesday at 5pm.
In case you’re interested, here’s the official write up of tonight’s show: “Does Congress Follow the Constitution When it taxes and spends? Should it have to do so? These are particularly interesting questions in light of our Governor’s attempt to change tax policy without a vote of the people. Tune in for a one-on-one conversation with the much esteemed Sheldon Richman, editor of the Freeman and senior fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education.”

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Hey! What About Washington?

Posted by on Feb 28 2008 | Uncategorized

Pop quiz time, true or false. The phrase “separation of church and state” is found in the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington held similar views on religion’s place in politics. George Washington sang bass in his barber shop quartet.

Now write your answers down. I’m waiting…. ok good.

You should have written false for all three questions. Yeah I know, surprising right? I always thought Washington looked like a bellowing bass guy too. Anyway, Joseph Smith and Amy Oliver linked up for our latest ivoices.org podcast to discuss Joe’s new book called, Under God: George Washington and the Question of Church and State. In the podcast and the book, you’ll find an assortment of facts surrounding the age old church and state debate. Joe demonstrates that Washington and Jefferson held very different views on the matter, and it wasn’t until an obscure letter written by Jefferson was referenced by the Supreme Court that we came to know the phrase “separation of church and state.” Since then, Jefferson has been viewed as the authority on the matter, and consequently, his opinions have been widely adopted. Joe does a good job of saying, “hey wait a minute here. Let’s see what Washington had to say on the matter.”

For another, more authoritative perspective on the book, check out this law review article here.

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Another DC v. Heller Viewpoint

Posted by on Feb 26 2008 | Uncategorized

David Kopel found himself on the other side of a recent ivoices.org podcast when he interviewed Joe Olson, Professor at Hamline University School of Law, and one of the authors of the Academics for the Second Amendment Amicus brief.  Joe frames the upcoming Supreme Court second amendment case in a historical context in order to deduce whether the founders intended for gun ownership to be an individual right.  He addresses the verbiage “bear arms” and whether that particular wording implies military use only.  In addition, he illustrates the second amendment’s validity and importance in modern times.

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Liberty’s Love Life: The Saga Continues

Posted by on Feb 25 2008 | Uncategorized

Liberty has long been in a relationship with economic prosperity. It is plain to see when you plot economic freedom and per capita GDP on a graph, the relationship is right in your face – much like their constant public displays of affection. David Kopel and Howard Nemerov set out to discover whether liberty, when not playing kissy face with economic prosperity, is seeing gun ownership on the side. By examining data from the 59 countries that actually provide information on gun ownership, David and Howard were able to expose that two-timing SOB liberty. Their relationship is complex, but it turns out liberty and gun rights have been seeing other for quite some time. Upon hearing the news, economic prosperity was last seen typing furiously on various Internet dating sites. Stay tuned for more drama.

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Friday’s Funny

Posted by on Feb 22 2008 | Uncategorized

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© 2008, Benjamin Hummel. To see more cartoons like this go to www.politixcartoons.com.

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Devastating Symbolism

Posted by on Feb 21 2008 | Uncategorized

Despite the wildly popular belief that there is a scientific climate consensus, James Taylor of the Heartland Institute insists that the government refrain from doing anything about it. Partially because there is no consensus and partially because climate plans like Governor Ritter’s Climate Action Plan will do absolutely nothing to address the “problem.” In our latest ivoices.org podcast, Amy Oliver discusses the supposed climate “consensus” and the government mandates associated with climate change with James Taylor, managing editor of Environment and Climate News and senior fellow at the Heartland Institute. Even though doing something, anything, to address a problem makes people feel good inside, this is one issue we cannot afford to let government tackle. According to James, Governor Ritter’s Climate Action Plan, like most other government plans, will wreak havok on our economy – while doing nothing to actually fix the “problem.” In his words, the plan is “merely symbolic.” And if we are to do something symbolic to make us all feel warm and fuzzy inside, let’s not choose things that will devastate our way of life.

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Mining for prosperity

Posted by on Feb 20 2008 | Uncategorized

Just how important is Colorado’s mining industry to the state’s overall economic prosperity? What effect will proposed legislation have on mining?  What role does mining play in meeting Colorado’s energy demands?  To answer those questions and more, Colorado Mining Association President Stuart Sanderson and State Representative Cory Gardner join host Jon Caldara on Independent Thinking Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12; for a repeat performance tune in the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.

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