Archive for June, 2008

“Don’t Tread on Me,” Say Edgewater Residents

Posted by on Jun 30 2008 | Uncategorized

The citizens of Edgewater have taken the initiative to codify their concerns over eminent domain in a brand new Home Rule Charter, helped shaped by attorney Bob Hoban and senior fellow Dennis Polhill.

The provisions of the new charter essentially double the amounts paid to property owners if their land is taken using eminent domain and later sold to private developers. in effect, the language balances the need for government to use eminent domain power for public infrastructure, but heavily dis-incents misuse of eminent domain for private development.

Councilman Adam Gardner summed it up best by saying,

My only hope is that this action serves as a reminder to governments across Colorado that they do not have the last word on eminent domain. The people have the last say, if they will only stand up and be counted.

In addition to that, my hope is that other municipalities use this charter as precedent to establish better protections for property rights in their hometowns.

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Shoot it, Smoke it, Slam it

Posted by on Jun 28 2008 | Uncategorized

I don’t mean to brag but…. I’m at the sold out Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Party having fun while it’s still legal. Are you?

I’ll get my minions to post pictures and some video as soon as they can. Stay tuned.

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Get Pumped!

Posted by on Jun 28 2008 | Uncategorized

If you need a little inspiration to start that blog you’ve been thinking about or to write that epic blog post you’ve been wanting to write, watch this awesome video created by our friends at the Sam Adams Alliance.

Now get moving!!

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6 Updates and Counting

Posted by on Jun 27 2008 | Uncategorized

I’ve made five — (now six) — updates thus far to the “Verdict is In!” post, so if you haven’t kept up with the Supreme Court’s decision and David’s articles and accolades, please go take a look.

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Friday’s Funny

Posted by on Jun 27 2008 | Uncategorized


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

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The Verdict is In!

Posted by on Jun 26 2008 | Uncategorized

And we do in fact have a constitutional right to own guns for self-defense and hunting. From the Associated Press via Yahoo,

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices’ first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history. The court’s 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia’s 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment.

As you might remember, our Second Amendment Project director Dave Kopel sat at the respondent’s table during the historic Supreme Court case. Thanks to Complete Colorado, I’ve got the audio from David’s air time on KOA this morning where likened the magnitude of the decision to the climax of the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy, recounted his experience sitting in the nation’s highest court, and presented his take on what this means for second amendment challenges in the future. Lawyers dream of being asked to sit in the Supreme Court, and not only did Dave get a chance to do that during a massively historic case, but his advice and brief helped propel the court’s decision. We are extremely proud of him.

Some more documents to whet your Supreme Court victory appetite:
The court’s opinion can be found on SCOTUS here,
the SCOTUS wiki DC v. Heller page is a wealth of information,
the Independence Institute press release,
David’s podcast with me after his Washington DC visit,
the amicus brief that helped shape the court’s decision,
and finally Dave’s blogging partner on the Volokh Conspiracy, Eugene Volokh’s take on the decision.

Update: I just got an email from David and he said that in Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissenting opinion (which can be found starting on page 68 of the .pdf of the court’s opinion, he cited our amicus brief four times!

Update part deux: (I have a feeling there are going to be a few more updates as things keep coming in). David wrote a piece this morning that is now featured on Pajamas Media.

Update, part 3:The Rocky Mountain News cover picture has a fantastic protest sign that reads, “If guns kill people… do pens misspell words?” Brilliant.

Update, part 4: Dave and I just went into the studio to do a podcast about the decision. Go here to get the inside scoop from our resident gun rights expert.

Update, part 5: As a testament to Dave’s due diligence and intellectual prowess, Randy Barnett wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal praising Dave’s scholarship. Here’s the excerpt,

Good legal scholarship was absolutely crucial to this outcome. No justice is capable of producing the historical research and analysis upon which Justice Scalia relied. Brilliant as it was in its execution, his opinion rested on the work of many scholars of the Second Amendment, as I am sure he would be the first to acknowledge… Due to the political orthodoxy among most constitutional law professors, some of the most important and earliest of this scholarship was produced by nonacademics like Don Kates, Stephen Halbrook, David Kopel, Clayton Cramer and others.

Update, part 6: David’s articles for and have just gone live. Check them out!

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This Land WAS Your Land….

Posted by on Jun 26 2008 | Uncategorized

Music Please! This land was your land; now it’s my land from the Rocky Mountains to the Front Range highlands. In a stunning State Supreme Court decision, local governments now have the power to condemn property outside their own boundaries just because they don’t like how the land is being utilized. Colorado’s highest court upheld the practice of extraterritorial condemnation while striking down the Telluride Amendment designed to curb such eminent domain abuse. Tonight’s Independent Thinking will discuss the fallout from the decision with guests State Senator Shawn Mitchell and Property Rights Project director Jessica Corry. Tune in tonight at 8:30 p.m. to KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.

(H/T: Photo courtesy of Face the State)

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Stealth Blogging in NYC: the Wrap Up

Posted by on Jun 25 2008 | Uncategorized

The conference is over and I’m still in one piece. Which means I didn’t blow my cover. Day one was informative and fairly surprising. Arianna Huffington was delightfully rational, while Elizabeth Edwards put me into REM sleep almost instantly. The tech-geek breakout strategy sessions were invaluable and really made day one worth it. More importantly, perhaps, than the sanctioned meetings were the chats I had with the attendees. The networking and brain-picking that occurred was crucial in reinforcing the concepts we learned in the sessions. Day one ended like it ought to have: good times in Hell’s Kitchen late into the night. ‘Nuff said.

I spent day two of the conference trying to wade through all the anti-property rights and government cure-all rhetoric seeking the technological insight from day one. I didn’t find much. I did however attend a breakout session where an ally of mine took part in a panel discussion. Not surprisingly, she was the most rational and entertaining one there. Day two ended with…. well, day two ended, thankfully. The events that took place the previous night in Hell’s Kitchen led to one of the most informative, off the record chats we had. I can’t disclose who and what went down on the night of day two, but needless to say, it was priceless.

All in all, the conference was well worth it. Well worth holding my breath (the few times I did) and trying my best to keep lunch down. Although the other side is nearly devoid of good ideas when it comes to policy, they’ve got ideas for days on how to further advance policy using technology and the Internet. And for that, I’d like to say, ‘thanks guys.’

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(Farms + flooding) – economic knowledge = Prentice to the Rescue

Posted by on Jun 24 2008 | Uncategorized

Heavy rain in the Midwest is causing flooding and farms are in the middle of it. Food shortages seem to be on the horizon and that possibility is putting pressure on prices to rise. In other words, basic economics. Senior fellow Dr. Paul Prentice knows a thing or two about farms and economics, which makes sense considering he is the president of Farm Sector Economics down in Colorado Springs. His knowledge along with the recent midwestern flooding has resulted in a media blitz for Dr. Prentice. He was quoted in the Wall Street Journal this past Tuesday, and appeared on Fox Business News on Friday. To see Paul on Fox, go here and search videos for “farm economics.” (They use an embedded flash player so I am unable to link directly to the video).

Good job Paul! Keep spreading the word out there in the mainstream media. What about me? Well, I’ll continue typing away on my small time blog, and spreading the word on my small time radio and TV show….

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Stealth Blogging in NYC

Posted by on Jun 23 2008 | Uncategorized

As a minion, I have been asked to do a number of unpleasant things. However, this task takes the cake. I have been asked, not to wash my master’s back or clean the inside of his filthy car, which after having done a few times isn’t all that bad, but worse… I have to gleam knowledge from a hodgepodge of hot air and silly view points. What I’m referring to of course is the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City. So why inundate myself with leftist ideology and irrational rants for an entire 48 hours? Because the left knows how to use technology and the Internet to advance their (silly) causes. As a member of the other side, we have a lot to learn from them. I’ve heard more mention of new media and social networking in two hours here than I had heard all last week. In addition, I’ve got a few friends by my side to keep me sane. That said, I plan on sitting quietly, listening intently, and blending in as much as possible. The only way anyone could possibly identify me is by the tightly held barf bag in my left hand.

Stay tuned for more updates from the conference. Expect something after I hear Arianna Huffington speak…

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