Archive for August, 2012

VIDEO: David Martosko on Nannyism

Posted by on Aug 31 2012 | Idiot Box (TV Show), nanny state, PPC

This year’s keynote speaker at our ATF Party, David Martosko of the Daily Caller, joined me on my TV show to talk about the demise of traditional media, adults having fun, and the encroaching nanny-state.

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Attorney General Holder grants BATFE expanded forfeiture powers

Posted by on Aug 29 2012 | Asset Forfeiture, War on Drugs

Details here, from Americans for Forfeiture Reform. In short, BATFE becomes another federal agency which gets to seize large sums of cash, based on presumption that a large sum of cash must be related to an illegal transaction in controlled substances. And notwithstanding the fact that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a Bureau whose job involves federal laws about alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives, not controlled substances.

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The Ruby Ridge murders, 20 years later

Posted by on Aug 22 2012 | Criminal Law, Executive Branch, Growth of Government, guns, Self-Defense, Targeted Killing, War on Drugs

The Prologue to my book No More Wacos: What’s Wrong with Federal Law Enforcement and How to Fix it, includes a section on the Ruby Ridge case. Much more on Waco and Ruby Ridge is available on the Waco page on my website.

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VIDEO: Meet the Teacher Who Couldn’t Read

Posted by on Aug 21 2012 | education, Idiot Box (TV Show), PPC

Our Education Policy Center director Pam Benigno guest hosted my TV show Devils Advocate last week. Her show with the teacher who couldn’t read was fascinating! Check it out below.

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David Martosko on NRA News

Posted by on Aug 21 2012 | Events, guns, Media, PPC, Second Amendment

It’s no exaggeration to say that our annual Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Party is the most fun event of the year. We get people from all over coming out to celebrate the perks of adulthood with us each summer. This year marked our 10th annual ATF Party. I almost can’t believe it’s been that long. Ten years of decadence! Anyhow, to honor such a momentous occasion, we invited the executive editor of The Daily Caller, David Martosko, out to keynote the event. He did a wonderful job lambasting the ills of our ever expanding nanny-state. If you missed David’s speech, or any of the madness that went down this year, don’t worry. C-SPAN was there and filmed the festivities post-shooting. Watch the video here.

David also found himself on the NRA News program “Cam and Company” with host Cameron Gray on the 16th. The show was interesting because they both spoke about our ATF Party and how cool it is. David mentioned how much fun he had this year and strangely enough, realized that our keynote speaker for next year’s party is none other than Cameron Gray himself! What a coincidence! It goes without saying that we are very excited about having Cameron out next summer and he is pumped to finally make it out to our big shindig.

Below you’ll find the two-part video of David’s appearance on Cameron’s show. They mention our ATF Party in the very beginning of part 2.

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AUDIO: Penn Pfiffner, Rob Natelson on Mike Rosen Show

Posted by on Aug 20 2012 | Constitutional Amendments, Constitutional History, Constitutional Law, Constitutional Theory, Media, PPC, TABOR, Taxes, U.S. Constitution

This morning on 850 KOA’s Mike Rosen Show, two of our senior fellows joined Mike in studio to discuss the lawsuit against our Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR). Officially called Kerr v. Hickenlooper in federal court, the suit attempts to kill TABOR in Colorado because it allegedly violates our United States’ Constitution’s guarantee clause. The guarantee clause, ehem, guarantees us a “republican” form of government. No one expected the lawsuit to go very far and indeed, it came as quite a surprise when one of our federal judges allowed the suit to proceed.

Now we defenders of the TABOR amendment are left scratching our heads wondering how this could be, and curiously, whether there is any merit to the case. That’s where senior fellows Penn Pfiffner of our Fiscal Policy Center and Rob Natelson of Constitution Studies come in. In their 30 minute segment on the Mike Rosen program, they explain the background of the case, why it matters, and most importantly, why it’s total bunk (and deserves to be thrown out).

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“Beer + Pizza = Success.” The key formula for law students.

Posted by on Aug 19 2012 | Law schools

Beer plus pizza equals success

During Constitutional Law I at Denver University last Spring, I diagrammed for the students one of the most important study tips for law students: “Beer + Pizza = Success”.

No matter how relentlessly a student raises his hand during class, the maximum amount of speaking practice that can come from classroom participation is a few hours over the course of the entire school year. If you go out for beer and pizza with your fellow students, you can have vastly more hours of sharpening your argumentation skills, practicing how to speak persuasively and concisely, finding the strengths and weaknesses in different arguments, and so on. Your beer and pizza time doesn’t have to be devoted to rehashing the cases you’re studying. Whether you and your friends are talking about politics, sports, or whatever else interests you, you will probably learn a lot from your fellow students, and you will definitely strengthen some of the essential skills for becoming a successful attorney.

At the University of Michigan during the 1980s, pizza and Stroh’s beer at The Brown Jug were our key tools for self-directed learning. I have heard that these days some students instead use wine and salad.  That may work fine for some people, although I have never seen this tested in the law school context; Michigan in the early 1980s, with Professors such as Francis Allen, Whitmore Gray, Bev Pooley, and Theodore St. Antoine, favored the traditional and rigorous version of the 1L curriculum.

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Meet the Teacher Who Couldn’t Read on Devils Advocate

Posted by on Aug 17 2012 | education, Idiot Box (TV Show), PPC

Meet the teacher who couldn’t read tonight on Devil’s Advocate public affairs television as guest host Pam Benigno from the Independence Institute’s Education Policy Center is joined by John Corcoran from the John Corcoran Foundation, telling of his longtime struggles with illiteracy, and State Board of Education member Debora Scheffel discussing ideas and strategies to improve literacy for Colorado students. That’s tonight at 8:30 PM on Colorado Public Television 12. Rebroadcast Monday at 12:30 PM.

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VIDEO: Missed the ATF Party This Year? No Worries!

Posted by on Aug 16 2012 | Events, guns, PPC, Second Amendment

As you might have heard, the year’s most politically incorrect party happened last Saturday the 11th in beautiful Kiowa Creek. That’s right, I’m talking about the 10th annual Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Party. I can’t believe it’s been a full decade since we started throwing our ATF parties to celebrate the perks of adulthood. It’s been a blast (get it?) every year and of course, this year was no exception. In case you missed the opportunity to celebrate with us, we’ve got you covered. Not only did Patty Calhoun at the Westword cover our event again, but so did super-blogger and eternal friend of the Institute Ari Armstrong.

You can read Patty’s write up here.

Ari recorded the speakers and conducted a few interviews. You can watch the videos and read his write-up on his blog, Free Colorado.

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VIDEOS: The Truth About Fracking, Messaging for Women

Posted by on Aug 15 2012 | energy, Idiot Box (TV Show), Politics, PPC

I want to give a big thanks to Amy Oliver Cooke for guest hosting my show while I was away. In the first episode, she sat down with former petroleum engineer Donovan Schafer to discuss fracking. Should we fear it like everyone seems to be telling us?

In the second segment, Krista Kafer joins Amy to discuss messaging to women in the 2012 election cycle. How are candidates trying to reach out to women specificially? What’s working?

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