Archive for the 'Politics' Category

Kopel Goes to Washington

Posted by on Jan 30 2013 | Gun shows, guns, Kopelization, Michael Bloomberg, Politics, PPC, Right to carry, Second Amendment, Self-Defense, U.S. Constitution

Our resident genius and Second Amendment scholar Dave Kopel was in Washington DC this morning to testify on gun violence, public safety, and the right to arms. He was on a panel of five experts who each gave a 5 minute prepared statement and then fielded questions from the US Senate Judiciary Committee.

Here is a PDF of Kopel’s prepared remarks.

Here is the video of Kopel’s testimony and all the questions he fielded from the Senators.

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Speaker Ferrandino And Constitutional Wonkery On Devil’s Advocate Tonight

Posted by on Jan 04 2013 | Constitutional History, Constitutional Law, Idiot Box (TV Show), Politics, PPC, U.S. Constitution

Friday night means public affairs tv excellence with the Independence Institute on Colorado Public Television 12.

First, catch Independence Institute research director David Kopel on on the roundtable show, Colorado Inside Out at 8:00 PM. Then stay tuned for Devil’s Advocate at 8:30. First, incoming Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives Mark Ferrandino sits down with Independence Institute president Jon Caldara about what to expect in the upcoming legislative session. Then Independence Institute constitutional scholar Rob Natelson comes by to explain how Congress ignored the constitutional requirement that spending bills originate in the House in the recent “fiscal cliff” deal, and why it matters.
That’s tonight starting at 8:00 on Colorado Public Television 12.

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Political Year In Review On Devil’s Advocate Tonight

Posted by on Dec 28 2012 | Idiot Box (TV Show), Politics, PPC

Repressing what happened politically this year? Maybe just been too drunk to remember? Well, acceptance is the first step to recovery, so tune in to the Independence Institute’s public affairs tv show, Devil’s Advocate, tonight as host Jon Caldara is joined by Denver Post statehouse reporter Tim Hoover and Grand Junction Sentinel statehouse reporter Charles Ashby for a review of the 2012 political year in Colorado, and some pontification about the 2013 Colorado legislative session. That’s tonight at 8:30 on Colorado Public Television 12.

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South Park’s Top 10 Greatest Free-Market Hits

Posted by on Nov 28 2012 | Media, Politics, Popular Culture, PPC

One of the reasons Freedom is in retreat is that the Left creates the narrative. They tell the stories. They write the songs. They make the jokes. Our culture’s entertainment is almost solely the purview of the Left. And hidden inside those stories and tunes and jokes are the messages of collectivism and political correctness. Artists and entertainers have become the greatest sales force for command-and-control authoritarianism.

For the most part we on team Liberty just suck at entertainment. I mean we stink at it, and for a whole bunch of reasons: our team is prudish, stale, peevish and as easy to be offended as a Women’s Studies professor. We are great in communicating within our own team. We like to sing to our choir. News flash: our choir keeps getting smaller. And we keep losing.

But the biggest reason we can’t sell our message in entertainment is that when we try, we lead with the message and then attempt to make the entertainment fit around it. Think of the failed Fox News’ Half Hour News Hour or the comedy movie An American Carol. If you haven’t seen them or even heard of them, I rest my case.

The Left knows how to lead with entertainment first, not message. The humor and jokes, the compelling tale, and the great music come first. Then they slip in the message, insults and whiny lyrics. “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live” go for the yucks first. If that doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter what the message is;- no one will hear it. (By the way, I want to become Jack Donaghy. Damn Alec Baldwin.)

Freedom, however, has at least one outlet in Hollywood that makes people laugh and, maybe by no intentional way, weaves in pro-liberty messages – South Park.

This raunchy animated show on Comedy Central does what almost no one on the Right does: it reaches people who might not consider themselves limited-government fans, then convinces them that they just might be.

South Park‘s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, like me, survived the fascist political correctness and forced liberalism of the University of Colorado. That compelled me into politics. It drove them into show business. I’d submit they do a better job illustrating the danger of overly burdensome government than I do.

So, here it is, the list of all lists, the one you’ve been waiting for – the top 10 free market, limited government, stop-the-nanny-state episodes of South Park. WARNING: this show is immature, childish, highly offensive, and just plain gross. I wonder why I like it. Did I mention it’s offensive? Watch at your own risk.

  • #10: ManBearPig – Former Vice-President, Al Gore, speaks to the students of South Park Elementary about a serious threat to the planet; Manbearpig. Gore enlists the boy’s help to search for the elusive creature and gets them all trapped in a cave-in.
  • #9: Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes – The Main Street of South Park starts looking like a ghost town when a giant Wall Mart lures all the townspeople to its newest store with all of its incredible bargains. Cartman becomes possessed by the power of Wall Mart and its low, low prices. In order to save South Park, Stan and Kyle have to find a way to destroy the ever-expanding superstore while keeping Cartman from stabbing them in the back.
  • #8: Follow that Egg! – Mrs. Garrison realizes that he still has feelings for Mr. Slave. But, Mr. Slave has moved on and plans to marry his new love as soon as the governor signs the same-sex marriage bill. Mrs. Garrison leads the charge against gay marriage.
  • #7: I’m a Little Bit Country – The boys join some anti-war protesters because it’s a free pass out of school for the day. Their simple plan to protest their way out of class goes south when they find themselves in the middle of the two opposing sides of the issue. Meanwhile, Cartman attempts a flashback to 1776 to avoid studying for his American History assignment.
  • #6: Death Camp of Tolerance – Mr. Garrison desperately tries to get fired from his new job as South Park Elementary’s 4th grade teacher and presents his assistant, Mr. Slave. Meanwhile, the boys get sent to the Deathcamp of Intolerance for not tolerating Mr. Garrison’s intolerable behavior. Lemmiwinks the gerbil guest-stars.
  • #5: Medicinal Fried Chicken – A new Colorado Law makes smoking marijuana legal, as long as you’ve got a physician’s reference. Randy’s first in line but is denied because of his pristine health record. Desperate to get a medical excuse, he takes some ballsy measures. Meanwhile, Cartman faces the ultimate crisis when all of his favorite fried chicken restaurants are replaced with medicinal marijuana shops.
  • #4: Butt Out – Representatives from the anti-smoking campaign rap about the dangers of smoking for the children of South Park. For fear of growing up to be giant nerds, the boys decide to take up the nasty habit.
  • #3: Reverse Cowgirl – One of the boys had been told time and time again about leaving the toilet seat up after he goes to the bathroom, but he didn’t listen. His actions have consequences and ultimately result in an unimaginable catastrophe.
  • #2: Gnomes – Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Kenny are assigned to write a report with Tweek, the very nervous and highly caffeinated boy who insists gnomes are stealing his underpants. When they are unable to come up with a topic, Tweek’s father offers to write the paper, and uses this opportunity to vent his frustration at the corporate juggernaut Harbuck’s Coffee and its attempt to drive him out of business. Meanwhile, the boys try to stay awake to see if the underpants gnomes truly exist.
  • #1: Smug Alert – Kyle and his family are moving to San Francisco. The only way Stan can get his best friend back is to convince everyone to start driving hybrid cars. Just as everyone starts to feel really good about what they’re doing for the environment, scientists discover a stormy, dark mass accumulating over the town.
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    Paul Ryan’s Budget Too Moderate, Not Too “Extreme”

    Posted by on Nov 23 2012 | canada, Economics, Economy, Health Care, Politics

    The federal budget plan of Rep. Paul Ryan has been repeatedly characterized as “extreme.” (I Googled, “Ryan plan extreme” and got over 43,100,000 hits.) Among those making the charge have been the editorial writers over at the Denver Post.

    In reality, several Western democracies have enacted far more “extreme” deficit elimination plans in recent years—and with great success. In the early 1990s, Canada was laboring under about as much debt as the U.S. now is, measured as a share of the economy. In a new article, former Canadian prime minister Paul Martin (a Liberal Party prime minister, no less) tells us how his government cut federal spending in absolute terms, balanced the budget in about five years, and lowered taxes.

    The Canadian reforms were preceded by similar successes in places like Alberta, New Zealand, and Great Britain. All required absolute drops in spending, with no sacred cows. Everyone has to feel that he or she is making a sacrifice for all.

    Ryan’s plan would only slow the increase in spending, not cut it. It would exempt people over 55 from Medicare changes, a political as well as a budgetary mistake. And it would not balance the budget until at least 2040—if at all.

    In other words, a fundamental flaw of the Ryan plan is that it is not sweeping enough.

    You can expect Lefty activities to throw dirt on any plan that would curb even minimally the out-of-control welfare state. But the Post editors—who write for Colorado’s newspaper of record—need to exercise more discretion.

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    After the Election Hangover

    Posted by on Nov 13 2012 | congress, Politics, PPC, Presidency

    I’m sorry that it has taken me nearly a week to share a few of my thoughts about the election, but I have only been recently released from suicide watch. As a complete aside, the Hemlock Society sadly only assists the terminally ill, not those who desire end-of-life services due to politics. Apparently, you have go to the Republican Party for that.

    Anyway, thanks to a fair amount of self-medication via scotch and Little Debbie’s Swiss Rolls, I am able to communicate today. Like you I am baffled over the course of human events in our nation conceived in Liberty.

    I know there will be months of second guessing about what went wrong and what should have been done. So here’s my quick take, and keep in mind it might just be the scotch talking.

    I believe the elections of 2012 sadly proves the very premise from which we work at the Independence Institute – the right loses because they are all-consumed with the “next election.” The left wins because they are consumed with the next decade. And they have been consumed for decades.

    The left wins because they control the narrative. They control the narrative because they invest their resources, their years, and a ton of our money, to build systems, organizations and institutions that tell the stories they want voters in the middle to believe. Capitalism hurts the country. Hydraulic fracturing is an environmental danger. There is a war against women. Blah, blah, blah…

    As all of us divorced men know, WE HAVE NEVER made any mistakes in our past decisions. So that of course gives me the authority to say what everyone else did wrong in this election. So here we go. The right’s donors invest too often in personality, not political infrastructure. They invest for the short term.

    It is so disheartening to think of the billions of dollars and countless man-hours that were wasted in vien to elect Mitt Romney and take back the senate. Only two states switched away from Obama compared to four years ago, and we lost, not gained, in the senate. Imagine if only that amount were put towards building a permanent infrastructure to leap-frog the Left. Imagine if that amount were spent years ago instead of this year. Imagine what could have been.

    I find this somewhat baffling. People on the right understand the importance of investing in and building institutions that will pay dividends in the long term future. As you know I lost my daughter and my son has Down Syndrome. He has needed ten surgeries in his eight years of life. If it weren’t for the long-term thinking donors who gave so much so many years ago to build the Children’s Hospital, I would have lost another child. These donors know the importance of building churches, universities, efforts to end sickness and so much more where the real pay-off might not be seen in their lifetimes.

    But in the realm of politics, many on the right can’t see farther than about a year. The money goes to candidates or their support systems. By then it is usually too late. The left has built unions, think tanks, media operations, opposition research groups, voter registration machines, legal harassment firms and so much more.

    The sex-appeal and excitement for elections years and personalities drives our side. Winning drives their side.

    Until we can better convince investors and activists that the fight for liberty, the fight against the constant allure of socialism’s “guaranteed outcomes,” is a long term, never-ending battle. But it is one we most certainly can win.

    We at Independence have worked for nearly three decades on that very premise. We know that ideas have the greatest consequences. Politicians come and go, but the principles of liberty are everlasting. It is our goal to market our ideals far better than the left sells their guaranteed outcomes.

    We have created a great start. And this election only serves to tell us we are on the right track. Now we need to do so much more.

    The path to fixing Washington is to first fix Colorado. We are more determined and committed to that goal than ever in our 27 years.

    Let’s shake off this awful hangover and get to it. Be our partner in this fight.

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    2012 Election Re-cap with the Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette

    Posted by on Nov 12 2012 | Idiot Box (TV Show), Politics, Polls, PPC

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    Post-Election TV

    Posted by on Nov 08 2012 | Capitol Crazies, denver, Idiot Box (TV Show), obama, Politics, PPC

    Post-election blues got you down? Go ahead and and stay curled up in a ball on the couch for Devil’s Advocate tomorrow night as I am joined by Denver Post editorial page editor Curtis Hubbard and Colorado Springs Gazette editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen for a dissection of what happened on Tuesday and what it might mean for Colorado in 2013. That’s Friday night at 8:30 on Colorado Public Television 12.

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    Second Amendment Results, Final

    Posted by on Nov 07 2012 | elections, guns, Politics

    Only reporting results which represent a change.

    U.S.  Senate. Gains: Indiana (Donnelly replaces Lugar). NM  (Heinrich replaces Bingaman). ND (Heitkamp replaces Conrad).

    Senate losses: Mass., Warren defeats Brown (-.5 with NRA C-rated Senator replaced by an F). Virginia, Kaine replaces Webb.

    Senate net: +1.5. Ted Cruz’s win in Texas won’t change Senate voting patterns, but the former Texas Solicitor General will be an outstanding and very well-informed leader on Second Amendment issues.

    House losses: AZ 9. CA 7 (C-rated Lungren ousted), 26, 36 (Mary Bono Mack), 41, 52. FL 18 (Alan West), 22 (Bloomberg-funded extremist wins), 26. Il  8, 18. MD 6. MN 8. NH 1 & 2. NY 18, 24.

    House gains: AZ 2. IA 3 (incumbent vs. incumbent). NC 13 (F-rated incumbent retired). OH 16 (incumbent vs. incumbent).

    House net: -12.5.

    Governor Loss: Montana (although not officially called yet; winner Steve Bullock has a B- rating). Waiting for results in WA, a possible gain.

    Ballot issues. Strengthen Louisiana state right to keep and bear arms, to require strict scrutiny. Win, very important reform, that will be a model in other states. Constitutional right to hunt  and fish passes overwhelmingly in Kentucky, Nebraska, and Idaho.

    In short, as Barack Hussein Obama, the Juan Domingo Peron of the 21st century, leads America to fiscal collapse, you can at least keep your guns.

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    Second Amendment election results

    Posted by on Nov 06 2012 | elections, guns, Politics

    As the results come in tonight, I will blog here about the results as they affect the Second Amendment. In an article last week for National Review Online, I previewed all the Senate and Governor races, and all the competitive House races. Election night starts with a net +3 for the Second Amendment in the Senate, regardless of which party wins the Senate races in New Mexico, North Dakota, and Indiana. In all these states, both major party candidates are strong on Second Amendment issues, so the winner will replace retiring anti-gun Senators (Bingaman in N.M., Conrad in N.D.) or an anti-gun Senator who lost in the primary (Lugar in Ind.).  To summarize the rest:

    The three gubernatorial races that are close and that feature major differences between the candidates on Second Amendment issues are Washington, Montana, and New Hampshire.

    . . . In four states — Arizona, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Virginia — there are serious risks that Senate seats could be taken by new senators hostile to gun rights. Plausible opportunities to gain seats for the Second Amendment exist in Maine, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In these eight swing Senate states considered together, the possibility of a net loss probably exceeds the possibility of a net gain.

    As for the U.S. House, a rough estimate would be that if the net gain for Democrats is x, then the net loss for gun owners will be about one-half or two-thirds of x. In swing districts, most candidates are unwilling to forgo the 5 percent of the vote that can be lost by opposing Second Amendment rights. So, in these districts, candidates of both parties tend to support the Second Amendment. Thus, the net change in House composition on the gun issue tends to be smaller than the net party change in any given year.

    In addition, Louisiana has a ballot referendum to strengthen the state constitution’s right to arms. Idaho, Kentucky, and Nebraska will vote on adding the right to hunt and fish to the state constitution.

     

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