Archive for the Independence Institute Category

Interviews from the Independence Institute’s Founders’ Night Banquet

I attended the Independence Institute’s 2014 Founders’ night banquet March 6 and filmed some interviews. Here they are:

How State Legislatures Can Initiate a Balanced-Budget Amendment

The U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times. Never has it been amended by state-initiated conventions. Robert Natelson, a law professor for 25 years who now works with the Independence Institute of Denver, hopes to change that. Specifically, he hopes to help persuade state legislatures to initiate and then ratify one or more amendments to restrain federal spending. With a national debt of $16.4 trillion and growing, that may be the only hope for fiscal sanity.

Natelson explained the history and purpose of Article V at Liberty On the Rocks, Flatirons, on January 14. Here is his main presentation.

Natelson also answered a variety of questions about Article V amendments. Here he addresses the problem of state dependence on federal funding, generating grassroots support, passing state measures close enough in wording to trigger a convention, the myth of the “runaway convention,” and the need for “eternal vigilance.”

Does the U.S. Constitution allow for secession? No, argues Natelson:

Natelson argues the Supreme court of the late 1930s and 1940s largely failed to uphold the U.S. Constitution:

Would an Article V convention “run away” into an unrestrained effort to rewrite the Constitution? Did the participants in the Constitutional Convention act within their established authority? Natelson addresses both questions:

Natelson addressed one final question. What were the reasons for the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment, which allowed for the direct election of U.S. Senators? There were real problems with the old system, Natelson argues.

Image: Independence Institute

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Party 2012: Complete Video

Following is all the video I captured at the Independence Institute’s tenth annual Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms party. See also my previous post and my photographs.

I edited together some video of people shooting clay pigeons along with interviews with various participants.

Jon Caldara explains the purpose of the event. He says, “Freedom is not allowing people to do things that you approve of, freedom is about protecting people’s rights to do things you find distasteful.”

Dave Kopel defends the right to bear arms.

David Martosko of The Daily Caller offered the main talk of the day.

Given that Mitt Romney had just selected Paul Ryan as his running mate, I asked people what they thought about that.

Finally, Constitutional scholar Robert Natelson discusses the likely impact of the upcoming election on the course of the Supreme Court. He also says, “There’s already been a tremendous resurgence of popular understanding of the Constitution.”

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Party 2012

The Independence Institute sponsored its tenth annual Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms party August 11, bringing in speaker David Martosko from the Daily Caller.

The event, held at Kiowa Creek Sporting Club, features a morning of shooting clay pigeons with shotguns followed by a barbecue with beer, mixed drinks, and cigars. See Patricia Calhoun’s write-up.

Following are my video and some photographs.

Tom Tancredo and Jon Caldara:

David Martosko:

Mike Krause:

Bobbie Ross, Brittany Zajic, and Dave Kopel:

Kopel: ObamaCare Mandates Unconstitutional

I caught up with Constitutional scholar Dave Kopel at the Independence Institute’s annual banquet February 16. In these two short videos, he explains why the Medicaid mandate as the individual mandate (to purchase health insurance) under ObamaCare are unconstitutional.

First Kopel argues that the Medicaid mandate violates the principles of federalism:

Next he argues that the Constitution never granted Congress the power to compel people to purchase products.

See also the complete briefs against the Medicaid mandate and the individual mandate.

Independence Institute Banquet

Last week the Independence Institute held its annual banquet; here is my short video about it. The organization honored businessman Jake Jabs. I’ll release additional interviews from the event over the next few days.

First Look at the Independence Institute’s New Building

This morning I walked around the Independence Institute’s new downtown-Denver building. Jon Caldara briefly explained his hopes for the place.