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The Independence Institute is twenty-five years old -- and still shooting from the lip

Editor's note: This week's Westword cover story is a cartoon by Kenny Be that celebrates twenty-five years of the Independence Institute. Check it out in its entirety below:

Past: It was 1985, the middle of the Reagan years, when conservative Republican John Andrews asked the Coors Clan to finance his fear-mongering with their free-market fortune.

Present: Jon Caldara has been the Independent Institute's president for the past eleven years. While he claims to be the "taxpayer's best friend," he is, in fact, the insomniac's best friend. His optimistic oversimplification of our complex world makes his 10 p.m.-1 a.m. weekday radio show on KOA seem like fever dreams of the delusional...

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Golden Moments: With 25 years of battling Colorado's liberal menace, the cavalcade of Independence Institute researchers, scholars, fellows and interns has produced the finest sloganeering, attention-whoring, eye-rolling and prop-comedy video that conservative money can buy. All-time favorite videos include...

Dave Kopel, the prolific director of research at I.I., hosts the popular "How to Set Your Holiday Table" segment of his 2nd Amendment Living home show.

During a Campus Accountability taping, scholar Jessica Peck Corry (who also supports marijuana legalization) promises to hold a bong with her boobs if the University of Colorado at Boulder ends its diversity programs.

Jon Caldara uses sock puppets that resemble education experts Ben DeGrow and Pam Benigno in a video plea to defeat public school teachers' unions and tax hikes.

Transportation-research scholar Randal O'Toole claims that the car is what made America great, and then concludes that more car driving will make a person that much more wealthy.

Operations Director Amy Oliver has a degree in journalism, which makes her an expert at explaining the science of global warming and how the free-market solves ecological problems...

To demonstrate how the free market is better than government when it comes to providing retirement income, financial wizard Tom Tancredo uses an apple to represent Social Security and a diet soda to represent his retirement account with Bernie Madoff. Now, a wave of the magic free-market wand...

Future: The success of the Independence Institute will be determined by its ability to identify and unite Colorado's numerous but disparate coalitions of the rationally selfish...

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