Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

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  • by Paul Jacob
    Oppression and Beer

    How can we help the oppressed around the world?

  • Donald Trump, Kingsman meme
    media and media people
    Zucker’s Scold

    It was in bad taste. The “meme” — an altered video — depicted extreme, murderous violence. But it was not “weaponized” as  incitement to real violence; it was, instead, “memeticized” contempt against the meme’s “victims,” the full panoply of media outlets along with a few iconic politicians. The video was

  • LeBron James, Hong Kong, China, freedom, free speech,
    First Amendment rights
    The King’s Airball

    “The thing is, LeBron, we’ve come to expect more of you,” writes Dan Wolken in USA Today, taking the National Basketball Association star to task for his comments taking Houston Rockets executive Daryl Morey to task for having tweeted “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” Morey’s pro-protester statement had

  • Yuh-Line Niou, housing, regulations,
    free trade & free markets
    Location, Location, Dislocation

    “While Lower Manhattan is desperately in need of affordable housing,” writes Yuh-Line Niou in an official statement of her re-election campaign for New York State Assembly, “we cannot pit the need for housing against the need for green space, especially when so many good alternatives are available. . . .”

  • Donald Trump, telephone, phone call, impeachment,
    insider corruption
    The Democrats’ Wrong Number

    “Where’s Hunter?” Donald Trump asks in front of his pro-Trump rallies (and of course on Twitter), referring to Joe Biden’s son and his cushy Ukrainian sinecure.  From the beginning of the Phone Call quasi-scandal, the upshot sure seemed to portend disaster for the Democrats, in general, and Biden’s presidential bid

  • by Paul Jacob
    What Can We Do to Help Hongkongers?

    Paul walks into a Starbucks in Virginia and comes out with hope. And a latte.

  • video
    Thriving Totalitarianism

    After the basketball brouhaha of the past week between China and the NBA, these four videos provide a peek of the way Big Brother Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party play their brand of high tech totalitarian game against Hongkongers, Uighurs, 1.3 billion citizens, etc.

  • Ng, Activision, Blizzard, games
    general freedom
    Blizzard Fallout

    “I’ve already deleted my Blizzard account,” offered the young man while taking my Starbucks order.  Blizzard Entertainment is a video game developer based in Irvine, California. Earlier this week, the company rescinded the Grandmasters tournament winnings of Hearthstone esports player Ng Wai Chung, whose professional name is “Blitzchung,” banning him

  • Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Twitter,
    insider corruption
    Don’t Tempt Her

    Scrolling down @realDonaldTrump’s prolific Twitter feed, I cannot help but wonder: when does the president find time to do his job? I am not the only one to wonder. Still, as President, Trump sure is a great . . . troll. “I think that Crooked Hillary Clinton should enter the

  • Fight for Freedom, Stand by Hong Kong,
    general freedom
    Stand By Your Tweet

    Last Friday, Daryl Morey, the general manager of the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets, tweeted a graphic repeating the Hong Kong protesters’ chant,  “Fight for freedom! “Stand with Hong Kong!” But before I could hit “like,” he deleted it amid the massive backlash from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and

  • Kamala Harris, pay gap, lie
    free trade & free markets
    The 79¢ Lie

    Sen. Kamala Harris successfully bears aloft the banner of Barack Obama. As “a person of color”? Yeah, sure — but mainly by pandering to ignorant ideologues. “Look, women are still not paid equal for equal work in America,” she said recently at a campaign stop. The Daily Wire notes that

  • tanning bed, science
    media and media people
    Science Isn’t Morality

    “Scientist” — what an abused term! When a journalist needs an authority to write about some nutty, wildly improbable affront to common sense, a “scientist” will do. Case in point, turn to Newsweek: “Tanning salons are more likely to be located in U.S. neighborhoods with higher numbers of same-sex male

  • Donald Trump, twitter, censorship, Kamala Harris threat,
    media and media people
    Twitter Abuse

    “Look,” tweeted Sen. Kamala Harris, “let’s be honest. . . .” When a politician talks about being honest — presumably “for a change” — it’s gonna be a doozy. President Trump’s “Twitter account should be suspended.” “What?” the reader will likely object, “Trump’s Twitter account is the second-best thing about

  • Babylon Bee, Snopes, fake news, satire
    general freedom
    The Pumpkinification of Snopes

    Satire exaggerates not just for a laugh, often employing the reductio ad absurdum for cutting effect — casting our attention on human follies and crimes.  While the classic literary satires include Seneca’s Apocolocyntosis (divi) Claudii — “The Pumpkinification of (the Divine) Claudius” — and Jonathan Swift’s 1729 “Modest Proposal for preventing the children of

  • deep fake, Donald Trump, Young Frankenstein,
    Accountability
    Deep State, Deeply Fake

    Is there a good, presumptive reason to believe what the government tells us? Not when it comes from the “intelligence” agencies. One of the more breathtaking developments of recent years has been the transformation of Democratic Party politicians and activists from skeptics of alphabet soup intelligence agencies — CIA, NSA,

  • Representative Rashida Tlaib, screams, Trump, rally
    national politics & policies
    Are You a Conspiracy Theorist?

    Politicians are all over the vaping issue, like packrats on pet food. The House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, C-SPAN explains, held a hearing on the relationship between e-cigarettes and an outbreak in lung disease. Government experts spoke. There was only one empaneled pro-vaping witness, Vicki Porter,

  • Paul Jacob, Hong Kong
    by Paul Jacob
    Tears for Freedom

    I got my first taste of tear gas yesterday. Minding my own business — well, maybe not so much . . . except that “mankind is my business” — I joined Hong Kong’s Global Anti-Totalitarianism Rally.  Is there a more important cause than preventing totalitarian regimes from crushing more lives?

  • gas mask, Hong Kong, protests,
    general freedom
    Two-thousand Somethings

    Alex Ko is “exactly the kind of person China is worried about,” informs the BBC.  Described as “soft-spoken” and “bespectacled,” the 23-year-old Ko lives in Taiwan, hundreds of ocean miles away from Hong Kong, where for months the streets have been consumed in protests demanding simple but difficult things: freedom,

  • cancel culture, social justice, sjw,
    ideological culture
    Cancel Culture Cancels Culture

    Cancel culture, writes Christian Britschgi of Reason, may have just “jumped the shark.” Britschgi tells the tale of “Carson King, a 24-year-old security guard who achieved viral fame after he was spotted on ESPN’s College Gameday waving a sign that asked people to use the mobile payment app Venmo to

  • GretaThurnberg
    ideological culture
    Mad Prophetess?

    The latest scandal of the How Dare You Say That!?! variety features The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles, who is banned from Fox News, we learn, because he characterized the celebrated “climate activist” Greta Thunberg as “mentally ill.” He said it while serving as one of those invited talking heads. The

  • Truth in Accounting, states, debt,
    Accountability
    Sinkhole States

    What do citizens lack most at all levels of government? Truth in accounting.  So Sheila Weinberg really has her work cut out. This very morning, her Chicago-based research-tank called, not coincidentally, Truth in Accounting released its annual Financial State of the States report. The new data shows that “the total

  • vape, vaping, law, ban, prohibition,
    national politics & policies
    E-Panic

    One of the better arguments for government relies upon sobriety: we want rational, measured responses to threats, not panicky, hot-headed reactions. We have a rule of law to prevent revenge and vendetta, replacing them with justice and civil order. But when we expand the concept of “threat” far beyond interpersonal

  • Greta
    Accountability
    Listen to the Warm

    I like publicity stunts as much as the next activist. But haven’t we had enough of the whole Greta Thunberg bit yet? On Wednesday, the 16-year-old Swede provided testimony on an apt stage, let us grant her that — the U.S. House of Representatives’ foreign affairs subcommittee joint hearing on

  • antiwar, anti war, Justin Raimondo,
    First Amendment rights
    Against Spying on American Journalists

    Does the Federal Bureau of Investigation have a file on you? Does it — or some other agency — have an active file on you? If so, does it have good reason for such an investigation? Well, refine that last question a bit: does the FBI have a good reason

  • Beto
    judiciary
    Packing

    “Are you proposing taking away their guns?”  “I am,” replied former Texas Congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke to ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir’s question. If, anyway, “it’s a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield.”  “Hell, yes,” he added, later in last week’s Democratic presidential

  • Common Sense
    Chortling Evil

    Kamala Harris laughed. She stood naked on the edge of a . . . Oops. Wrong story. The right — or, very wrong — story is Senator Harris (D–Calif.) laughing, sure. But the only thing naked is her powerlust. Why refer to the opening of the novel The Fountainhead? To

  • Joe Biden, bed, monsters, record player, black child,
    education and schooling
    Biden Under the Bed

    Former Vice-President Joe Biden was put on the spot, again, about race. During last Thursday’s presidential candidates’ debate, ABC newscaster Lindsey Davis asked what responsibility Americans should “take to repair the legacy of slavery in our country?” Triple, Biden said, “the amount of money we spend. . . .” On

  • national unity, war, peace, nationalism,
    ideological culture
    An Opportunity to Forgo

    “We just marked the anniversary of 9/11.”  That’s what Democratic presidential aspirant and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg reminded last night’s debate audience. “All day today, I’ve been thinking about September 12th, the way it felt when for a moment we came together as a country.” The terrorist attacks

  • Neil Gorsuch, Supreme Court,
    ideological culture
    Exhibit A+

    “Do you really want me to rule the country?” Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch pointedly asked CNN’s Ariane de Vogue. “It is not a judge’s job to do whatever he or she thinks is good,” Gorsuch added, in response to her concern that judicial activism might sometimes be “needed.”  “We

  • John Bolton, war, defense, peace,
    ideological culture
    War Minus One Warmonger

    At long last, John Bolton’s 17 month tenure in the Trump Administration is over. I won’t pretend not to be pleased. Yet I also do not pretend this national security advisor was always and completely on the wrong side. He has consistently claimed to have an ulterior motive for his

  • Sara Gideon, candidate, Portland,
    insider corruption
    Straw Candidacy

    “No Corporate PACs,” says a Facebook ad by the Sara Gideon for U.S. Senate campaign, “Just You.” “Gideon is running to unseat Republican Sen. Susan Collins in 2020,” the Portland Press Herald reports, noting that “fighting corporate money in politics” has been a prime “focus of her campaign.” Yet, as

  • apple, temptation, rotten,
    judiciary
    Caveat Tempter

    If, like me, you expect people to bear the bulk of the brunt of their own decisions, big ticket court rulings often strike you as bizarre. Case in point? “Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson must pay $572m (£468m) for its part in fuelling Oklahoma’s opioid addiction crisis, a judge in the

  • guns, gun control, school shootings, 2nd Amendment, good men, self defense
  • 911, flood, call, recording,
    Accountability
    Dispatched

    The 911 call released last weekend is . . . hard to forget. It is the one where, as The New York Times reports, “The dispatcher, Donna Reneau, repeatedly told a sobbing Ms. [Debbie] Stevens to calm down.” With a tone — condescending and worse. As television station KATV informs,

  • safe2tell, tip, guns, gun control,
    education and schooling
    Finna Be Lit?

    On the face of it, it seems like a good idea.  After the horrific Columbine school shooting spree of 1999, “Safe2Tell” was invented to provide students, parents and schools a telephone/online interface (including iOS and Android) to report suspicious gun-related behavior. But the devil is in the . . .

  • land grab, eminent domain, theft, property, border,
    partisanship
    Such Is Today’s Politics

    “You do have a problem with a President demanding the federal government go ahead and seize private land and then promising to pardon those who seized the land,” challenged Joe Walsh, the former Illinois congressman running in the Republican Party primaries against Donald Trump.  “Don’t you?” Matt Welch, writing in

  • apophenia
    ideological culture
    Hurricane Apophenia

    While Hurricane Dorian lumbered towards America, Axios unleashed a rumor: President Trump had wondered about “nuking” hurricanes in their early stages.  Sounds goofy, I know. Many used the rumor to question Trump’s intelligence, prudence, and sanity, but fretting about a mere rumor at length might give us reason to question

  • Haymarket Riot
    ideological culture
    Labor’s Holiday

    Most of us celebrate Labor Day by not working. Labor and celebration being distinct, this is not really as funny as it may sound. The celebration became federal law in the late 19th century, a time beset by “labor unrest” and “agitation.” At least two major violent incidents at that

  • John Locke
    general freedom
    Slavery Is Not Free-Market Capitalism

    Tarring free-market capitalism and limited government with the brush of slavery is old hat. What is new is that prominent journals and major media figures now shamelessly slop that brush around. Indeed, the argument is so often made that addressing it from several angles, as I have — twice in

  • slavery, 1619, freedom, chains,
    ideological culture
    The Fifth Century Begins

    When socialists and woke scolds talk about slavery, you can almost hear the chains and smell the leather of the slaver’s whip — and not always in a good way. Project 1619 is the New York Times effort to acknowledge 400 years of Africans in America. Thankfully, the project’s page

  • slave, ancient, Roman, Rome, chains,
    ideological culture
    Slaves All?

    A bizarre argument is gaining popularity: the United States of America not merely allowed slavery in its first hundred years, it depended upon it, grew rich by it . . .  and, “therefore,” not only the federal government but also its constitutional principles and even capitalism are all tainted .

  • King of Diamonds, King Donald, Donald Trump, trade, tariff, power,
    national politics & policies
    Congress’s King

    Politics today reveals a troubling dialectic. Thesis: President Trump boasts that he is going to unilaterally “do something” as if he were Emperor, not President.  Antithesis: Then comes pushback from political opponents and the media, castigating our current commander-in-chief for imagining himself a lawless dictator.  Synthesis: This is soon followed,

  • David Koch
    Common Sense
    Hate in Plain Sight

    “Classy guy,” won’t be the moniker afforded comedian Bill Maher when his time on Earth comes to an end. “I guess I’m going to have to reevaluate my low opinion of prostate cancer,” Maher told his HBO audience regarding the death of libertarian billionaire David Koch at 79. “As for

  • by Paul Jacob
    On the Late David Koch (and much more)

    Paul concludes his weekly wrap-up of stories.

  • by Paul Jacob
    The Press v. The People

    Paul Jacob’s recap of the week begins with a tale of press bias, insider powerlust, taxation, and . . . Tim Eyman.

  • cards, playing cards, pick a card, politics,
    ideological culture
    The False Binary

    Characterizing herself as a “moderate with a brain,” Bridget Phetasy writes that things have gotten so bad that now “every vote is considered a statement on your personal identity and worth.” Her article in Spectator USA, “The battle cry of the politically homeless,” paints a bleak picture. “Your value, who

  • Inigo Montoya
    partisanship
    The Word Is

    “You keep using that word,” said Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride. “I do not think it means what you think it means.” He might as well have been talking to David Hogg — not Vizaini — and young Hogg’s March For Our Lives gun control advocacy group.  The word?

  • Supreme Court, packing, packed, red, blue, Republican,Democrat, right, left, partisan,
    judiciary
    Heal or Heel?

    Call it High Court chutzpah? In a Second Amendment case seeking U.S. Supreme Court review, five U.S. Senators have filed an amicus curie or “friend of the court” brief . . . that wasn’t very friendly. “The Supreme Court is not well,” argue Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.),

  • Tim Eyman, Senate Bill 5224, taxes, vote, democracy,
    initiative, referendum, and recall
    The Legislature That Couldn’t Tax Straight

    “If you lost count of how many new and higher taxes state lawmakers passed this year,” begins Jerry Cornfield’s recent column in the Everett Herald, “it was 12.” Cornfield doesn’t appear too distressed about the tax hikes, however, worrying instead that Evergreen State voters will be “awash in tax advisory

  • by Paul Jacob
    Democracy and China

    The Hong Kong situation rings around the world, with the keywords being “freedom” and “democracy.”

  • by Paul Jacob
    Jeffrey Epstein is dead, alas

    The week started out with a big story….

  • Hong Kong, police, riots, protests, violence,
    general freedom
    Protests and Propaganda

    Poised to gobble up Hong Kong whole, completing the process Britain began when it ceded the colony back to China in 1997, the government of China remains concerned about world opinion, for it engages in massive propaganda. “When a projectile struck a Hong Kong woman in the eye this week

  • Andrew Yang, zoning, land use, visionary, presidential, election,
    political challengers
    Recognizing a Problem

    Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang has at least one good policy preference: he opposes tough land use and zoning regimes. And he is not alone.  “Yang’s criticism of zoning is pretty close to what other Democratic primary candidates have said on the subject,” writes Chistian Britschgi at Reason. “Sens. Cory

  • Tony Gehrig, Dave Piepkorn, Caldevron, taxes,
    subsidy
    The Truth of Tax Privileges

    In Fargo, North Dakota, a company called Aldevron applied to the city council for a tax exemption. If given, it would spare the company from handing $4.6 million dollars to the city government over the next ten years. Now, Aldevron isn’t just a company with a name seemingly out of

  • MIke Gravel, president, candidate, war, draft,
    national politics & policies
    And Then There Were 20-Something

    The media won’t have my favorite Democratic presidential candidate to kick around anymore.  “Mike Gravel drops out of 2020 race,” Vox headlined Catherine Kim’s report. “He never wanted to be president anyway.” A subhead continued: “The former Alaska senator simply ran to get other candidates to talk about American imperialism.”

  • Jeffrey Epstein, murder, death, pedophile, conspiracy, paranoia,
    media and media people
    Suicide?

    Some news stories serve more as inkblot tests than as first runs at history. With the Jeffrey Epstein story we find sightings, Rohrschach-like, of both Minotaurs and unicorns, depending on the viewer. I am not seeing the sad unicorn of suicide in his story. Are you? Of course, there’s a

  • term limits, Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson, collage, photomontage, elephant, JGill, Paul Jacob, Common Sense
    by Paul Jacob
    What Americans Agree Upon

    Paul Jacob talks about the huge areas of agreement among Americans, even in this Age of Trump and Ideological Disunity:

  • by Paul Jacob
    Limits of Politics

    This Week in Common Sense focuses on the previous weekend’s massacres, and what must be done to prevent future atrocities.

  • swing, space, weird, ufo, aliens, strange,
    ideological culture
    Strange Days

    We live in a strange time when a possible official UFO disclosure by the government doesn’t seem strange at all. What’s odd is one of the two major American political parties proudly talking up socialism. What’s weird is the increasing financial instability of the country’s top two social programs, Medicare

  • college, student, debt, loan, forgiveness, hat,
    education and schooling
    Sell College Short?

    We are often lectured on the importance of a college education. The path to upward mobility is greased via higher education, we are informed, and all that investment in time and money pays off . . . with a lifetime of higher salaries and better opportunities. “The typical American with

  • gun violence, gun control, law, mass shooting, 2nd Amendment, Donald Trump,
    media and media people
    Courage and Wisdom?

    President Donald Trump responded to the weekend’s two shooting atrocities by decrying hatred and making five substantive proposals.  “They include tools to identify early warning signs in mass shooters, reducing the glorification of violence, reforming mental health laws, enacting ‘red flag’ laws to stop dangerous individuals from gaining access to

  • atrocity, exhibition, shooting, violence, guns, control, 2nd Amendment, boy, white,
    general freedom
    The Atrocity Exhibition

    News commentary can seem like a race, commentators reacting as if to the crack of the starting-gun, scrambling to make sure they do not come in last. Yet, in stories like this weekend’s round of mass shootings, being last to comment might be something to aspire towards.  As I have

  • Ohio, referendum, control, stop, emergency button,
    initiative, referendum, and recall
    Subsidizers May Be Checked

    “FirstEnergy Solutions might not want to spend its bailout money just yet,” warns a story in Crain’s Cleveland Business.  At issue? A possible statewide referendum on House Bill 6. HB6 would, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “gut Ohio’s green-energy mandates and set up customer-funded subsidies to nuclear and coal

  • by Paul Jacob
    Democrats & the Dream

    This Week in Common Sense, focusing on the notion of a “Universal Basic Income”: Note: the sound isn’t as good as usual. Next week we will be up to snuff.

  • Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, debate, prosecuter, criminal justice, reform,
    ideological culture
    Into and Out of the Muck

    Yesterday I referenced “pigs flying” . . . and Icarus’s waxed-wing fail.  Today, it’s just about the muck. Now, I am on the road and definitely not catching every word of the Democratic debates. But amidst much nonsense and embarrassment — and there was a lot of it, from what

  • flying pig
    national politics & policies
    Pigs Flying Too Close to the Sun

    What should we “fight for” in politics? The readily obtainable, the remotely possible, or the obtainable only when the proverbial pig flaps its muddy wings? You might think this would be a pressing concern for Democrats running to oust Donald Trump from the presidency. You know, practical politics being something

  • John Delaney, conscription, selective service, slavery, involuntary, freedom,
    national politics & policies
    No Exceptions

    “It’s time to bring the country together,” says Rep. John Delaney (D-Maryland), aspiring to be our next commandeer-in-chief, “restore our sense of shared purpose and a common and inclusive national destiny.” How?  Forcibly: “John Delaney’s Plan for National Service” states that “Every American will complete a minimum of one year

  • savings bond, family, interest rates, economics, savings,
    free trade & free markets
    Negative Logic

    “The idea that negative interest rates will produce loans and generate growth,” concludes Richard Rahn in a Washington Times op-ed, “is not supported by the evidence to date.” Citing current markets for Danish and Swiss bonds, Rahn states that “approximately 30 percent of the global government bond issues are now

  • Pete Buttigieg, president, election, labor, gig economy, candidate,
    national politics & policies
    The New New Dealer

    Reason magazine’s Nick Gillespie finds “a lot” to like about Pete Buttigieg. He sees a candidate “who at his best represents a new generation in American politics and a principled unwillingness to go along with the most free-spending plans of his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.”  I have so

  • by Paul Jacob
    Trump Is Not the Antichrist!

    Paul responds to a reader comment.

  • by Paul Jacob
    Minimum Wage, Maximum Politics

    This Week in Common Sense for the final full week of July 2019. Paul focuses his review of the week on the Sanders/Tlaib minimum wage stories:

  • Robert Mueller, disaster, testimony, collusion, exonerate, hearing,
    ideological culture
    The Trump of the Will

    It’s over — our long national nightmare is over. Or is it?  Congress’s “movie” version of Robert Mueller’s book-length report on Trump-Russia collusion flopped. That is, Wednesday’s hearings were an “optics . . . disaster.”  The Democrats and their media cheerleaders had put so much stock in the event, hoping

  • Rashida Tlaib, minimum wage, The Squad, economics,
    Common Sense
    Money for Robots and Representatives!

    Yesterday I addressed Senator Bernie Sanders’ minimum wage problem. Today it is member of Congress and “The Squad” Rashida Tlaib’s turn. She is unsatisfied with the just-passed national $15/hour minimum wage.  She wants to make it $20. Now a bidding war begins? But not where laborers bid for jobs. Instead,

  • Bernie Sanders, minimum wage,
    national politics & policies
    Bernie and Economic Law

    One of the things Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is known for is his push for a $15 per hour “living wage.” But this is politics — a policy position is never complete until its advocates demonstrate just how idiotic the policy actually is. As Bernie just did. His presidential campaign

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