Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

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  • democracy, the people, politicians, cowardice, marijuana, asset forfeiture, initiative, term limits, police brutality
    Accountability
    Today’s Leaders

    We have a new president. Many people put a lot of trust in him — and many more hate him and seek to bring him down. In both cases, presidential politics takes up an inordinate portion of our brain space. Over the weekend I twice wrote about four heroic senators,

  • links
    Townhall: The Great American Overdose

    Our politicians are addicts. Not on drugs, exactly (though that is probably true in some cases), but on . . . well, click over to Townhall.com for the full argument. It may be something you want to share with your friends. You know, like a needle pizza. This weekend’s column is an expansion

  • video
    Legalize Cheap Health Care?

    The ongoing ObamaCare Repeal fiasco, Dr. Rand Paul explaining:

  • Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, ObamaCare, healthcare bill, opposition
    free trade & free markets
    The Real ObamaCare Opposition

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) has introduced a bill to compromise between the House’s recent Affordable Health Care Act and the current “ObamaCare” Affordable Care Act. Though there seems to be some “what the heck, go with it” enthusiasm for it on Capitol Hill, it’s not coming from Senators

  • elections, Democrats, Republicans, left, right, CNN, Obamacare
    ideological culture
    Monied Hopes Dashed

    Democrats had high hopes. Their come-back after the 2016 defeats seemed near at hand. After all, Trump is proving increasingly erratic and incompetent, and the Republican mis-handling of the ObamaCare repeal appears to be a disaster of ginormous proportions. How could they not start taking seats in Congress back? There

  • Amazon, monopoly, trusts, antitrust, trade, free trade, big business, economic myths
    crime and punishment
    Serving Consumers? Punish!

    New media ballyhooer Douglas Rushkoff made waves this week. Citing an un-named friend who went hysterical about Amazon.com’s purchase of Whole Foods, he asserted that such “unease is widespread, and has raised new calls for breaking up Jeff Bezos’s impending monopoly by force.”* The company has “surely,” he claimed, “reached

  • stadium, Potomac Nationals, pork, free markets, taxes, referendum, crony, welfare
    Accountability
    Go Nats?

    Just a few miles away from where I live sits the stadium of the Potomac Nationals. I’m a fan. I’d hate to see the team we call the P-Nats leave. But . . . Hasta la vista. The owner of this minor league affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals

  • conundrum, employment, unemployment, Gerald P. O’Driscoll, poverty, retirement
    free trade & free markets
    The Poverty Retirement Non-plan

    A “conundrum” is “an intricate and difficult problem” or “a question or problem having only a conjectural answer.”* In his June 8 article, “The Jobs Conundrum,” economist Gerald P. O’Driscoll focuses on a very big problem that we do not have sure answers to, yet. Unemployment figures are down, but

  • links
    Townhall: Black Gun Rights Matter

    It is time to get serious about equal rights under the law. And republican policing. Click on over to Townhall for the timely assessment. Then click back here for full-spectrum perspective. YouTube video: Falcon Heights Police Officer Kill Man Reaching for His Wallet in Front of His Girlfriend and Child

  • video
    Capitalism: The Known-and-Loved Ideal

    A slightly different take on the subject … than usual:

  • nanny state, too much government, books, authentication, California, busybody, Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism, Jerry Brown
    folly
    Signature Nonsense

    Did anyone really need this? Last year, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill No. 1570, which concerns collectibles, particularly signed-by-author or artist books. But it doesn’t mention books, and is confusingly written. What a mess. Who asked for it? It certainly wasn’t the struggling booksellers who have

  • James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, came to Alexandria, Virginia, shooting, blame, scapegoat, excuses, rationalizations
    Accountability
    Sticks & Stones

    James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, came to Alexandria, Virginia, where for the last few months he lived in his van . . . undoubtedly down by the river. Yesterday, he wielded an assault rifle, attempting to massacre Republican congressmen at a park practicing for tonight’s annual charity Congressional Baseball Game.

  • milk, Institute for Justice, regulations, Ocheesee Creamery, Department of Agriculture, too much government
    First Amendment rights
    Legal Not to Lie About Your Milk

    Mary Lou Wesselhoeft doesn’t have to lie about the milk she’s selling. The Florida Department of Agriculture has lost in court. Mary Lou has won. Ocheesee Creamery sells pasteurized milk without any additives. One of her products is skim milk. Ocheesee sells skim milk without vitamin additives, which is perfectly

  • John Tyler, Trump, hated, leverage, elites, Ted Cruz, Paul Jacob, despised, term limits, unpopular
    Accountability
    Most Hated

    I was once “the most hated man in Washington.”* Why? For my work on term limits. I wore the appellation as a badge of honor. Last year I noted that Ted Cruz had taken up the mantle, but now, certainly, it’s President Donald Trump’s. Has ever a president been as

  • Ohio, initiative, legislature, Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission,
    Accountability
    Citizens Triumphant

    Last week, the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission considered whether to recommend a constitutional change to create an obvious double standard: requiring citizen-initiated constitutional amendments to obtain a 55 percent supermajority vote, while the very same amendments proposed by legislators would only need 50-percent-plus-one for passage. I traveled to the capitol

  • links
    Townhall: They United Against Insiders and Won

    “The requirement being proposed by the Constitutional Revision and Review Committee,” M. Dane Waters, a scholar of initiative and referendum processes, testified, “would make Ohio a lonely outlier both in this country and around the world.” And he wasn’t alone to oppose the committee appointed by the Ohio Legislature. In

  • video
    Voter Rights Advocates Block Proposed Ohio ‘Reform’

    An outpouring of grassroots, bipartisan opposition to a pending recommendation by the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission caused the commission to table that proposed recommendation concerning citizen-initiated ballot measures — in what may be the last meeting of the commission. The recommendation would have created numerous double standards between constitutional amendments

  • Oregon, housing, rent control, urban, planning, low income, land, property rights
    folly
    Housing Horror

    Housing in Oregon’s north-central urban region is becoming more and more like San Francisco’s — out of the budgetary reach of huge swaths of average workers. “The median rental household can’t comfortably afford a two-bedroom apartment in 28 of Oregon’s 36 counties,” Elliot Njus writes for The Oregonian. But it is worst in

  • Seattle , soda tax, nanny state, tax, socialist, social engineering
    crime and punishment
    Sin, Soda and Say

    Government policy in Seattle, Washington, is being driven by an outright socialist on the city council. The mayor, apparently starving for attention, proposed a goofy new sin tax last year. Now, writes Reason’s Baylen Linnekin, “Seattle lawmakers are expected to vote early next week on a citywide soda tax that

  • Great Britain, Tory, Prime Minister, PM, censorship, terrorism, internet, web
    Accountability
    Another Push for Censorship

    It’s almost as if politicians are hell-bent on expanding government at the expense of our freedoms . . . and grandstanding to ‘look like they are doing something.’ The two proclivities are not unrelated. Take Theresa May, Great Britain’s Tory Prime Minister. After yet another terrorist attack in her country,

  • Ohio, initiative, voting, election, ballot, legislature, democracy, amendment, constitution
    general freedom
    Delivering a Double Standard

    Former State Representative Matt Lynch got right to the point in his Cleveland Plain Dealer op-ed: “The people’s right to amend the Ohio Constitution through the ballot initiative is under attack.” Created by the Ohio Legislature to consider constitutional amendments, the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission (OCMC) has a hidden purpose:

  • driver's license, voting, registration, paternalism, nanny state, voters, democracy, choice, freedom
    general freedom
    The $659,000 Non-Question

    The so-called “Motor Voter” law of 1993 created a national mandate: when people obtain their drivers’ licenses at the Department of Motor Vehicles, ask them if they’d also like to register to vote. The federal mandate is perhaps heavy-handed, but the underlying idea has merit. Now a new idea is

  • links
    Townhall: The Heart of a Double Standard

    Click on over to Townhall for this weekend’s latest outrage against citizen-controlled government. By legislators and other insiders, of course. Then come back here for some source material: Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission Report and Recommendation of the Constitutional Revision and Updating Committee Members of the Ohio Ballot Board WKYC-TV 3

  • video
    Goodness!

    Look deeply into a funny movie for an important lesson in political philosophy and social ethics:

  • recall, election, voting, first amendment, free speech, ACLU, politicians,
    Accountability
    Homer’s Recall Odyssey

    Freedom of speech isn’t a free pass to avoid the consequences of what one says. Or does. Tell that to three members of the Homer, Alaska, city council — Donna Aderhold, David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds — who are the subject of a recall petition. Well, a superior court judge

  • academics, universities, college, paper, The Skeptic, western civilization, racism, sexism, prank, joke
    Accountability
    Quanta of Nonsense

    Last month, two academics wrote a hoax paper. Their preferred journal didn’t accept it, but did suggest an alternative publication. They sent the paper to the recommended outlet, and it was published. The paper? “The conceptual penis as a social construct.” The Skeptic provided an overview; Professor Gad Saad chortled

  • NATO, Angela Merkel, Germany, Europe, Trump, Donald Trump, Russia, defense, war
    Accountability
    A Threat We Can’t Refuse

    “Recent days have shown me that the times when we could rely completely on others are over to a certain extent,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told folks in a Munich beer hall last Sunday. “We also know that we Europeans must really take our destiny,” she said, on the heels

  • Portland, murder, Vinland, white supremacist, white nationalism, Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein
    Common Sense
    Vinland?

    Agreeing with a murderer is . . . uncomfortable. Even if the agreement is only in part. Over the weekend, the news hit that one Jeremy Joseph Christian was in custody for a stabbing spree on one of Portland, Oregon’s MAX trains. According to reports, Christian had been yelling religious

  • Greg Gianforte, Montana, U.S. House of Representatives, Congress, elections, voting, democracy, media
    Accountability
    The Early Vote Worm

    Last week was consequential for Greg Gianforte. Awfully. The Republican businessman won the special election for Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He also body-slammed a reporter. He now faces misdemeanor assault charges. For which Gianforte apologized publicly . . . as he was declaring victory. Welcome

  • links
    Townhall: Pulling No Punches — Messages from Montana

    Click on over to Townhall for the full poop on the pugilistic representative. Then come back here to learn . . . even more: Guardian: Republican Greg Gianforte ‘body slams’ Guardian reporter in Montana Washington Post: GOP candidate in Montana race charged with misdemeanor assault after allegedly body-slamming reporter Washington

  • video
    Chelsea Clinton and Interconnectedness

    A few days ago Chelsea Clinton, daughter of failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, proclaimed some trendy wisdom. About “interconnectedness.” How she missed “systemic” we are not sure. Professor Gad Saad is not impressed. Rush Limbaugh compares Ms. Clinton to a very different professor.

  • minimum wage, closure, restaurant, business, prohibition, wages, pay, Berkeley, San Francisco
    Accountability
    Minimum Shock

    “Three restaurants vacated the Bay this week, with Berkeley’s Bistro Liaison getting the most attention,” the San Francisco edition of Eater informs us. “It’s a bittersweet exit for the owners, who plan to start new careers.” The week in question was in February. But this was not an isolated event.

  • RCV, Ranked Choice Voting, initiative, voting, elections, democracy, Maine
    Accountability
    The Maine Thing

    Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) allows voters to rank electoral candidates and not “waste” their vote in cases where their most favored candidate is* unlikely to win. RCV also requires a majority for election, not merely a plurality of the vote. Last November, Mainers passed Question 5 to begin using this

  • Congress, checks and balances, war, cowardice, responsibility, Afghanistan, president, presidential powers
    Accountability
    The Chicken-Ostrich Congress

    Those who work for the president must tell the POTUS hard truths — on matters of war, most of all. Citizens must also be told hard truths. After all, we are, at least theoretically, the ultimate decision-makers . . . the president works for us. That was my point yesterday.

  • Trump, Vietnam, truth, adviser, Johnson, McNamara, lies, war, advice
    Accountability
    The First Casualty

    Former Marine Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s current national security advisor, is the author of Dereliction of Duty, a look at how President Lyndon Johnson conducted the Vietnam War.  Last Sunday, the Washington Post’s Carlos Lozada reviewed the 1997 non-fiction book, noting that McMaster hadn’t minced words.  McMaster argues,

  • Anthony Weiner, sexting, twitter, folly, sex, scandal, Clinton, election, Huma Abedin
    Accountability
    Weiner’s Place in History

    As if to finalize the Great Derailment of 2016, disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner pleaded guilty in federal court to felony sexting: transferring obscene materials to a 15-year-old girl. Prosecutors are asking he serve 21 to 27 months in federal prison, register as a sex offender and continue mental health

  • links
    Townhall: Wasting Away Again in Weiner-ville

    Click on over to Townhall for a bit of closure regarding the latest wrinkle in the epic of Hillary Clinton’s corruption, the sexting follies of the husband of her chief aide. New York Daily News: Anthony Weiner pleads guilty to sexting with 15-year-old girl, could serve up to 27 months

  • video
    Privacy and Data: A Cautionary Note

    A new development worth thinking about.

  • CATO, FEE, crony, cronyism, Washington, corruption, elites, lobbyist, politicians, privilege, power
    Accountability
    Cronyism Pays

    Daniel Mitchell, a senior fellow in fiscal policy at the Cato Institute, is a nice guy. But he’s sort of depressing, too. Weeks ago, writing for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), Mitchell offered that “The Washington, DC Gilded Class Is Thriving.” He even provided a “depressing chart” graphing “median

  • House Oversight Committee, Jason Chaffetz, Justice Department, information, Congress, Executive Branch, Legislative Branch, checks and balances, secret, secrets
    Accountability
    Feckless, Indeed

    Last night, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, where Chaffetz was asked how he would know if the Justice Department fully complied with subpoenas issued by his committee for documents. “Look, we have a storied and horrific background on this,” explained the

  • New York Times, taxes, tax, libraries, tax cuts, big government, public services, free markets
    Accountability
    Ballots & Books

    The people of Roseburg, Oregon, aren’t paying enough in taxes. That’s the upshot of Kirk Johnson’s recent New York Times article, “Where Anti-Tax Fervor Means ‘All Services Will Cease.’” “For generations in America,” readers are informed, “small cities . . . declared their optimism and civic purpose with grand libraries

  • U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, corruption, term limits
    Accountability
    One Incumbent Falls

    When former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) was indicted last July on 24 felony counts of fraud and obstruction, she suggested that if the FBI hadn’t wasted time investigating her for milking a charity for personal gain, they might have prevented the Orlando massacre. “These are the same agents that

  • juicer, juice, silicon valley, innovation, risk, luxury, free markets, government waste, freedom
    Accountability
    Juicer Choosers

    We all have our complaints about this company or that, this product or that.* And it is popular to rag on “consumerism” and the emptiness of “capitalism.” But put it into perspective: me “wasting money” on, say, an expensive juicer is nowhere near as offensive — that is, worth a

  • links
    Townhall: Another Argument for Term Limits … Convicted

    Click on over to Townhall for one whopper of a story. Then come back here for alternate tellings. News 4 TV-Jacksonville: Corrine Brown found guilty on 18 charges Dept. of Justice: Congresswoman Corrine Brown and Chief of Staff Charged with Fraud Scheme Involving Bogus Non-Profit Scholarship Entity U.S. Term Limits:

  • video
    Lose Weight Without Willpower or … Freedom

    Many writers have made this joke. Including the contributor to this very site. But Remy turns it into a comedy video.

  • Washington, secession, division, exit, legislature, legislation, city, country, representation, initiative, ballot
    general freedom
    Not a Joke

    Yesterday, the chief sponsor of a Washington State legislative bill withdrew it. He said it was “a joke.” His co-sponsor wasn’t laughing, however . . . even proclaimed an intent to introduce the bill again next year. The legislation’s purpose? Split the state into two. The eastern, drier half of

  • realpolitik, human rights, dictators, chess, empire, John McCain, Rex Tillerson, Glenn Greenwald, Trump
    Accountability
    An Inconvenient Empire

    “Don’t look to the United States for hope. Our values make us sympathetic to your plight, and, when it’s convenient, we might officially express that sympathy. But we make policy to serve our interests, which are not related to our values. So, if you happen to be in the way

  • Afghanistan, soldiers, treaty, war, politics, peace
    Accountability
    Hotel Afghanistan

    “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” Is Afghanistan becoming the Hotel California? Back in 2014, Obama declared victory — well, he called it “over.” We even informed our enemies ahead of time that we were leaving, to show good manners. But as wars

  • Connecticut, taxes, revenue, budget, tax and spend, wealth, common sense
    Accountability
    No Rich No More

    Connecticut has a budget problem. There’s not enough money to spend. WTNH-TV in New Haven paraphrased the situation along with the response of Connecticut’s very progressive governor: “Income tax revenue collapses; Malloy says taxing the rich doesn’t work.” The news story explains, “Connecticut’s state budget woes are compounding with collections

  • France, French, election, Macron, Le Pen, democracy, press, freedom, right, left, centrist
    Accountability
    French Beacon

    “Since the French Revolution,” the New York Times pontificated online, “the nation has often been viewed as a beacon of democratic ideals.” Really? Can a nation of constitutional turnovers — kings and republics and revolutions and foreign occupation — be a beacon? Most often we in America compare our Revolution

  • links
    Townhall: Progressively Losing Freedom

    Free speech is under attack, largely on grounds of “hate speech” charges, and backed by violent revolutionaries. Who are, it turns out, themselves backed by the former head of the Democratic Party. Click on over to Townhall to read this weekend’s Common Sense dose. Click back here to read .

  • video
    Instead of ObamaCare … and RyanCare

    Sen. Rand Paul doesn’t think that the way out of the health care morass is more subsidy.

  • separation of power, conflict of interest, politician, interests, balance of power, civil asset forfeiture, legislative, executive, judicial
    Accountability
    Separation of Senators

    The separation of powers doctrine has been a bedrock principle of small-r republican government. Each branch — legislative, executive, judicial — should be independent, and check the power of the other branches. This requires that no person hold positions simultaneously in more than one branch of government. Which brings us

  • Hillary Clinton, victim, pay gap, wage gap, misogyny, sexism
    folly
    The Women-Haters

    “You’ve just spoken eloquently about the sexism, the misogyny and inequity around the world,” CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour said* to defeated presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, “but do you believe it exists here still?” The audience at Tuesday’s Women for Women International luncheon in New York City erupted in laughter, cutting

  • cronyism, pork, stadium, Tom Hanks, ballot initiative, welfare
    Accountability
    A Wall of Separation

    Whatever you think of Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, wherein he celebrated the First Amendment for “building a wall of separation between Church & State,” let’s agree that it would have been nice had he penned another letter — to the Waterbury Methodists or someone — urging a

  • Oregon, traffic light, license, licensing, government, regulations, engineer
    Accountability
    The Oregon Fail

    My children used to play “The Oregon Trail,” an early computer game where one navigated the amazingly dangerous wagon trip out west — often dying of dysentery or drowning while crossing a river. Oregon remains treacherous. Yesterday, we bemoaned the cancellation of a parade because a Republican Party group’s participation

  • Portland, rose, parade, protest, violence, AntiFa, BAMN, free speech, censorship
    crime and punishment
    Thorns in the Parade

    Portland, Oregon, styles itself as “The City of Roses.” For over a century, this Pacific Northwest city has held an annual Rose Festival, complete with multiple parades. This year, there will be at least one parade less. “The annual 82nd Avenue Rose Parade and Carnival scheduled for Saturday have been

  • links
    Townhall: Will the UN Permit Obamacare’s Repeal?

    Oh, what will we do? The socialists in the United Nations do not approve of an American policy proposal… Click on over to Townhall. Then come back here for more info: YouTube: EF Hutton Commercial Washington Post: “Apparently repealing Obamacare could violate international law” by Dana Milbank Washington Post: Letter

  • video
    North Korean Rationality

    Michael Malice explains the method to North Korean madness:

  • taxes, tax cut, Trump, gift, give away, rights, growth, economics
    Accountability
    Death and . . .

    It’s a sure thing — that most folks will like President Trump’s tax cuts. Though we don’t yet know all the details. When it comes to taxes, less is more.  That is, if you’re paying taxes. It is no great mystery that people like it when their own taxes are reduced.

  • UN, U.N., United Nations, Obamacare, socialism, socialists
    folly
    UN-appealing

    Like E.F. Hutton, when the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights “Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health” talks, people listen. In disbelief, perhaps. Or amusement. But they listen. Well, at least Washington

  • welfare, taxes, charity, subsidy, subsidize, shrimp, stadium, Tesla
    Accountability
    Super-Subsidize Me

    “In American political discourse, those on the side of the sick, poor, and underprivileged tend to favor more federal government intervention,” writes Heartland Institute policy advisor David D’Amato at The Hill. He explains that many “see government as . . . rather like a charity . . .” Sure, government

  • Dan Balz, Term Limits, coffee, internet, media, web, trust
    general freedom
    Less Innocent Times?

    Many years ago, waiting for coffee at a vendor in front of the Washington Post building and across the street from my U.S. Term Limits office, I often exchanged friendly banter with the Post’s Dan Balz. Coffee in hand last Sunday, I read Balz’s column, “A scholar asks, ‘Can democracy

  • Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen, France, French, elections, immigration, government,
    ideological culture
    Forwards ! Backwards ?

    France held an election over the weekend. Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen came out on top, and will face each other in a runoff on May 7th. Current polling puts Macron over Le Pen, 62-38. But a SkyNews reporter cautions: there is no certainty. We in America have reason

  • links
    Townhall: Winning at the Polls, But Not in Governing

    Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House, with a majority of Supreme Court justices having been appointed by GOP presidents. Why so little progress? Well, during six of the eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency, Republicans controlled both the White House and Congress. And what did

  • video
    The Great Pretenders … to Objectivity

    Lauren Southern, late of Rebel Media, makes her point with some concision: Caution: some sarcasm may be involved.

  • meme
    Why socialist utopias always get hijacked. . .

    A state vast and powerful enough to enforce socialism is an irresistable temptation to those who would abuse power. . . as has been demonstrated again and again and again.

  • Maine, ranked choice voting, democracy, constitutionality, law,
    general freedom
    Wag that Tail, Dog

    Last November, Maine voters passed a ballot measure, Question 5, to begin electing their federal representatives to Congress, and their governor and state legislators, using Ranked Choice Voting. This selection mechanism allows voters to rank their choices, thereby removing the “spoiler effect” that often pushes citizens to support the lesser

  • Gov. Butch Otter, Idaho, veto, asset forfeiture, term limits,
    Accountability
    Ida-Heave-Ho

    “Is there any chance the vetoes can be overridden?” asked a reader in response to yesterday’s commentary on Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s veto of two pieces of common-sense legislation. It’s a good question, because the bill reforming civil asset forfeiture and the bill easing regulations that block employment in cosmetology

  • Gov. Butch Otter, Idaho, asset forfeiture, licensing, veto
    Accountability
    A Bad Haircut

    Eric Boehm over at Reason excoriated Idaho Gov. Butch Otter for giving libertarians “the double bird salute.” Boehm wondered if the governor, in vetoing two bills earlier this month, had been merely “trying to make libertarians mad.” That’s not exactly fair. The two blocked bills, one reforming unjust civil asset

  • Paraguay, term limits, democracy, General Alfredo Stroessner, Cartes’s Colorado Party
    Accountability
    Trouble Over Term Limits

    Americans are hardly alone in strongly supporting term limits. All over the world, people who care about limited government also care about limited terms for officials wielding government power. Especially the people of Paraguay, who remember all too well the dictatorship of General Alfredo Stroessner. He seized power in 1954,

  • President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, election, democracy, authoritarianism, ,
    general freedom
    Democracy More Dead

    “Turkey’s democracy died today,” CNN headlined its report on yesterday’s national constitutional referendum. The measure contained 18 significant changes designed to further empower the country’s already seemingly all-powerful President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. CNN is behind the times. Turkey hasn’t been a real democracy for some time. Even before last summer’s

  • links
    Townhall: Arrogant Pols, Go Home!

    Politicians! A few years in office are enough. Arrogance needs nipping in the bud. Click on over to Townhall. Come back for the complete context. YouTube: “Okie from Muskogee” by Merle Haggard Deseret News: “Sen. Hatch’s re-election bid proves the need for term limits” TPM: Hatch: “Sorry, Romney, Trump Is

  • video
    Politicians Are Not the Stuff of Romance

    Getting politics right, per Reason:

  • Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Oklahoma, salary, congressional, pay, representation, representative
    Accountability
    A+ in Arrogance

    The folks in Congress represent ‘We, the People’ . . . well, theoretically, at least. They’re supposed to work for us. We are their bosses. We pay their salary. But not U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, the third-term Republican from the rural Second District of Oklahoma. At two recent town hall

  • Senator Orrin Hatch, term limits, congress, Senate, hypocrisy,
    Accountability
    Calling Hatch Home

    Back in 2012, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch pledged that, if elected, his current six-year term would be his last. On Election Day 2018, Hatch will be 84 years old — and have spent more than half his life in Washington. Still, Utah’s senior senator just announced he intends to run

  • New York, Cuomo, college, tuition, Bernie Sanders,
    free trade & free markets
    Escape from New York

    “New York City is a walled maximum security prison,” exclaimed posters for Escape from New York (1981, R). “Breaking out is impossible.” Now, as part of new legislation giving “free college” to New Yorkers, politicians take the same high concept from the film and extend it to the entire state.

  • asset forfeiture, banks, banking, IRS,TIGTA, Bank Secrecy Act
    Accountability
    What’s Being Forfeited

    What do you call those who prey upon the innocent, illegally snatching their money? Thieves? Muggers? The Mob? Government. Last month, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a report on the Internal Revenue Service’s use of civil asset forfeiture against Americans accused — well, not accused .

  • Congress, war, powers, branches, checks and balances, Syria, Trump, accountability
    Accountability
    Authority and Accountability

    Roll, Founding Fathers, roll over. The situation with Congress is grave. You designed three branches of government, each to check the others’ power. The first branch, and the most essential, is Congress. It not only controls the purse strings, but also the power to declare war. But today’s Congress cannot

  • links
    Townhall: Government Burglars

    The IRS doesn’t just seize money for reasons of taxation. The folks in that agency have another racket in their job description. Click on over to Townhall for the story, then come back here for background. Treasury.gov: “Criminal Investigation Enforced Structuring Laws Primarily Against Legal Source Funds and Compromised the

  • video
    “Don’t Under-estimate the Power of Your [Free] Speech”

    Of postmodernism and the mob campaign against western civilization’s central tenet, freedom of thought and speech — which rests upon a basic sense of the individual person’s worth. “You’re one person away from a million people and two persons away from a billion people” — one of many provocative and

  • Elizabeth Warren, wage gap, gender, gap, hypocrisy, sexism
    Accountability
    Gender Offender

    Tuesday, April 4, was Equal Pay Day. It’s the day 20 percent into the year some use to mark the supposed fact that women earn 79.6 cents for every dollar earned by a man. This “gender pay gap” is concocted by taking the median pay for all men working 35

  • president, presidential, golf, leisure, media, controversy, scandal
    folly
    The Missing Links?

    Is giving presidents a hard time for playing too much golf itself a pastime? In Fahrenheit 911, filmmaker Michael Moore portrayed then-President George W. Bush, as more golfer than president — as if W. had secured the nation’s top job as a ruse to convince his wife to let him

  • Ferguson, body camera, lapel camera, video, vote, election, police
    Accountability
    Ferguson Finally Wins

    Yesterday, on the 49th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination,* voters in Ferguson, Missouri, passed a charter amendment requiring police to wear body cameras while on duty. The measure also provides the public access to that footage, along with reasonable rules about privacy. In August 2014, Ferguson came to the

  • SpaceX, Space X, space exploration, private, privatization, Elon Musk, landing, rocket, spaceship
    free trade & free markets
    Not Just a Recycled Rocket

    Last Thursday, SpaceX successfully re-used a previously flown rocket to launch a payload into orbit. Sure, NASA had re-cycled rocket parts before. That is, the U.S. space agency had recovered spent rockets.* But those were rebuilds. SpaceX’s most recent triumph was to launch a “stage one” rocket that had gone

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