Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

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  • term limits, flag, hand, stop,
    by Paul Jacob
    What a Deluge, What a Mess

    Paul reviews the week’s big stories and puts the term limits for Congress in historical perspective.

  • education, bank, loans, Devos,
    education and schooling
    The Most Foolish Bank of All

    There are few things more foolish than turning the Department of Education into a bank. “Congress never set up the U.S. Department of Education to be a bank, nor did it define the secretary of education as the nation’s ‘top banker,’” said Betsy DeVos, Trump’s controversial Department of Education secretary,

  • Hillary Clinton, deluge,
    national politics & policies
    After Them, the Deluge

    One might be forgiven for finding Sen. Kamala Harris the perfect presidential candidate for Democrats after the Hillary Clinton debacle. Adding Harris’s skin color to her status as a woman, she had the intersectionalist angle covered. And for the power elite, she offered a ruthless, moraline-free ambition. But no, her

  • Michigan, term limits,
    term limits
    Legislators Turned Lobbyists Turned Altruists

    Legislative bosses, the state’s most powerful special interests and a fake grassroots organization teamed up a month ago to figure out how best to attack Michigan’s popular term limits law.  Now comes a lawsuit demanding that a federal court overturn these 27-year-old voter-enacted limits. “I’m just sitting here watching five

  • Space Force, war, foreign policy,
    international affairs
    The New Arms Race

    We who grew up in the time of the Apollo missions are more than aware of the arms-race angle to the Soviet and American forays into Earth orbit and beyond.  Now, we must recognize that the space race is no longer mere ornamentation over earthly military competition. “The United States

  • by Paul Jacob
    That Time Paul Harvey Called Me on the Phone

    Paul reviews the week’s big stories here on Common Sense with Paul Jacob — and also reminisces about Paul Harvey. And ghosts of turkeys past.

  • Thomas Jefferson, binary code, digital,computer, quote
    ideological culture
    Thanks for the Memories

    One thing for which I expressed gratitude, yesterday, was my site’s “Thought of the Day” feature, for it placed in original context a well-known maxim: “If your government is big enough to give you everything you want, it is big enough to take away everything you have.” Thomas Jefferson is

  • turkey, thanksgiving, Trump, pardon,
    national politics & policies
    The Biggest Turkey of All

    Though President Donald Trump has one of the best stand-up acts in America, his bit, on Tuesday, about the ‘traditional’ pardoning of turkeys, was not his best. But it was mildly amusing, and what the occasion required. Now, I’ve written about this goofy tradition before: “For a photo-op,” I explained

  • Tim Eyman, governor, Washington State, democracy,
    political challengers
    One of Us?

    As the Democratic Party presidential campaign began heating up earlier this year, one of the stars faintly streaking across the sky was Washington State Governor Jay Inslee. In the over-populated ranks of presidential wannabes, he stood out not for being exceptionally nutty, but for so memorably presenting the new Nut

  • draft, lottery, war, freedom,
    national politics & policies
    The Draft Goes Hollywood?

    “Whether you’re able to recall the last military draft or not, if you watch the show This Is Us, then you may have some familiarity,” says a column at apparently authored by the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. The commission was set up by Congress to

  • by Paul Jacob
    Bum-rushing a Constitutional Amendment

    Paul Jacob, in this episode of This Week in Common Sense, recaps the big stories of the week, focusing especially on the bizarre resurgence of the Equal Rights Amendment and on Massachusetts’ heinous push to steal the property of vapers.

  • ERA, Equal Rights Amendment, ratify, Constitution,
    ideological culture
    Equal Wrongs

    Back in the 1970s, the late Phyllis Schlafly charged that, if the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) were ratified, women would be subject to the military draft.  Funny thing, though — the ERA was not ratified, yet any return to the draft means our daughters would be forced into combat just

  • Baltimore, mayor, corruption,
    crime and punishment
    Good Golly, Healthy Holly

    One reason to talk about corruption a lot is that there is a lot of corruption to talk about. The scheme was to get Kaiser Permanente to buy 20,000 copies of her children’s book, Healthy Holly, at a decidedly non-discounted price of $5 a pop, while the health provider was

  • Vindman, impeachment, Schiff,
    ideological culture
    Deep State Consensus

    Donald Trump was not elected with a mandate to “drain the ‘interagency consensus.’” You can’t “drain” a “consensus.” More importantly, “the Swamp” that Trump promised to “drain,” is not the same thing as that “interagency consensus.” That latter, new phrase better serves as something coextensive with — or  subset of

  • Peter Strzok,Licensed to Lie, CIA, deep state,
    crime and punishment
    Lying to Liars

    When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hands out its awards, the presenters say, “And the Oscar goes to . . .” We should hand out an award for lying in government — and name it after President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. On March 12,

  • vape, vaping, law, asset forfeiture, politicians,
    media and media people
    Overkill . . . for Your Health

    News stories about death- and illness-by-vaping keep hitting us. But in most of these stories it is what is left out that is most alarming. From Washington State’s King County we learn of another case of severe lung disease “associated with vaping.” But the reportage doesn’t mention how the maladies

  • by Paul Jacob
    Our Options

    Paul touches on the biggest stories of the week in this second part of This Week in Common Sense for the second full week of November, 2019. In this case, he concentrates on social media and advertising in their relationship to politics of incumbency and challenge — and the First

  • by Paul Jacob
    Impeachment and Other B.S. Stories

    Behind all other big political news, this week, was the one Paul didn’t cover in these pages: impeachment. There’s a reason why:

  • revolution, protest, police, authoritarianism,
    general freedom
    The Fundamental Complaint

    “Something is going on,” writes The Washington Post’s Adam Taylor. “From Baghdad to Hong Kong, Santiago to Barcelona, sites around the world have seen major protests over recent weeks.” What is that something?  “Global protests share themes of economic anger and political hopelessness,” reads the headline to Taylor’s article.   He’s way off.  Hope, not

  • Tim Eyman
    initiative, referendum, and recall
    My Favorite Control Group

    Tim Eyman strikes again.  In deep blue Washington State, the ballot measure activist celebrated another Election Day victory last week with Initiative 976, limiting vehicle taxes. Not to mention Referendum 88, whereby voters kept a ban on government use of racial preferences, enacted via an initiative Eyman had co-authored two

  • Bolivia, term limits, democracy, elections,
    term limits
    Term Limits Apply to Socialists,Too

    We don’t see a lot of pro-term-limits writing in our major, “corporate” media outlets — but a New York magazine account of the ouster of Bolivian President Evo Morales is a welcome exception. “The disgraceful and chaotic manner in which the once-beloved Morales is leaving office is an object lesson

  • gatekeeper, Twitter, Facebook, censorship, political advertising,
    First Amendment rights
    The Silence Option

    “While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said last month in announcing a complete ban on political advertising for candidates or issues, “that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives

  • Michael Bloomberg, president, democracy,
    national politics & policies
    Billions Of, By and For Bloomberg

    Might Gotham’s gun-and-Big-Gulp-grabber-in-chief catapult to Commander in Chief?  Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, “is actively preparing to enter the Democratic presidential primary,” writes Alexander Burns in The New York Times. Bloomberg’s estimated $53 billion could financially pummel even Democratic candidate Tom Steyer, working with a mere $1.6

  • Common Sense
    This Week in Democracy?

    Paul Jacob finishes his weekend wrap-up with stories on Colorado’s TABOR, a squeak by for republican governance with citizen hero Ron Calzone, and the weirdness surrounding the corporate media’s attitudes towards whistleblowers. Paul began his “Common Sense with Paul Jacob” commentary in 1999, and for a decade he produced these

  • by Paul Jacob
    Feeling Good After an Election

    The first half of This Week in Common Sense for the first full week of November, 2019: Paul began his Common Sense with Paul Jacob commentary in 1999, and for a decade he produced these weekly commentary spots for the radio. Now, a decade later, he begins to podcast. Catch

  • whistle, blower, Epstein, crime, informer,
    media and media people
    Whistles Blown

    Corey Feldman, former child actor and defender of Hollywood children from sexual abuse by entertainment industry movers and shakers, had given many clues about who his particular abuser was. On the Dr. Oz show, recently, Feldman still wouldn’t name the name, because, he said, he lacked legal representation on this

  • Colorado, elections, taxes, Bruce,
    initiative, referendum, and recall
    Blue Colorado Big Spenders

    “The Trump years may have cemented Colorado’s blue-state status — time will tell,” writes Alex Burness in the Denver Post, “but voters in the Centennial State continue to hold a hard line on anything that has even a whiff [of] new tax.” Burness is talking about Proposition CC, a measure

  • Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Beer
    ideological culture
    Hillary’s Hot Sauce — Reflux

    The one thing the Elizabeth Warren for president campaign cannot afford is ‘I’m With Her’ redux. Hillary ‘the “her”’ Clinton came off as ultra-phony. She tried too hard to be something she is not — that is, likable and not an elitist. Mrs. Clinton’s attempts to seem normal were transparently

  • vote, election, initiative, referendum, Washington, New York,
    general freedom
    Today’s Trifecta

    Three measures on ballots today are particularly worth watching. Two issues in Washington State represent the only citizen-initiated measures out of 32 propositions voters will see in eight states: Washington Referendum 88 allows voters to re-decide the issue of racial and gender preferences, so-called “affirmative action,” while Washington Initiative 976

  • Ron Calzone, Missouri Ethics Commission,
    First Amendment rights
    One Vote from Tyranny

    The bureaucrats at Missouri’s Ethics Commission lost. By one vote. Last Friday, the commission’s outrageous attempt to force Ron Calzone, an unpaid citizen activist, to file and pay a fee as a lobbyist in order to speak to legislators in the capitol was ruled unconstitutional. After vacating a previous 2-1

  • by Paul Jacob
    The War Lottery

    Paul Jacob reviews the biggest story of the week — no, not impeachment — THE DRAFT!

  • Elliot Ackerman, conscription, war, slavery, soldiers,
    Fourth Amendment rights
    Rich Kids for Ransom

    Elliot Ackerman wants peace so badly that he is willing to conscript our sons and daughters into the military in hopes of achieving it.  “From Somalia to Syria, American forces are engaged in combat,” the author and decorated Marine veteran writes in Time. “With recent military posturing against Iran, against

  • wolf, winter, global warning, climate change,
    general freedom
    The Hobgoblin

    Here in Virginia, it looks like we will have a soggy Halloween. But in Chicago the cold and snow may barrel in big time. “A buckled jet stream weather pattern known as the Pineapple Express has sent warm weather from closer to the equator north to Alaska, setting records there,”

  • Michigan, term limits, Voters not Politicians,
    term limits
    Politicians Not Voters

    “Breakthrough coalition working on expanding term limits,” hollers the Lansing City Post headline.  “Michigan’s legislative leaders,” the capital-based paper informs, “are working on a term limits expansion deal for state lawmakers . . . . The conceptual plan, which won’t be finalized until December, would be that lawmakers could serve

  • Joe Biden, Obama, medal, money, campaign finance,
    First Amendment rights
    Worse Than Hypocrisy

    “You shouldn’t accept any money from a Super PAC,” former Vice-President Joe Biden claims he advised his presidential rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, “because [if you do] people can’t possibly trust you.” Now it must be impossible to trust Mr. Biden. “Joe Biden is apparently dropping his long-held opposition to the

  • healthcare, Obamacare, TrumpCare, ACA, Affordable Care Act, Healthcare reform, government, socialism
  • Hillary Clinton, Tulsi Gabbard, Russia, conspiracy,
    by Paul Jacob
    The Redistricting Solution

    Paul’s discussion of Hillary Clinton’s ‘Russian Asset’ charge against Tulsi Gabbard expanded to include one of the most important fixes for our broken democracy:

  • Elizabeth Warren, healthcare, taxes,
    national politics & policies

    Even people who get their information only from major network news know that, in their mad rush to promise free health care, Democratic presidential hopefuls would raise taxes for nearly everybody including the “hard-working middle class.” How do they know? Because at least one of the eager promisers won’t give

  • asset forfeiture, theft, police, corruption,
    crime and punishment
    Injustice Blocked

    Civil asset forfeiture is one of those government practices that good people, when informed of it, often express, at first, incredulity. How can something like that exist in these United States?!? Good question. One reason seems to be that very incredulity. Normal Americans trust their government not to be evil.

  • initiative, referendum, and recall
    Revolt of the Desk Jockeys

    Our Constitution guarantees that each state of the union provide a republican form of government. Does that mean that all that is prohibited is . . . monarchy? No.  One very common form of modern governance is deeply anti-republican, requiring — at the very least — strict regulation to prevent

  • Hillary Clinton, Tulsi Gabbard, Russia, conspiracy,
    insider corruption
    Mrs. Clinton’s Fevered Nightmare

    Hillary Clinton’s recent statements linking Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) to the Russians — Mrs. Clinton’s current favorite enemy — provided Rep. Gabbard with an opportunity for a return volley, dubbing Mrs. Clinton “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party

  • npc, march, Health Care, Medicare,
    national politics & policies
    MediocreCare — Guaranteed!

    When Senator Bernie Sanders demands that the government “guarantee health care to all people as a right, not a privilege,” does anyone think about how governments currently provide more basic services as rights?  You have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in America — or so

  • 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,
    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,
    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

    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
    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

    “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,
    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

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