Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Recent Posts
  • Accountability
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of … Abortion?

    Andrew Klavan begins his show with satire, but then segues into a serious discussion of abortion. Oh, and Google, evil Google:

  • denier, climate change, globlal warming, skepticism, science
    folly
    Skepticism in Order

    It is not a question of “belief,” says Anastasios Tsonis.  In “The overblown and misleading issue of global warming,” this emeritus distinguished professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee explains that in a “scientific problem ‘believing’ has no place,” going on to clarify:  “In science, we either prove or disprove.” And

  • Paul Krugman, libertarianism, libertarian, freedom, shutdown
    free trade & free markets
    A Former Economist

    Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist and former economist, tested our patience last week with “Trump’s Big Libertarian Experiment.” How many non sequiturs will squeak past the Gray Lady’s editorial department?  Loads — and all about how the federal government shutdown gives limited government folks what they want: less government.

  • Congress, Emergency, Presidential,
    Accountability
    None Dare Call It Careerism

    Let’s build a wall, I said last week, between the Office of the President and all these emergency powers our Congress has recklessly given away to the chief executive. After admittedly “scrambling to figure out” the emergency powers possessed by POTUS, the Washington Post’s editorial board lamented its discovery “that

  • tenement, rent control, New York, de Blasio
    free trade & free markets
    Towards a Genealogy of Policy

    If it seems like each new government program is more intrusive than the last, there’s a reason. That last one did not work as planned. So a new one gets concocted to fix its mess.  The latest? New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has established a new enforcement bureau,

  • soldiers, foreign policy, war, peace, Syria, Afghanistan
    folly
    War Lust Flags

    A new poll shows that a narrow majority of Americans would support the President were he to pull troops out of Afghanistan. Less than a quarter of those polled said they would oppose it.  “The survey also indicates Americans remain unconvinced that the United States has a clear purpose in

  • Tom Paine, Thomas Paine, quote, quotation, wrong, right, meme, illustration
    Common Sense
    The Uncommon Author of Common Sense

    Last week we noted the 243rd anniversary of the publication of Common Sense — Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, that is. The importance of this document for the formation of the United States of America can hardly be over-estimated. And the general good . . . sense . . . of

  • video
    Racism Everywhere — Bias Confirmed?

    Thomas Sowell’s many books on race and discrimination haven’t made a dent in whole sectors of the body politic; Larry Elder may have convinced Dave Rubin that the standard model of “systemic racism” no longer applies, but he has not convinced everybody; and, generally, there is much work to be

  • Mark Twain, legislature, government, property, rights, meme
  • emergency, alarm, Trump, Donald, President, power
    too much government
    Five-Alarm Foolishness

    Will President Trump declare a “national emergency”? Is he that desperate to get the funds needed to build a wall (or steel-slate fence or barrier of some sort) on the U.S. border with Mexico? It looks increasingly likely, but who knows . . .  What I do know is how

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    ideological culture
    Worse Than Her Faux Pas

    “If we work our butts off to make sure that we take back all three chambers of Congress,” stumbled U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D.-N.Y.), “uh, rather, all three chambers of government: the presidency, the Senate, and the House. . . .” The Daily Wire, where I encountered this particular snippet

  • Peter Boghossian, Portland, postmodernism, academic research, education
    education and schooling
    Administrators Strike Back

    The academic world is filled with “scholars” who write papers that are almost never cited, and which are so filled with gobbledygook and periphrasis that they are almost impossible to read. Without cracking up, anyway. A year and a half ago I wrote about one team who authored fake papers

  • Caldara, gun rights, 2nd Amendment, Colorado
    crime and punishment
    Resisting Registration

    Jon Caldara won’t register his guns. He also won’t remain silent about his refusal. He has lots of company in Boulder, Colorado, with respect to the former, if not the latter, form of resistance — his unwillingness to compromise his right to bear arms. The town recently began requiring owners

  • Armenia, term limits, freedom, progress, The Economist
    term limits
    The World Wants Term Limits

    The Economist magazine has announced its “Country of the Year.”  It’s Armenia. The idea behind the award is to recognize the nation that has “improved the most” during the past year. The honorific implies no rosy assumptions about the future. Obviously, a country can backslide. The Economist’s editors admit that

  • links
    RCV Update

    We have been covering, with great interest, the Maine Ranked Choice Voting story. Now there is an important update: Poliquin drops challenge to ranked-choice voting, clearing way for Golden to take seat in Congress (Press Herald) For recent developments in another state, try this: Five Utah cities to pilot ranked

  • straw, regulations, law, punishment, punish, authoritarian society
    meme
    How to Know

    Many people don’t seem to realize that a prohibition (banning something) is AUTHORITARIAN BY DEFINITION. Whether it’s drugs, guns, alcohol, offensive language, dangerous ideas, texting while walking(!), plastic straws(!)… authoritarians are perfectly happy to use government violence to force the rest of us behave as they wish. Because they think

  • media and media people
    Suppressed Data Trends

    One thing you notice when engaging in public policy discussions is the misuse of statistics in a particular way: truncating a timeline of data, to focus almost exclusively on short-term trends rather than a more meaningful long-term (“secular”) accounting of trends. For example, you will often see proponents of state

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, #PayGo, austerity, spending
    national politics & policies
    PayGo Piffle

    Republicans are especially good at deficit spending. Give them control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, and watch the money flow! It happened under George W. Bush, and now under President Donald Trump. But note: the Democrats have gained control of the House of Representatives. We might see

  • regulations, rule of law, control, freedom
    meme
    An Important Distinction

    A “rule of law” is based on general principles, and makes room for — or, better yet, is based upon — the protection of individual rights. It used to be common to say, “a rule of law, not of men”; it was even as common in political oratory as was spouted

  • San Francisco, homeless, zoning, housing, regulations
    free trade & free markets
    San Francisco Obstructionism

    Bob Tillman wants to build a 75-unit apartment building in San Francisco. He owns the property — a laundromat. He just wants to convert it. But although there are no good reasons why he shouldn’t, city officials and activists opposed to the property rights of developers have been blocking the

  • Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, secrecy, transparency, negotiations
    Accountability
    Put the Public in Public Policy

    “Negotiations are impossible without trust,” wrote Leon Panetta in a Washington Post op-ed. What with all his experience, Mr. Panetta has some reason to be trusted on his chosen subject, government shutdowns. The California Democrat spent 16 years in the Congress before joining the Clinton Administration as Director of the

  • New Year, 2019, Jefferson
  • Benjamin Franklin, We must all hang together, quote
    Common Sense
    Ideas, Online and Ongoing … with Help

    In recent years there has been a great burgeoning of public debate about ideas. Politics. Ethics. UFOs. You name it. This “burgeoning” has mostly taken place online. Some people are so good at it that they have made their whole livings at it, parlaying advertisements and donations into successful careers.

  • links
    Boss Rule and Brain Freeze

    Over at Townhall, we determine where the boss rule is taking place. And it may not reside (preside) where you think. Michael Madigan (Chicago Tribune, Story Gallery) Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal (New York Times) Noam Chomsky says US should stay in Syria to protect the Kurds (Kurdistan 24) Howard Dean on

  • video
    Face the Pull-Out

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) gets grilled by the Face the Nation grillmistress. Her continued pushing of one point is interesting to behold. Jake Tapper’s grilling of the senator, on CNN, is even more egregious, perhaps. You decide.

  • self licking ice cream, war, foreign policy, government
    international affairs
    What Kind of Ice Cream Cone?

    When I wrote about the Donald’s change of troop positions abroad last week, it was less than completely clear that the US President aimed to withdraw troops from Afghanistan as well as Syria. But multiple reports on the day I posted “Strategic Disengagement” make it clearer: about half of America’s

  • Senator, David Hogue, petition, initiative, ballot, democracy, North Dakota
    initiative, referendum, and recall
    Who Works For Whom?

    On the difference between citizen control and a cheap imitation. . . Rob Port likes something I do not: North Dakota’s Senate Concurrent Resolution 4001.  I have previously applauded Port in this space, for his excellent political commentary on Say Anything Blog, columns for the Forum News Service, and on

  • James Madison, quote, freedom, war, warfare
    Accountability
    Madison on Perpetual War

    “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the

  • Dean Ellis, diversity, racism, quotas
    education and schooling
    Why Fire the Dean?

    Students and faculty at the University of Southern California are upset because a popular dean of the Marshall School of Business, James Ellis, has been fired by interim USC President Wanda Austin. Hundreds have rallied in protest and petitioned for his reinstatement. Why the ouster?  The administration has offered a

  • Christmas, 2018, Paul Jacob, liberty
  • Christmas, 2018, Paul Jacob, liberty
    Common Sense
    Precious Gifts

    There’s a quiet on Christmas morning . . . after Santa has come and gone . . . and the kids are still sound asleep . . . sugar plum fairies dancing to their gentle snoring. A moment to stop and think. I hope they’ll like their presents; they always

  • video
    How Minimum Wage Laws Fail

    Reason provides some interesting reporting on labor activism & legislation — and their actual results.

  • Donald Trump, Trump, Syria
    international affairs
    Strategic Disengagement

    The policy was announced in a Tweet: President Trump said it was time to pull out of Syria. We won, he explained. “After historic victories against ISIS, it’s time to bring our great young people home!” There is, of course, much outcry among Republicans, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and pundit

  • yellow vests, jackets, France, protests, taxes, nationalism
    ideological culture
    Who Rules the French?

    The petition that Priscillia Ludosky posted on Change.org many weeks ago was labeled “For a Drop in Fuel Prices at the Pump!” Now more than a million people have signed it.  “Taxation as a whole represents about two-thirds of the price of fuel,” the French activist informed. Sparked by the

  • Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi
    general freedom
    And So It Begins

    “Your time is up, white people,” South African politician Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi offered. This woman, who belongs to the Economic Freedom Fighters, a “far left” political party, is defending something Frédéric Bastiat would have dubbed the very worst kind of “legal plunder”: in this case, a land grab from white farmers

  • Michael Madigan, Speaker, House, Illinois, corruption, machine
    ballot access
    Clown Car of Felonies

    “It’s overkill of epic proportions,” John Kass writes in the Chicago Tribune, “like using a sledgehammer to kill a gnat, or firing off a nuclear weapon to kill a sparrow.” In three columns, Kass tells the story of David Krupa, a 19-year-old DePaul University student, who gathered over 1,700 voter

  • Pence, Vice President, sleeping, transparency, negotiations
    government transparency
    Full Frontal Negotiations

    Last week’s political circus reached a new level of Big Top. Or three rings, as President Donald Trump hosted two Democratic leaders in the White House, debating border security and government shutdown — in public. House Minority Leader, soon-to-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer

  • links
    Townhall: Mrs. Term Limits Stays on Top of the Swamp

    principle: prin·ci·ple /ˈprinsəpəl / noun 1. a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning. This week Nancy Pelosi showed she would do almost anything to get back on top. Including . . . the right

  • video
    It’s (not) a Gas: the “Yellow Jacket” Riots

    While in America we are not immune to government-induced too-high prices for fuel, in France it is worse. The rioting there got a rise out of the now much-despised President Macron, this week. But is all the tumult over just gasoline prices? It has become much more. And dangerous. But

  • Nancy Pelosi, term limits
    Accountability
    Mrs. Term Limits?

    Do politicians oppose term limits on principle? For the answer to be yes, we would first have to explain to them what principles are. Sure, politicians adamantly oppose term limits that cut against their self-interest, i.e. apply to them. But they are often for term limits . . . when

  • drain, swamp, Trump, Donald Trump, Washington DC
    government transparency
    Fill Up the Swamp Some More

    Donald Trump’s “drain the Swamp” promise was good rhetoric, great politics — because nearly everybody knows that the federal government just cannot restrain, constrain, or re-train itself. So it would have to take an outside force. Along comes said Outside Force — the current president — yet the Swamp remains.

  • stadium, pork, waste, spending
    ideological culture
    Fields of Schemes

    Hopes, wishes and cinematic sentiment are not a business plan. A baseball stadium in Camden, New Jersey is being shut down three years after the team for which it was built has left town. At the groundbreaking in 2000, then-Governor Christine Todd Whitman said she’d “heard the message from the

  • frog, Supreme Court, property
    crime and punishment
    Property Rights vs. Absentee Frogs

    When an assault on individual rights achieves a certain depth of irrationality, the Supreme Court is capable of common sense. Even unanimous common sense. The 8-0 ruling in Weyerhaeuser v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pertains to the desire of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate over 1500

  • House, Democrat, John Dingell
    ideological culture
    Hating the Senate

    The longest-serving politician in Congress — ever — thinks he has the perfect reform to put American government back on track. Former House Democrat John Dingell wants to abolish the Senate. According to him, the United States should go unicameral. The ancient bicameral tradition — which goes back to Sumer

  • Courtesy Adam Fagen, Flickr, Creative Common License
    Common Sense
    Townhall: Taking the Crime Out of Crime

    Turnstile-hopping just went legit — or nearly so — in DC Metro. For reasons, we kid you not, of race. Read this weekend’s column for details and perspective. Then come back here for more bizarre details from the nation’s bizarro capital. Washington Post: D.C. Council decriminalizes Metro fare evasion Washington

  • video
    The Government v. Apple — and possible consequences

    A tech video that, 4:50 in, discusses an antitrust case against Apple, Inc., and its possible consequences not only for Apple, but also for its customers, and even for (!?!?) Android users.

  • fare evasion, fare-jump, crime, Washington, DC, D.C.
    crime and punishment
    Reforming Crime, Not Criminals?

    “The D.C. Council gave final approval this week to a measure decriminalizing Metro fare evasion,” The Washington Post reports, “paving the way for fare-jumping to become a civil offense punishable by a $50 fine in the District.” Talk about stopping crime “in its tracks.” Jumping the turnstile won’t be classified

  • Bernie Sanders, Walmart, Tucker Carlson, socialism
    free trade & free markets
    Creeping Bernie-ism

    If you have been watching Tucker Carlson, recently, on Fox or in his bizarre interview with Ben Shapiro, you might have noticed something peculiar: the conservative newsman-commentator sometimes sounds awfully similar to Bernie Sanders. Both think that if some of Amazon’s and Walmart’s employees are not paid “enough” to live

  • France, French, tax, protests, yellow, jackets
    ideological culture
    Class War in France

    The French have a talent for riot, public protest, and street-based insurrection.* The current mayhem in Paris has been escalating every weekend since starting in mid-November. Why weekends? This is a working-person revolt. “Rioters ran amok across central Paris on Saturday, torching cars and buildings, looting shops, smashing windows and

  • Trump, Santa, NAFTA, trade
    free trade & free markets
    Christmas Is Coming

    When I was a kid, every December day was like a rocket-launch countdown ’til Christmas. Republicans in the House of Representatives have fewer days to tick off: the days remaining to do something before Democrats take over. Days left in session? Eight. We know what Trump wants them to do:

  • Maine, Ranked Choice Voting, black box, elections, democracy
    ballot access
    The Rank Reality of Math

    U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) doesn’t like Ranked Choice Voting. Last week, I suggested that’s because he lost his re-election to Congress in his state’s first use of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). Perhaps I spoke too quickly? Congressman Poliquin argues that RCV is a “black-box voting system.” “We heard from

  • links
    Townhall: What’s Right About Starbucks?

    The controversial coffee house has its merits. How many do you see? Compare with its demerits. Click over to Townhall for hints. Come back for the full menu: Starbucks: Flat White Amazon: Liberal Tears Coffee Mug Starbucks Parody White Ceramic 11 oz Coffee Mug IBD: Starbucks’ Howard Schultz Just Killed

  • video
    Untrustworthy Allies?

    The mystery of the Mid-East deepens when you realize how duplicitous are U.S. allies. Here is a scholar at Cato making a good case for how unreliable Qatar and the Sauds are.

  • Witte WievenKaas, cheese, copyright, law
    free trade & free markets
    The Cheese Stands “Unprotected”

    Governments tempt us — with special privileges and advantages.  You know what also tempts us? Cheese. Cheese? Yes. In the Netherlands, cheese is a big deal, as Baylen Linnekin relates in “Cheese Fight Ends With Court Declaring Producers Can’t Copyright Taste,” over at Reason — where I go for all

  • Ranked Choice Voting, Maine, example, sample
    incumbents
    Winning Reform

    Bruce Poliquin, Maine’s incumbent second-district U.S. Representative, knows what to blame for his loss this last election: the preferences of Maine voters. Well, he blames Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) . . . in which voters rank the candidates by preference, and whose votes are counted so to better tally second-

  • thought crime, blacklist, pc culture
    crime and punishment
    Riddle Us That

    “Riddle me this,” William Rainford tweeted during the big national #MeToo civil war over the Senate’s confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. “Why would the accuser of Kavanaugh take a polygraph, paid for by someone else and administered by private investigator in early August, if she wanted to remain

  • IRS, free speech, taxes, censorship, corruption, surveillance
    insider corruption
    There You Go Again, IRS

    The old keywords were “Constitution,” “Patriot” and “Tea Party.” The new ones? “Marijuana,” “oxycodone,” and “legalization.” Paul Caron, the TaxProf blogger, calls attention to another IRS scandal — again about denying tax-exempt status to organizations because of their political views. He had barely finished blogging about the scandal that came

  • links
    Townhall: Don’t Ask, We Won’t Fire You

    This weekend, the culture war grinds on with a bizarre Cultural Revolution-style fracas (leading to a firing, of course) at a major Catholic university.  Click on over to Townhall to get your weekend’s fill of progressive bizarrerie. Then come back here if that just was not enough! Links in the

  • Common Sense
    Hate Crime Stats Explained in Detail

    Matt Christiansen peers underneath the “negligent, maybe even maliciously deceptive” mainstream press accounts of the most recent FBI hate crime report. What is there? Well, the facts are very different from what journalists are saying:

  • hate crime, FBI, report, statistics
    crime and punishment
    What’s Up With Hate?

    Reported hate crimes are up. Last year, you may remember, major media outlets noted an alarming pattern, quoting the work of a “nonpartisan researcher” who seemed more intent on linking Donald Trump to the perceived trend than anything else. This year’s increase? Well, the most recent FBI report shows hate

  • Thanksgiving, Henry David Thoreau, holiday
    general freedom
    Thanksgiving 2018

    Happy Thanksgiving to all! “I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.” – Henry David Thoreau   » See popular posts from Common Sense with Paul Jacob HERE.  

  • climate, global warming, climate change, science, mistake
    Accountability
    Settling the Science

    A paper in the august science journal Nature,* on the oceans’ “thermal inertia” and the ominous temperature rise therein, has been corrected. But not before the BBC (and other media outlets) ballyhooed the results in the usual “climate change”/“global warming” narrative: “Climate change: Oceans ‘soaking up more heat than estimated’”

  • ideological culture
    No-Study Politics

    The 200-plus “youth activists” who stormed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s offices (see yesterday’s Common Sense) were protesting Pelosi’s leadership on climate issues. Soon-to-be Representative Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was there to encourage Pelosi to listen to them. “We need a Green New Deal,” Ocasio-Cortez informed her natural constituency, journalists, “and we

  • trap, socialism, democratic socialism
    ideological culture
    More of the More

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s triumphant entry into Washington, DC, as a United States Representative-Elect, is quickly proving a cautionary tale for Democrats. She’s an enthusiastic socialist. Or “progressive,” to use the preferred euphemism. And thus Democrats see her as a fresh breeze to air out the stodgy, musty chambers of . .

  • links
    Townhall: Term Limits Got Legs?

    Click on over to Townhall for this weekend’s uncommon sense take on the madness of the age. Starring Jim Acosta. And then come back here because you just cannot help yourself! Oh, you probably want to read the Washington Post piece on the Jim Acosta nonsense. Oh, and even more:

  • video
    The “Secret” Case Against Julian Assange

    Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, has been holed up in London at the Ecuadorian Embassy. For a long, long time. But his days there are numbered. And the story got way more convoluted. Here we have an update on the situation from the always colorful, often trenchant YouTuber Styxhexenhammer666 — and

  • Peru, term limits, Trump
    general freedom
    Trump Should Look to Peru

    Democracy can degrade into other things, even strong-man rule. To avoid such degradation, we have a ready prophylactic. Term limits. Which hamper would-be dictators-for-life, including entrenched oligarchs in the legislature. Many countries illustrate the point. But take Peru, where the new head of state, Martin Vizcarra, has been combatting political corruption by supporting a referendum to impose

  • nothing, Washington, pay raise, Tim Eyman,
    initiative, referendum, and recall
    The Seinfeld Referendum

    There is an unmistakable connection between Washington State initiative guru Tim Eyman and New York City comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Mr. Seinfeld gave viewers what they wanted for nine seasons as the star of the self-named 1990s hit television sitcom, Seinfeld. It was slyly defined as “a show about nothing.” Meanwhile,

  • free trade & free markets
    Socialists and Capitalism

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio helped snag Amazon for his city. Yes, the long-awaited destination of Amazon’s HQ2 has been determined. Amazon is not putting all its eggs into the Queens borough, though: there’s another headquarters . . . to be placed near Washington, D.C. The mayor seems quite

  • Cuomo, Mayor, New York
    general freedom
    Il Duce Cuomo

    A federal judge has ruled that the National Rifle Association has a plausible case against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; the NRA’s lawsuit, alleging that the organization’s rights have been violated by the governor, is going ahead. As related by Jacob Sullum in two pieces over at Reason, Cuomo sure

  • Regnat Populus, Arkansas, term limits, initiative
    initiative, referendum, and recall
    Suppressed Measure Woulda Won

    Arkansas politicians and their cronies were terrified by Issue 3. So when this tough state legislative term limits measure was approved for the ballot, foes of citizen-controlled government sued to kill it. Agreeing that thousands of already-approved signatures of bonafide registered voters must be tossed because of new, legislatively-imposed, byzantine,

  • links
    Townhall: The Man from THRO

    We noted the passing of Jack Gargan on Wednesday. But if any man is worth two obits, it’s Jack. Click on over to Townhall, then back here for more Jack Appreciation. Ballot Access News: Jack Garage, Reform Party Pioneer, Dies Statement on the Passing of Jack Gargan YouTube clip: “Network:

  • video
    Prager Universe

    The Prager University’s videos are many and varied. Have you seen them? Here are three examples. The first is from Antonia Okafor, who supports the right to bear arms: And here is a more recent video, about “your right to health care”: Prager U is the project of conservative columnist

  • Tucker Carlson
    crime and punishment
    Normal & Not

    “Most people are not lunatics,” Tucker Carlson reminded viewers last night on his Fox News program, adding that “normal people don’t like this.” By “this,” the conservative television host meant what can only be described as an attack on his home by Smash Racism DC, an Antifa-like group comprised of

  • domino, power, election, term limits, initiatives
    initiative, referendum, and recall
    Electing a Better Way

    For the seventh time in the last 22 years, the Metro Nashville Council put a measure on the ballot to weaken or abolish their own term limits. And for the seventh time voters said no.  Term limits were under attack elsewhere in Tennessee — along with Ranked Choice Voting. The

  • Jack Gargan
    ideological culture
    THRO

    What can one person do? I wish Jack Gargan were here to answer that question — I can almost hear his characteristic chuckle, see the glint in his Irish eyes, in preparation. But sadly, Jack passed away late Sunday night or early Monday morning in Thailand, where he had retired.

  • crystal ball, experts, midterms, mid terms, 2018, election
    ideological culture
    When Experts Are Wrong

    Standard theory has it that “mid-term elections” serve as a “referendum on the President.” In a typical article this weekend, a political scientist trotted out that common wisdom and then went on to say that “control of the referendum has shifted. It is now a referendum on leadership, on character

  • Gender, neutral, term limits, Memphis, City Council,
    initiative, referendum, and recall
    Seventh Time’s the Charm?

    “You have to give the public something,” explained termed-out former Councilperson Emily Evans, a few years ago. She was referring to a 2015 initiative she had pushed. The unsuccessful measure had tempted voters with a smaller council in exchange for weakened term limits. On Tuesday’s ballot, voters find lame attempt

  • Common Sense
    Townhall: Don’t Let Politicians Hit the Mute Button

    This weekend at Townhall.com — how to vote to protect one’s state from the meddling hands of insiders and politicians. Click on over to Townhall. Then come back here for more reading: Ballotpedia: 2018 Ballot Measures Wall Street Journal: When Local Lawmakers Won’t Take No for an Answer Common Sense:

  • env
    video
    Socialism Fails (and We Know Why Exactly)

    Economists have long argued against socialism, with expert work from eminent figures such as Fredéric Bastiat, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Yves Guyot, Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek. But the meaning of that work has often been disputed. This tells an interesting story of keeping today’s economists’ feet to the

  • money, global warming, carbon, tax, climate
    initiative, referendum, and recall
    The Green in the Evergreen State

    We’re told of the scientific consensus on global warming. Whatever you may say about that consensus (I’ve expressed extreme skepticism), no such consensus exists for what steps would be best to take to deal with the identified problem — which is usually understood in terms of the “carbon footprint,” of

  • federalism, Capital Building, Commerce Clause, federal, law, prosecution
    crime and punishment
    Atrocity Meets the Commerce Clause

    There may be no better example of an evil, real-world villain needing to get justice (good and hard) than the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter.  Since he survived the shoot-out, he must now be put on trial. But by whom? In Allegheny County Court, Pittsburgh police filed a 34-count criminal complaint against

  • libertarian, spoiler, porcupine, snake, politics
    general freedom
    Spoiler Season

    “Libertarians poll high enough to tip key races,” informs The Washington Times — citing contests for governorships and both houses of Congress.* Libertarian Lucy Brenton is one example, running for U.S. Senate in Indiana. She grabbed 7 percent in a recent poll, greater than the margin between incumbent Democratic Sen.

  • Memphis, City Council, term limits, lie, cheat, steal
    initiative, referendum, and recall
    Lie, Cheat AND Steal

    Sometimes lying just isn’t enough. But dishonest politicians have additional weapons at their disposal. There’s cheating. And stealing, too. Meet the Memphis City Council. Apparently fearful that their official fibbery through deceptive ballot wording on three council-referred measures won’t be enough to successfully hoodwink a majority of voters, the council

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