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Government Scold, collage, montage, Paul Jacob, Jim Gill

Rich Mischief

The SFGate.com headline was clear: “State ballot initiative fee raised to $2,000 to prevent mischief.” It just wasn’t accurate. Assembly Bill 1100, introduced by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), passed by Democrats in the legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, doesn’t do anything to address “mischief.” Which, incidentally, abounds in






Paper or Plastic, collage, photomontage, Paul Jacob, James Gill, illustration, politics

I Prefer Plastic

When I go to the supermarket, and get asked “paper or plastic?” — about which bag the checker should wrap my purchases in — I almost always say “plastic.” They are lighter than paper bags, are easily re-usable for a wide variety of home purposes, and resist water — thus






Pot Pot, legalization, collage, photo-montage, Paul Jacob, Jim Gill

Legalize, But Prohibit?

Last week, I warned of marijuana legalization. Not that I’m against it. But how much will actual freedom be increased? Note: I’m not bemoaning, as one activist friend argued, that “if you can’t toke up and celebrate in public when it passes, it’s not legalization.” One cannot now legally smoke






Chicken Politburo, politics, photomontage, Paul Jacob, James Gill, collage

Despotic Denver?

In what sort of place does the government get to determine whether you can open a restaurant at an airport, according to whether your political beliefs line up with the politicians in power? Iran? North Korea? Egypt? China? Cuba? The old Soviet Union? Russia today? Actually, over far too much






Weekend with Bernie Sanders

Weekend with Bernie: A Fresh Dark Horse

Going into 2015, news media mavens had all but declared the race as settled: Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton. But voters didn’t cooperate with their “betters.” Republicans flocked to Donald Trump, a weirdly charismatic figure, and Democrats fell enthusiastically for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-designated socialist. Why hordes of






Jack boot, photomontage, collage, James Gill, Paul Jacob, Common Sense

Cannabis and Kings

The over-riding reason to end the War on Drugs is to re-establish the rule of law in this country. From Nixon and Reagan to the present time, America has vastly increased the population of prison inmates, many of them for drug offenses. The “land of the free” shouldn’t boast a






Gluttony

The Spenders’ Eternal Excuse

Most modern welfare states have a huge problem: their politicians promise more than government revenue covers. So they borrow and borrow until they can borrow no more. And then they go down. Like Greece has gone down. Banks are closed there, and the people suffer. The problem is over-spending and






Addiction

Must the War Go On and On?

I was still a kid, but I remember: as the Vietnam War dragged on, and on, we Americans continued to receive hopeful missives about how the next assault, or regroup, or dedication of manpower and weaponry, would lead to better results. That’s what came to mind as I read the






Campaign Finance Follies

(Un)Intended System Failure

The system worked. The problem? The system doesn’t work. Last year’s successful term limits ballot initiative in Grand Rapids pitted two pro-limits ladies with scant political experience against a united big business/big labor opposition campaign, sporting Dr. Glenn Barkan, professor emeritus of political science at Aquinas College, as treasurer. Just






Import Export

Forget Frankenstein

Some proposals are so shocking and not common that, no matter how rational or sensible, we cannot legitimately call them “common sense.” Could this be one? You tell me. Congress is right now struggling to pass a highway funding bill. Authorized funding by the federal government on roads ends with






Finding the Right Balance

Fifteen or Fifty or Zero?

Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell just stumbled into a truth. Raising minimum wages could be disastrous. Depending on the rate. While “Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley and a host of other well-intentioned liberals want to hike the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour,” she calls the proposal “badly misguided.” And






Law Corrupted

Why Police-State Tactics?

What do the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, and campaign finance law have in common? Police-state tactics. Most folks now understand how the War on Drugs and the War on Terror can erode civil liberties — but how does campaign finance law fit in with the other two?






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