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

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






CalExit, Brexit, UKip, Nigel Farage, Euro, California, Arron Banks, secession

From Brexit to Calexit

When last we touched upon the strangely over-the-top Californian reaction to the Trump presidency, the secession movement, I took the occasion to bring up the rather less radical separatists in the north. “Already 21 of the 23 northernmost counties,” I wrote, “have made declarations to form the State of Jefferson.”






CalExit, secede, secession, California, divide, partition, self determination

Adios, California?

Californians account for more than one of every ten Americans. For now. Three years ago, an initiative sought to split the mega-state up. Had that measure succeeded, the U.S. Congress would have decided whether to permit the Golden State to become six separate states — with ten more U.S. Senators.






California, high speed, rail, boondoggle, waste, illustration

A Bullet Train to the Head

Romanticism. The yearning for greatness; the need for speed. Efficiency! It’s all there in California’s high-speed rail project — hopes and dreams and a sense of the grandeur of progress. And yet the bullet train project, approved by voters in 2008, is a fiasco. One can blame the voters, I






drought, war, Syria, Global Warming, California, illustration

Caliph/f or Nyet

We live in a time when intelligent people expend vital brain power concocting explanations for war that weigh drought as a more significant cause than . . . previous tyranny and warfare. Yes, the President’s friends and acolytes defend the notion, in all seriousness, that it is unregulated capitalism leading






California Drought Fish

Fishy Schemes Against Human Beings

Arbitrary governmental pricing of water — as opposed to free-market pricing — provides one major reason why it’s so hard for Californians and others to deal with drought. I’ve talked about it before. And, as before — indeed, as is so often the case when government constricts our freedom to






Return to Federalism

As we make sense of this week’s sea change — of the Great Shellacking Democrats took on Tuesday — some caution is in order. In 2006, voters did not choose the Democrats because of what they were or what they promised, but because of what they weren’t: corrupt, clueless Republicans.






Sweat the Small Stuff

Like most Americans, I pride myself on being able to detect irony at seven paces. Skimming through the news, I can certainly detect sarcasm (which is to irony what a cannon is to sidearms), as in this first paragraph from Reason magazine’s online pages: Los Angeles City Council today approved






Six Flags Over California

Though the Democrats who run the failed state of California insist that Governor Jerry Brown is leading them to a new era of prosperity, the results are mixed at best. The state is riddled with public employee pension problems, environmental over-regulation, and high taxes, to list just a few. The






How to Be a Bad-Law Killer

You have a golden opportunity to help kill some of the bad laws infesting San Francisco’s city code. The news is being passed along by the indefatigable champions of liberty and property rights at the Institute for Justice. Wherever local governments have assaulted the right of citizens to use and






Just What We Need

Why is schooling so expensive? Government makes it so. Take the recent example, in California, of “coder boot camps.” These are “schools” where computer coders receive training. We now learn that the Golden State’s education bureaucrats are cracking down on this unlicensed and unregulated form of learning. Unless they comply,






Planners Cover Up Waste

You know that politicians waste money. You guess that they waste a lot of time. But did you know they deliberately waste our time? Transportation scholar Randal O’Toole regales us with the fix that California’s overlords have put themselves in. Merely assuming that dense city living decreases commuting, California’s legislators






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