Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob


marijuana, bank, California, California State Treasurer John Chiang, Federal Reserve

Bank on It?

It took me a moment. And I assure you, I wasn’t high. When I read that California State Treasurer John Chiang was considering a “marijuana bank,” my first thought was that he was talking about warehousing bud and leaf. Well, no. That would be stupid. So, maybe reporters and bloggers

plastic straws, nanny state, fine, crime, California, freedom

The Last Straw

How much should we fine waiters who destroy our planet? For how long should they go to jail? I don’t know where you would hold such an evildoer after the earth has been destroyed. Or where he’d go when released. But we’re speaking hypothetically. Assume that planet-destroyers can be imprisoned

California, pension, crisis, canary, cage, coal mine, spending, taxes

Babylon Goes Broke

A few Babylonian, er, California cities going bankrupt — Stockton, Vallejo, and Bell — should be seen as more than dead canaries in a coalminer’s care. Indeed, you don’t need special prophetic gifts to see the dangers posed by over-promising cushy pensions to government workers. Californians are coming around. And

California, Jerry Brown, law, balloon, metallic, criminal liability

Decriminalizing Balloon Release

I’m sure I disagree with most of the policies California Governor Jerry Brown seeks to propose and impose. But let’s give credit where credit is due. He’s right that people should not be treated like criminals when in a burst of celebratory excess they commit the sin of unleashing helium

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

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