Author Archives: Thomas L. Knapp

Sneering at ‘conspiracy theories’ is a lazy substitute for seeking the truth

On the morning of August 10, a wealthy sex crimes defendant was reportedly found dead in his cell at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center. Continue reading

Reading is fundamental, Congress should try it

As the US House of Representatives took up the Affordable Care Act, aka “ObamaCare,” in 2010, then Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) famously told her fellow members of Congress “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Continue reading

Don’t let mass shooters and the New York Times destroy freedom of speech

“Online communities like 4chan and 8chan have become hotbeds of white nationalist activity,” wrote the editors of the New York Times on August 4 in the wake of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. Then: “Law enforcement currently offers few answers as to how to contain these communities.” Continue reading

Afghanistan: In search of monsters to not destroy

America, John Quincy Adams said in 1821, “goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.” That’s as good a summary ever spoken of the non-interventionist position. Continue reading

American politicians use Jews as pawns to excuse their meddling in Israeli elections

On July 23, the US House of Representatives passed (the vote went 398-17, with five voting “present”) a resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement. Continue reading

National polls don’t mean much. Here’s why.

“Here we go with the Fake Polls,” President Donald Trump tweeted on July 15. “Just like what happened with the Election against Crooked Hillary Clinton.” He’s complaining about several polls that show him losing the national popular vote to various Democratic presidential aspirants, in some cases by double digits. Continue reading

Free speech just isn’t that complicated

It’s hard to believe we need to have this conversation in this day and age. But if we don’t keep having it, at some point we might not be allowed to have it. Continue reading

Photo ID is obsolete and unnecessary; facial recognition technology makes it dangerous

In mid-May, San Francisco, California became the first American city to ban use of facial recognition surveillance technology by its police department and other city agencies. That’s a wise and ethical policy, as a July 7 piece at the Washington Post proves. Continue reading

Yes, they’re concentration camps

“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border,” US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) pointed out in an Instagram video on June 18. Continue reading

Instead of a US peace plan for the Middle East, how about a US peace plan for the US?

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo describes the Trump administration’s plan for peace between Israel and Palestinian Arabs as “unexecutable.” President Trump says Pompeo “may be right.” Continue reading

Trump’s trade war has probably permanently damaged America’s tech leadership position

On May 15, US president Donald Trump issued an “Executive Order on Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain.” Continue reading

War crimes pardons: A terrible Memorial Day idea

On May 16, 2008, near the town of Baiji in Iraq, 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna, US Army, murdered a prisoner. That was the verdict of the jury in his 2009 court martial, anyway. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, but paroled in less than five. On May 6, 2019, US president Donald Trump pardoned Behenna. Continue reading

A US war on Iran would be evil, stupid, and self-damaging

“If Iran wants to fight,” US president Donald Trump tweeted on May 19, “that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again.” Continue reading

Trump’s ‘trade war’ is a war on you

“It’s not China that pays tariffs,” Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace pointed out on May 12. “It’s the American importers, the American companies that pay what, in effect, is a tax increase and oftentimes passes it on to U.S. consumers.” Continue reading

Big Government and Big Tech versus the Internet and everyone

Governments around the world began trying to bring the Internet under control as soon as they realized the danger to their power represented by unfettered public access to, and exchange of, information. From attempts to suppress strong encryption technology to the Communications Decency Act in the US and China’s “Great Firewall,” such efforts have generally proven ineffectual. But things are changing, and not for the better. Continue reading

Social media regulation: Speak of the Devil and in walks Zuck

In a recent column on the mating dance between Big Government and Big Tech, I noted that “Big Tech wants to be regulated by Big Governments because regulation makes it more difficult and expensive for new competitors to enter the market.” Continue reading

Note to six senators: ‘Present’ is not presidential

On February 7, US Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) released the text of a joint resolution calling for a “Green New Deal.” Continue reading

Florida: Why Republican lawmakers are defying—and denying—the voters

In Florida’s November 2018 election, voters approved the following amendment to their state’s constitution: “Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, any disqualification from voting arising from a felony conviction shall terminate and voting rights shall be restored upon completion of all terms of sentence including parole or probation. (b) No person convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense shall be qualified to vote until restoration of civil rights.” Continue reading

Suppressing discussion doesn’t solve the problem; it is the problem

Everywhere one looks these days, the world seems to be moving away from debate on contentious subjects and toward demands that those who have unpopular opinions—or even just ask impertinent questions—be forcibly silenced. Continue reading

Social media companies ‘struggle’ to help censors keep us in the dark

According to CNN Business, “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter struggle to deal with New Zealand shooting video.” Continue reading

Mueller report: Secrecy shouldn’t be an option

As February draws to an end, rumors abound that we’re about to see Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Or at least that someone—namely, newly confirmed US Attorney General William Barr — is about to see that report. The rest of us, maybe not so much. Continue reading

The real emergency isn’t about the wall, it’s about the separation of powers

US president Donald Trump recently declared a “national emergency” under which he intends to divert money from the US Department of Defense’s budget and use it to build a wall on the US-Mexico border Continue reading

The first rule of AIPAC is: You do not talk about AIPAC

Washington’s political establishment went berserk when US Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) publicly noted that US-Israel relations are “all about the Benjamins”—slang for $100 bills, referring to money shoveled at American politicians by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Continue reading

‘No-knock raid’ is just another term for ‘violent home invasion’

On January 28, home invaders murdered 58-year-old Rhogena Nicholas and 59-year-old Dennis Tuttle of Houston, Texas. Nicholas and Tuttle wounded five of the (numerous) armed burglars before being slain. Continue reading

Venezuela: None of our business

On January 23, the President of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Juan Guaido, was sworn in as “interim president.” In what was presumably a pre-coordinated move, Guaido’s administration was quickly recognized by the governments of the United States, Canada, and several countries in Latin America. Continue reading

‘Papers, please’ is un-American

When police in Corinth, Texas, stopped Dorothy Bland to caution her against walking on the right side of the street (she was out to get some exercise with a “power walk”), Bland—a former newspaper editor and current dean of the University of Texas’s Mayborn School of Journalism—felt that she had been racially profiled and said so from the bully pulpit of a column for the Dallas Morning News. Continue reading