Author Archives: Thomas L. Knapp

Republicans abandon America’s “bipartisan” infomercial provider

Will we get real debates now?

On April 14, the Republican National Committee announced its withdrawal from the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has monopolized “major party” debates since 1988. The RNC, claiming bias on the CPD’s part in selecting moderators, pledged to “find newer, better debate platforms.” Continue reading

Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill is really about politics, not sex

On March 28, Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 1557—the “Parental Rights in Education Bill”—into law. Continue reading

Global food shortages: How does your garden (or pantry) grow?

“President Joe Biden and other leaders of the world’s major industrialized democracies pledged action on Thursday [March 24] to address food shortages caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine,” Politico reports. Continue reading

GOP senators’ case against Ketanji Brown Jackson: She did her job

Facing questions during her confirmation hearing before the US Senate on March 22, Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson caught what may be the strangest sort of flak I’ve seen in one of these circuses. Continue reading

Ukraine: US “diplomacy” is the problem; can it become the solution?

After weeks of unsuccessfully attempting to either bully Russia’s Vladimir Putin into submission or bait him into war, US president Joe Biden may finally be looking for a face-saving exit from of the Ukraine “crisis” of his own making. Continue reading

Business as usual: Politicians cynically exploit child sex victims in attack on your freedom

On February 10, the US Senate’s Judiciary Committee advanced the EARN IT (Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies) Act, setting it up for possible adoption as a free-standing bill or, more likely, as a last-minute sneak amendment to one of Congress’s periodic so-called “must pass” legislative packages. Continue reading

“For the children”: The last refuge of anti-encryption scoundrels

The UK’s Home Office, Rolling Stone reports, is ramping up for a new offensive against end-to-end encryption, starting with a $750,000 payment to advertising agency M&C Saatchi for a publicity campaign aimed at scaring the bejabbers out of parents. Continue reading

The filibuster: Schumer gets it half right

On January 19, US Senate Democrats tried and failed to pass a one-time exception to that body’s practice of the parliamentary delaying tactic known as the “filibuster.” Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) put together half of a slam-dunk plan that should have passed with overwhelming support. But it didn’t because, well, Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and those darn Republicans. Continue reading

Vladimir Putin is not the Neville Chamberlain the US/NATO is looking for

“I think one lesson in recent history,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on January 7, referring to the entry of Russian troops into Kazakhstan to save that country’s allied regime from an uprising of dissatisfied serfs, “is that once Russians are in your house, it’s sometimes very difficult to get them to leave.” Continue reading

US policy on Taiwan is a false and dangerous two-step

On November 15, US president Joe Biden and Chinese president Xi Jinping held a “virtual summit” covering a number of subjects and resulting, for the most part, in banal public pledges of “cooperation” to “ease tensions.” Continue reading

“Executive privilege” should be ended, not extended

On November 9, DC District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan refused former US president Donald Trump’s request, based on “executive privilege,” for a preliminary injunction forbidding the National Archives and Records Administration to release documents to the US House committee grandstanding on … er, “investigating” … the January 6 Capitol riot. Continue reading

When it comes to legislation, reading should be fundamental

“Congress is gradually moving toward having only one bill per year,” former congressman Justin Amash (L-MI) tweeted recently. And that bill will have “everything stuffed into it, negotiated by just a few congressional leaders, completely behind closed doors, with no floor amendments permitted.” Continue reading

Powell lied; people died: justice delayed was justice denied

On October 19, 96-year-old Irmgard Furchner appeared in a German court to answer charges of aiding and abetting 11,412 murders. The murders took place between 1943 and 1945 at the Stutthof concentration camp, where a much younger Furchner worked as secretary to the camp’s commandant. Continue reading

Legacy social media: Free as in beer, not as in speech

On October 5, former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen testified before the US Senate, decrying her former employer’s “destructive impact” and warning that “without action, divisive and extremist behaviors we see today are only the beginning.” Continue reading

“Language” arguments against immigration freedom are a Tower of Babble

When debating immigration policy with people who have deluded themselves into believing that it’s any of their business where other people choose to live or work, I run into a lot of bad arguments. Of all those arguments, probably the silliest is “but they don’t speak English.” Continue reading

“It Can’t Happen Here,” Down Under Edition

Clever tweets tend to morph in content and meaning over time. I don’t know where this one originated, and I’ve edited it to taste as people will do with such things, but I’m sure you’ll get where it’s going. Continue reading

Prescription drug prices: Politicians are all talk, no action

On July 26, 2020, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order under which the US government’s Medicare Part D program would have negotiated lower prescription drug prices based on an “International Price Index.” Continue reading

Happy 20th anniversary. Guess what your gift is?

Twenty years after the 9/11 attacks, the US government is finally—well, probably, kinda sorta—ending its lost war with Afghanistan, drawing down its presence in Iraq, and reducing the heat of its “global war on terror” from a rolling boil to hot-tub temperature. Continue reading

Now, about that peace dividend …

As I write this, the Taliban have assumed full political control—to the extent that such a thing can exist—of Afghanistan. They’ve taken Kabul. They’ve put the US occupation’s puppet president, and many Afghans who served the occupation presence, to flight. They’ve declared the restoration of their “Islamic Emirate.” Continue reading

Yes, the Constitution was “pro-slavery”

The 1619 Project “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.” Continue reading

Don’t expand draft registration. End it.

In a rare moment of moral clarity, US Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) points out that “America’s daughters shouldn’t be drafted against their will.” Continue reading

Internet censorship: The real monopoly threat

“If [Donald] Trump and [Bernie] Sanders take the same position on Big Tech censorship,” David Catron writes at The American Spectator, “the issue deserves serious attention.” Continue reading

Nuclear arms reduction: Actions speak louder than words

On June 16, US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a Joint Statement on Strategic Stability, in which they “reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought” and “seek to lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures.” Continue reading

Wuhan lab leak: It’s not a “theory”

Was SARS-COV-2—the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic—created (or at least weaponized by being made transmissible to and between humans) in a Chinese research lab? Was it then leaked, accidentally or intentionally, from that lab into the human population? It’s impossible to overstate the explosive potential of a provable “yes” answer to those two questions. Continue reading

When politicians cry “accountability,” ask “accountable to whom?”

“Unity begins with the truth,” US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted on January 13, arguing in favor of the impeachment of then-President Donald Trump, “and the truth demands accountability.” Continue reading

The US and EU vs. Belarus: Pot, kettle, black

On May 23, a fighter jet intercepted Ryanair Flight 4978 as it was about to exit Belarus’s airspace en route from Athens, Greece, to Vilnius, Lithuania. Citing a supposed bomb threat (apparently contrived by regime agents on board the plane), Belarus air traffic control ordered the Boeing 737 to turn around and land in Minsk. Continue reading

When Israel’s regime buys US weapons, it buys them with your money

On May 5, Hamas commander Mohammed Deif issued a warning to Israel’s government: Unless Israeli police and troops stopped attacking Palestinians in Jerusalem—including not just those protesting against the regime’s theft of their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood on behalf of Israeli “settlers,” but also worshipers at al-Aqsa mosque, one of Islam’s most sacred sites—rockets would fly. Continue reading

Peace in Palestine? Not if American politicians can help it

On April 22, more than 300 American lawmakers publicly pledged their unconditional loyalty to a foreign power. Continue reading

The Biden administration wants to partner with criminals to spy on you

“The Biden administration,” CNN reports, “is considering using outside firms to track extremist chatter by Americans online.” Continue reading

Menthol cigarette ban: At least this time, Biden’s racism won’t put his victims in cages

The Washington Post, citing anonymous sources, reports that the Biden administration is poised to propose a ban on menthol cigarettes. The reason? Well, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 85 percent of black smokers choose the flavored cigarettes over “plain” tobacco, versus 29 percent of white smokers. Continue reading

SCOTUS should clarify Tinker in favor of free speech, not school control

In 1969, the US Supreme Court held, in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, that students don’t “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” Schools may only prohibit, censor, or punish student speech which would “materially and substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school.” Continue reading

How “representative” is US democracy?

American politicians love to boast of their nation’s status as the world’s premier “representative democracy,” and to lecture other, presumably less enlightened, countries on the importance of representative political institutions. Going by the numbers (which admittedly don’t tell the whole story), there’s good reason to question whether such preening is justified. Continue reading