Thomas L. Knapp

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

Sep 022016
 
Marijuana Legalization: Give Peace a Chance

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On November 8, voters in eight states will decide whether or not to legalize, to one degree or another, the possession, use and sale of marijuana. If all of the measures pass, more than 86 million Americans will enjoy increased legal access to the plant: For medical use in Arkansas, Florida and Missouri, for recreational use in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada. Earlier this month, the US Drug Enforcement Administration announced it wouldn’t reconsider marijuana’s ridiculous Schedule 1 status (“no [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #182, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Aug 262016
 
Travel Advice for the Islamo-FraidyCat Set

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On August 18, three siblings boarded an EasyJet flight at London’s Stansted airport. Maryam, Sakina and Ali Dharas were en route to Italy for a holiday. But before the flight could take off, they were asked to debark for questioning by police. Another passenger, apparently an amateur detective, deduced that because they are brown people and the two sisters wear hijabs — Muslim head scarves — they must be Islamic State terrorists. Which, of course, they weren’t. The plane eventually took [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #181, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Aug 262016
 
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On July 28, London’s Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, aka “the Old Bailey,” announced the conviction of Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary on charges of “inviting support for a proscribed organization” (the Islamic State). He’ll be sentenced, likely to a long stint in prison, in September. On August 18, social networking service Twitter announced that it has suspended 360,000 user accounts since mid-2015 — 235,000 of them just since February — for “promoting extremism.” While Twitter is theoretically a private [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:26 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #181, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Aug 192016
 
Clinton: Unhinged?

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Following multiple damning email leaks and disclosures, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign decided, in the weirdest attempt at damage control I’ve ever seen, to invoke the late Allen Ginsberg’s “America”: “America it’s them bad Russians. Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.” Forget the content of the leaks. Just focus on their alleged (not proven, alleged) source. IT’S THEM RUSSIANS! Never mind that one of the leaks uncovered the Democratic National Committee’s secret program to deliver its party’s presidential [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:41 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #180, Thomas L. Knapp 3 Responses »
Aug 052016
 
$400 Million: The Partial Price of Peace?

by Thomas L. Knapp……. When the US government sends $400 million in cash, stacked on pallets, to Iran on the same day the Iranian government releases four imprisoned Americans, it looks an awful lot like ransom. On the other hand, when the US government decides to keep $400 million sent to it by the Iranian government pursuant to an arms deal for 35 years without ever shipping the arms, it looks an awful lot like stealing. And when the US government reaches a settlement to [continue reading…]

 August 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:45 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #178, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Aug 052016
 
Snowden and Media Friends: L'etat, C'est Nous

by Thomas L. Knapp……. “[T]he return of this information to the public marks my end,” Edward Snowden told the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman prior to telling that public — under the auspices of several journalists and publications — about the NSA’s PRISM program and other horrors of the modern American surveillance state. Snowden did indeed suffer for his good deeds: These days he lives in exile in Russia, awaiting a day when he might return home to some fate other than life in a prison [continue reading…]

 August 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:45 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #178, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Jul 222016
 
9/11: 28 Pages Later

by Thomas L. Knapp……. In December of 2002, Congress released its report on the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.” Part of that report, anyway: 28 pages remained classified until July 15, 2016, when they were finally presented to the public with significant redactions. Why the long wait, and what do the 28 pages reveal? If we’re to believe the headlines in Saudi media (e.g. Al Arabiya) and mainstream American media (e.g. Time and the [continue reading…]

 July 22, 2016  Posted by at 12:31 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #176, Thomas L. Knapp 3 Responses »
Jul 082016
 
Hillary Clinton: More Equal Under the Law Than Others

by Thomas L. Knapp……. In his July 5 press briefing, FBI director James Comey spoke 2,341 words explaining his decision not to recommend criminal charges over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to transmit, receive and store classified information during her tenure as US Secretary of State. He could have named that tune in four words: “Because she’s Hillary Clinton.” Comey left no doubt whatsoever that Clinton and her staff broke the law: “[T]there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their [continue reading…]

 July 8, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #174, Thomas L. Knapp 4 Responses »
Jul 012016
 

by Thomas L Knapp……. Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, is heading toward July’s national party convention with a majority of delegates (as “bound” by state primaries and caucuses) in hand. But ever since it became clear that he would garner that majority, both he and the GOP leadership have spent a good deal of time trying to snuff out talk of a floor revolt by those delegates against his nomination and in favor of some other candidate’s. “The Republican National Committee put [continue reading…]

 July 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #173, Thomas L. Knapp 2 Responses »
Jun 242016
 

by Thomas L. Knapp……. The US Supreme Court’s majority opinion in Utah v. Strieff, issued on June 20, is the latest in a long line of rulings expanding the powers of police at the expense of everyone else. Such expansions represent a clear and present danger to the public … and when resistance to the abuses they encourage explodes into open violence, as it surely will sooner or later, to police themselves. Edward Strieff was detained in what the state of Utah’s attorneys openly admit [continue reading…]

 June 24, 2016  Posted by at 1:08 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #172, Thomas L. Knapp 2 Responses »
Jun 242016
 

by Thomas L. Knapp……. The US State Department’s “Dissent Channel” is a mechanism through which department personnel may disagree with administration policy without fear of job retribution. On June 17, Mark Landler of the New York Times revealed the existence of a recent “Dissent Channel” memo bearing the signatures of 51 diplomats and other department officials and calling for “a more militarily assertive US role in Syria [versus the Assad regime], based on the judicious use of stand-off and air weapons.” Let me open my [continue reading…]

 June 24, 2016  Posted by at 1:06 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #172, Thomas L. Knapp 1 Response »
Jun 172016
 

by Thomas L. Knapp……. The “no fly, no buy” idea — a proposal to ban people whose names appear on the Terrorist Screening Center’s “no fly list” from purchasing firearms — has been around since at least 2009 when an act of that name failed in Congress. It was an evil idea then and it’s an evil idea now. But it’s once again an evil idea on the march, backed by demagogues of both parties in Congress and by Republican and Democratic presidential nominees-apparent Donald [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:55 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #171, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Jun 102016
 

by Thomas L. Knapp……. “The White House said Tuesday [June 7] that President Barack Obama will veto the Senate’s version of the annual defense policy bill,” Richard Lardner of the Associated Press reports. Why? Lardner cites provisions that would prevent Obama from shutting down the prison at Guantanamo Bay and limit the number of “national security” functionaries he can put on the White House payroll. Deeper in the story, however, we find meatier objections: The $600 billion bill “denies the Defense Department’s request for a [continue reading…]

 June 10, 2016  Posted by at 12:47 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #170, Thomas L. Knapp 1 Response »
Jun 032016
 

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Only bad parents lose track of their kids. Only the negligent, the unqualified, the suspect arrive at the emergency room — or funeral home — with toddlers in tow. When something inexplicable and terrible happens to a child, it must be Mom and Dad’s fault. That would never happen to OUR kids because WE impart discipline and maintain vigilance, right? Enter Harambe, the 400-pound gorilla killed by Cincinnati Zoo staff after a toddler escaped adult supervision, vaulted a railing and fell [continue reading…]

 June 3, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #169, Thomas L. Knapp 1 Response »
May 202016
 

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Philip Rucker and Robert Costa of the Washington Post report that Mitt Romney and other establishment Republicans are unsheathing their threatened final sword: Attempting to put together an “independent” Republican presidential campaign versus GOP nominee-apparent Donald Trump. The draft effort’s reputed short list includes Ohio governor John Kasich and US Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE). Good idea or bad idea? Depends on how one looks at it. If the goal is partisan Republican victory this November, two Republican candidates — one chosen [continue reading…]

May 132016
 

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Twitter’s making it just a little bit harder for the US intelligence community to surveil your online activity. As Kevin McCoy of USA Today reports, the company “told Dataminr, the business partner that sifts through and provides access to the full output of Twitter’s social media postings known as tweets, that it didn’t want the service provided to government investigators …” I’m sure the National Security Agency and other organizations will come up with their own tools to monitor your 140-character [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #166, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
May 062016
 

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Six months ago, who would have bet on Donald Trump as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, even given juicy odds? But here we are. Who would have predicted the last two Republican presidents, the immediate past GOP presidential nominee, and the Republican Speaker of the House declining even lukewarm endorsements for their party’s horse? Yet that’s what’s happening. Over on the Democratic side, who expected Bernie Sanders to erase Hillary Clinton’s 50-point leads and go toe to toe with her — [continue reading…]

 May 6, 2016  Posted by at 12:51 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #165, Thomas L. Knapp 1 Response »
Oct 232015
 

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Irwin Schiff spent much of his later life in prison. He died in prison on October 16, blind and suffering from lung cancer, having been denied “compassionate release” to die at home with his family. So, who was this Schiff fellow? A mass murderer? Perhaps a serial rapist? Well, no. Irwin Schiff’s “crime” was saying and writing things the federal government didn’t want you to hear. He thought the income tax was an illegal scam. He refused to pay it. Based [continue reading…]

 October 23, 2015  Posted by at 12:22 am Editorial, Issue #137, Thomas L. Knapp 9 Responses »