Author Archives: Thomas L. Knapp

Thomas Knapp: Sedition is the Foundational American Political Trait

As the founder and leader of Oath Keepers,  an organization allegedly organized to defend the US Constitution,  Stewart Rhodes seems like the last guy one might expect to “conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof” (18 U.S.Read more ...

Thomas Knapp: ‘For The Children’ is 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.

“Patriotism,” Samuel Johnson said in 1775, “is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”… Read more ...

Thomas Knapp: Photo ID to Vote? Well, OK, But…

One perennial proposal in the ongoing “fight” (actually more a set of dueling theatrical productions a la professional wrestling) over “election integrity” is a requirement that voters produce official, government-issued identification documents, complete with photo, at polling places.

Anyone who’s ever worked door security at a nightclub (yes, I have) knows that possession of a card with a photo vaguely resembling the person possessing it is no guarantee of identity. … Read more ...

Thomas Knapp: Of Pockets, Legs, and Polarization

“For the people who actually study the origins of civil wars, not just in the US, but as a class of events,” says Dr. Timothy Snyder, who does just that as the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University, “America doesn’t look good right now, with its high degree of polarization, with its alternative reality, with the celebration of violence.”… Read more ...

Thomas Knapp: Missouri Governor Mike Parson Tries to Stick It Where the Sun Don’t Shine

“Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me,” Missouri congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver said in an 1899 speech: “I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.”

Note to Missouri governor Mike Parson: You’re getting this “Show-Me State” business all wrong.

Parson tried to charge Elad Gross, a  candidate for state attorney general,  $3,618 for documents Gross requested under the state’s Sunshine Law, claiming more than 90 hours of required “research and processing” at $40 per hour.… Read more ...

Thomas Knapp: COVID-19 and the End of Government Schooling’s Main Value Proposition

In mid-2020, I mused that if the COVID-19 pandemic ended up producing any silver linings, the most likely  bright spot would be its impact on government — so-called “public” — education. Throughout the previous spring, government schools had largely shut down in-person classes, switching to ad hoc and, it seems,  fairly lame, “remote learning.”… Read more ...

Thomas Knapp: AOC Unmasks the Ruling Class

“Working class Bronx native”  served US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) well as “elect me” schtick in 2018.

It wasn’t true — Ocasio-Cortez is an architect’s daughter who grew up in the tony suburb of Yorktown Heights (median family income of $137,580 versus the US median family income of $68,703), attended Boston University, and interned for US Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) before putting together her “just your average waitress” PR package — but it got the political job done.… Read more ...

Thomas Knapp: Light at the End of the ‘Big Lie’ Tunnel?

“Technically, the next attempt to overthrow a national election may not qualify as a coup,” Barton Gellman writes at The Atlantic. “It will rely on subversion more than violence …. If the plot succeeds, the ballots cast by American voters will not decide the presidency in 2024.”

There’s nothing new about claims that an election was stolen, or is about to be.… Read more ...

Thomas Knapp: To Cure Gridlock, Democrats Should Get Off Their (Omni)Bus and Walk

In mid-December, US Senate Democrats cried “uncle,” at least temporarily, pulling President Biden’s $2 trillion “Build Back Better” agenda out from under the Christmas Tree. If the bill  makes it to the Senate floor for an up or down vote, it won’t be this year.

I’m a big fan of gridlock, and not a fan at all of Biden’s Big Basket of Boondoggles, so I can’t say I’m terribly unhappy about this.… Read more ...

Thomas Knapp: If You Want More of Something, Subsidize It (Population Edition)

“There’s scientific consensus, US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said in a 2019 livestream on climate change, “that the lives of children are going to be very difficult. And it does lead young people to have a legitimate question: Is it OK to still have children?”

Less than three years later, AOC’s mad at US Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) for suggesting that perhaps Congress limit itself to one or two, rather than three, federal subsidies (from among a child tax credit, paid leave, or “universal” child care) in its multi-trillion dollar spending bill.… Read more ...

Thomas Knapp: We Do Need a Great Reset — and a Different Burden of Proof

In 2020, the world’s political and economic elites gathered in Switzerland to discuss ways of restructuring society after the COVID-19 pandemic. The occasion: The 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, themed “The Great Reset.”

That meeting and its theme give rise to a number of novel theories — we’re all going to be micro-chipped for constant tracking in  a “social credit system” operated by a single world government, etc.… Read more ...

Thomas Knapp: Cryptocurrency and the Shocking Revelation That White Supremacists Like Money

“White supremacists embraced cryptocurrency early in its development, ” Michael Edison Hayden and Megan Squire report at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog, “and in some cases produced million-dollar profits through the technology, reshaping the racist right in radical ways.”

I have no doubt the claim is true.  What’s also true is a note several paragraphs into the piece: “Nothing is inherently criminal or extreme about it, and most of its users have no connections to the extreme far right.… Read more ...