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Articles written by Thomas L. Knapp

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  • OP-ED: Pope Francis States the Obvious, but Omits Half of Humanity

    Thomas L. Knapp|Feb 9, 2022

    The United Nations designates February 6 of each year as an "International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation." This year, in remarks accompanying his Angelus prayer before a crowd at St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis denounced the practice of involuntary female circumcision, saying that it "demeans the dignity of women and gravely undermines their physical integrity." For some reason, though, the UN doesn't designate an "International Day of Zero Tolerance for Male Genital Mutilation," nor to my knowledge has the Holy Father... Full story

  • OP-ED: Photo ID to Vote? Well, OK, But ...

    Thomas L. Knapp|Jan 19, 2022

    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. And polling places have a built-in advantage over nightclubs: EVERYONE has... Full story

  • OP-ED: Collins Emails Spotlight Bureaucracy's Attempted Subjugation of Science

    Thomas L. Knapp|Dec 29, 2021

    On December 17, the US House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis released a series of emails between outgoing National Institute of Health Director Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In the emails, Collins refers to the authors of something called "The Great Barrington Declaration" as "fringe epidemiologists" and states his desire for "a quick and devastating published takedown" of its premises. Collins defended his characterization and call for action on Fox News Sunday,... Full story

  • OP-ED: Six decades later, America's headlines could remain in "America."

    Thomas L. Knapp|Dec 8, 2021

    Memorials to Stephen Sondheim didn't have to search far to find parallels between the musical West Side Story and a United States disunited by class and ethnic strife in 2021. Sondheim's lyrics "Everywhere Grime in America, Terrible Time in America" became Jacobin's headline for a sixtieth anniversary retrospective on the film version two weeks before his passing on November 26. Meanwhile, 2021 academic contentions that "white identity is intrinsic to Western ideas about liberty" may as well have borrowed the couplet "Life is all right in... Full story

  • OP-ED: For Christmas, How About an End to the War on Marijuana?

    Thomas L. Knapp|Dec 1, 2021

    You've seen the headlines. So Have I. For example, a November 23 story in my local paper (the Gainesville, Florida Sun) : "Gainesville man charged with murder for Sunday shooting in dispute over marijuana deal." It wasn't a huge marijuana deal. It was a $180 sale. The seller apparently shot a buyer who tried to drive off without paying. Other common headlines of the "police blotter" variety include people put in handcuffs and hauled off to jail for buying, selling, or possessing a common plant.... Full story

  • OP-ED: When Giving Thanks, Don't Forget Your Local Paper

    THOMAS L. KNAPP, William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism|Nov 24, 2021

    As Thanksgiving approaches, I usually take a little time to think about who and what I'm thankful for and express my. That seems to be the point, after all. This year, for various reasons, my thoughts and appreciation turn toward journalists, newspapers, and other news media. Sometimes the people and institutions we rely on to keep us informed get a bad rap, and sometimes they deserve it. When the Washington Post and New York Times act more as stenographers for the political class than reporters of the facts, we all lose. When trusted (by...

  • OP-ED:

    THOMAS L. KNAPP, William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism.|Nov 17, 2021

    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. If Trump's name goes down in history for anything of substance rather than mere flash, it should probably be for his bizarre claim that people who aren't executives anymore retain "executive privilege" ov... Full story

  • OP-ED: When Our Politicians Buy Never-Ending War, We Get What They Make Us Pay For

    Thomas L. Knapp|Nov 10, 2021

    In 1954, Congress passed, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed, a bill transforming Armistice Day — November 11, a post-World-War One celebration of peace — into Veterans Day, a celebration of warriors. Personally, I stick to the original name and the original purpose in my observation of the holiday. Looking at the numbers involved, though, it's little wonder I find myself swimming against that particular tide. In 1860, the US armed forces comprised 27,958 soldiers, sailors and Marines. That figure jumped by six figures each year througho... Full story

  • OP-ED: When It Comes to Legislation, Reading Should Be Fundamental

    Thomas L. Knapp|Nov 3, 2021

    "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." Amash presumably has the current "infrastructure" bill in mind. Weighing in at more than 2,700 pages and chock-full of stuff only tenuously (if at all) related to infrastructure, it's more of a leadership-negotiated door stop than an honestly debated... Full story

  • OP-ED: Political Power is the Problem, Not the Solution

    Thomas L. Knapp|Oct 27, 2021

    President Joe Biden wants the Occupational Safety & Health Administration to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all workers at companies with more than 100 employees. Local governments from sea to shining sea, including those of New York City and San Francisco, have conscripted business owners as "vaccination passport" inspectors, forbidding them to serve customers whose papers aren't in order. Florida governor Ron DeSantis and Texas governor Greg Abbott, on the other hand, are attempting to mandate that businesses may NOT condition employment... Full story

  • OP-ED: Help Wanted - The Labor Shoe is on the Other Foot

    THOMAS L. KNAPP|Oct 13, 2021

    "I’m a small business owner," someone identified as "Andy" writes to syndicated advice columnists J.T. and Dale, "and I can’t believe how many people just don’t want to work anymore. ... my business is suffering, because I can’t get employees." My social media feeds are full of photographs — who knows if they're real or not? I haven't seen any in my town, but friends say they've seen them elsewhere — of signs at businesses apologizing for being "short-staffed," with "people just don't want to work" complaints appended. The country seems adrif... Full story

  • OP-ED: Military Vaccine Mandate - A Teachable Moment

    THOMAS L. KNAPP|Oct 6, 2021

    On Aug. 25, two days after the US Food and Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer-Biontech COVID-19 vaccine, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered "full vaccination of all members of the Armed Forces." Cue outrage and objection. Some officers have resigned their commissions; some enlisted personnel seem willing to risk court-martial and dishonorable discharge rather than get vaccinated. Some claim the mandate violates their rights or lacks a legal basis. In the quarter century since my honorable discharge from the US Marine Corps,... Full story

  • OP-ED: "It Can't Happen Here," Down Under Edition

    Thomas L. Knapp|Sep 29, 2021

    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: "It's just 15 days to flatten the curve. It's just a mask. It's just six feet. It's just no large gatherings. It's just preventing 'misinformation.' It's just a shot. It's just a mandate. It's just showing your vaccine passport on demand ..." Naturally, anyone who objected at any waypoint on that trail, or predicted the next waypoint, was... Full story

  • OP-ED: COVID-19, Technocracy Flowered, and Failed

    Thomas L. Knapp|Sep 22, 2021

    History is littered with social and political movements which, while failing to survive as movements, largely achieved their goals. The Prohibition Party's national conventions could take place in a phone booth these days, but its disastrous single policy proposal was adopted as a constitutional amendment, mutated into the equally disastrous war on drugs, and continues to torment the modern marketplace with draconian regulation. Most "socialist" parties have either disappeared into the dustbin o... Full story

  • OP-ED: Biden's Vaccine Mandate Isn't About COVID-19

    Thomas L. Knapp|Sep 15, 2021

    "We've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin," US President Joe Biden said on Sept. 9 as he announced his plan to require more than 80 million private sector American workers to consent (sic) to a COVID-19 vaccine, or submit to weekly testing, or be fired by companies with more than 100 employees (those companies will be fined $14,000, by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, for each instance of failure to enforce the edict). The ostensible purpose of the mandate is to... Full story