Thomas L. Knapp

Thomas L. Knapp

In 2008, billionaire asset manager Jeffrey Epstein's lawyers negotiated a very favorable plea bargain in Florida, under which he served a mere 13 months in jail — in his own private wing, with 12 hours of daily "work release"  on a single charge of soliciting prostitution from a minor (the FBI had identified 40 alleged victims of sexual predation on his part).

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 19:02

COLUMN: Yes, they're concentration camps

"The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border," U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) pointed out in an Instagram video on June 18.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019 16:08

COLUMN: Pork isn't the problem

It's that time of year: Citizens Against Government Waste just released its annual "Pig Book," a compendium and analysis of pork barrel spending, aka earmarks, by the U.S. Congress in 2019.

Most Americans loathe "lobbyists," and most Americans think "bi-partisanship" sounds like a good, moderate idea representing compromise and common ground for the public good. So a surprise "bi-partisan alliance" between U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), with the proclaimed goal of passing a bill to ban politicians from working as "lobbyists" — maybe for life, maybe just for some long period — after leaving Congress was bound to get some good press.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, adding his voice to calls to "break up" the social media giant, calls it a "powerful monopoly, eclipsing all of its rivals and erasing competition." In recent years, we've seen similar claims, and heard demands for similar remedies, aimed at Google, Amazon, and other large companies.

On April 1, The Supreme Court of the United States ruled against death-row inmate Russell Bucklew's appeal of his execution method. Nixing his claim that a rare medical condition would make the execution unconstitutionally "cruel and unusual" by virtue of being excruciatingly painful, the Court (in an opinion written by Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch) held that the Eighth Amendment "does not guarantee a prisoner a painless death."

On April 18, U.S. Attorney William Barr released Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on the probe into "Russian meddling" in the 2016 presidential election. The report cleared President Donald Trump and his campaign team of allegations that they conspired with the Russian government in that meddling. But on the question of "obstruction of justice," Mueller punted in an eerily familiar way.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019 13:35

COLUMN: The most controversial belief

Because I'm both a Libertarian and a loudmouth, I'm frequently hit with questions about libertarianism (and the Libertarian Party). Recently this one came up:

"What is the most controversial belief of Libertarians?"

"Congressional Democrats and Republicans," reports ProPublica, "are moving to permanently bar the IRS from creating a free electronic tax filing system."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo "insisted Monday (April 1) that New York will pass a law to legalize recreational pot before the Legislature adjourns in June," The New York Post reports. He's been promising legalization for some time. Many New Yorkers had hoped the measure would be included in this year's state budget.

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