Thomas L. Knapp

Thomas L. Knapp

“Wasting resources, capital and income on stuff nobody really needs,” Charles Hugh Smith wrote in 2017, “is a monumental disaster on multiple fronts. Rather than establish incentives to conserve and invest wisely, our system glorifies waste and the destruction of income and capital, as if burning time, capital, resources and wealth on stuff nobody needs is strengthening the economy.”

I come across the “stuff nobody needs” argument frequently, from voices all across the political spectrum, for reasons ranging from economic to environmental to spiritual.

In July of 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy killed himself in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, by pumping carbon monoxide into the cab of his truck. In a bench trial, a judge convicted Roy's 17-year-old girlfriend, Michelle Carter, of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced her to 2 1/2 years in prison.

“There continues to be meaningful public conversation about how we think about Tweets from world leaders on our service,” begins a post at the micro-blogging service’s non-micro-blog.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019 14:34

COLUMN: The downside of impeachment

Unless there's some dramatic change in the political landscape over the next month or so, I believe that the U.S. House of Representatives will impeach President Donald Trump.

In March of 2018, U.S. president Donald Trump promised "we'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon." That December, he issued an order to begin withdrawing U.S. troops. Apparently the order never got executed. Most of a year later, U.S. forces remain.

Wednesday, 02 October 2019 16:30

COLUMN: Demystifying politicians

Politicians are people with jobs and with bosses.

On its face that seems like a relatively uncontroversial statement, but I’m always surprised at how much time people spend looking for high principle in the decisions politicians make instead of considering the mundane dynamics of political employment.

The U.S. Navy confirms that three online videos showing two military air encounters with what it calls "unexplained aerial phenomena," and the rest of us call "unidentified flying objects" are authentic, Popular Mechanics reports.

Andrew Yang's small but solid polling in the Democratic Party's 2020 nomination race shows that "Universal Basic Income" has gone from a fringe idea to an idea with a foothold in the popular consciousness.

On Aug. 15, Wisconsin's Department of Health Services announced "a cluster of people with severe lung disease who all reported recent vaping or dabbing (vaping marijuana oils, extracts, or concentrates)."  CNN reports more than 120 similar cases nationwide based on a survey of state health departments.

As the U.S. House of Representatives took up the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, in 2010, then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, famously told her fellow members of Congress "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."

Page 1 of 4