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“The Price We Pay for a Civilized Society,” 2016 Edition

“The Price We Pay for a Civilized Society,” 2016 Edition

By Thomas L. Knapp “Tax Day,” the deadline for filing individual federal income tax returns, falls on April 18 this year. Usually it’s April 15, but a federal holiday, Emancipation Day, bought you the weekend if you’re running late. I feel your pain. Sackcloth and ashes! Wailing and gnashing of teeth! In addition to the […]

Farook’s Phone: The FBI versus Apple (and Everyone Else)

Farook’s Phone: The FBI versus Apple (and Everyone Else)

. . By Thomas L. Knapp The Federal Bureau of Investigation wants to know what’s on Syed Farook’s Apple iPhone. As the old saying goes, people in hell want icewater too. The San Bernardino killer’s phone is encrypted. More than ten attempts to guess the correct six-digit pass code (out of a million possibilities) will […]

Election 2016: The Courtpocalypse and How to Delay It

Election 2016: The Courtpocalypse and How to Delay It

. . By Thomas L. Knapp Presidential election campaigns tend to follow a predictable issues timetable, but certain events can upset that timetable in a big way. The death of US Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia is precisely such an event, and its consequences will be felt in November. By the time Scalia’s body reached […]

Just Say No to Draft Registration for Women — and Men

Just Say No to Draft Registration for Women — and Men

. . By Thomas L. Knapp Testifying before the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee in early February, Generals Mark A. Milley (the US Army’s chief of staff) and Robert B. Neller (commandant of the US Marine Corps) endorsed extending mandatory Selective Service registration to women. Because, you know, equality. I have a better idea. It’s […]

When in Rome: “Criminal Consequences” for Assange’s Tormentors?

When in Rome: “Criminal Consequences” for Assange’s Tormentors?

. . By Thomas L. Knapp “How sweet it is” and “screw the UN” seem to be the major media tag lines to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s ruling in favor of political prisoner Julian Assange: The former from Assange himself, welcoming vindication of his claim that more than five years under house […]

Election 2016: The Incredible Evitable (AVOIDABLE) Hillary Clinton

Election 2016: The Incredible Evitable (AVOIDABLE) Hillary Clinton

. . By Thomas L. Knapp Yes, I’m a concern troll. I’m no Democrat, nor am I a Republican. But I would really, really, really like to see the Democratic Party nominate a viable candidate for President of the United States this year. Why? In a word, gridlock — or at least what passes for […]

Hands Up Don’t Shoot, Oregon Edition

Hands Up Don’t Shoot, Oregon Edition

. . By Thomas L. Knapp “They shot him right there, he was just walking — I saw it,” says Victoria Sharp . “I swear to God, he was just walking with his hands in the air.” She’s describing the January 26 killing of LaVoy Finicum by FBI agents and an Oregon State Police SWAT […]

So Much for Peak Trump

So Much for Peak Trump

. . By Thomas L. Knapp When Donald Trump declared his presidential candidacy, quite a few people, including me, thought “never in a million years will he be the Republican nominee, let alone president.” As his poll numbers rose, we thought “he’s got a hard ceiling; not a chance he’ll carry the race.” And “not […]

Prosecutors, Police Get Medieval on Privacy and Progress

Prosecutors, Police Get Medieval on Privacy and Progress

. . By Thomas L. Knapp Ashley Carman of The Verge reports on the opening of a new front in American politicians’ war on personal privacy and technological progress: Legislators in California and New York have introduced bills requiring the makers of smart phones sold in their states to intentionally compromise those phones with “back […]

The Strange Establishment Backlash Against Bernie Sanders

The Strange Establishment Backlash Against Bernie Sanders

. . By Thomas L. Knapp “I have friends and supporters in the Human Rights [Campaign], in Planned Parenthood,” Democratic presidential aspirant Bernie Sanders told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on January 19. “But you know what, Hillary Clinton has been around there for a very, very long time and some of these groups are part of […]