Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Thanks For Asking! -- 10/28/15

This week's AMA thread (and the podcast to follow) brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:

Here's how it works:

  • Ask me anything (anything!) in the comment thread below this post; and
  • I'll answer in the comments, on the weekend podcast, or both.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Rinse and Repeat Continues

In the first "undercard" debate, Carly Fiorina did little to distinguish herself but came out of it the media-designated winner, got a little temporary bump in the polls, and qualified for the big kids' table.

In her first "big stage" debate, Fiorina did little to distinguish herself but came out of it the media-designated winner,  got a little temporary bump in the polls, and ...

Writing in the Washington Post, Catherine Lucey asserts that "with slowing poll numbers, Fiorina is again looking to the debate stage for a burst of energy."

Well, no, she's looking to another burst of fawning post-debate coverage of her flat, boring and panderific performances to artificially goose her poll numbers.

Why is the media -- "conservative" AND "mainstream" -- in the tank for Carly Fiorina?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Book Recommendation: Unschooling Dads

Full title: Unschooling Dads: Twenty-two Testimonials on Their Unconventional Approach to Education. It's available in paperback at a reasonable price, and in various electronic formats for the "price" of the mouse click required to download it.

Yes, I'm one of the 22 dads referred to in the title. I'm grateful to Skyler J. Collins of Everything Voluntary for the invitation to contribute.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, 10/25/15

This episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast is brought to you by Darryl W Perry:

In this episode:

  • Jonathan Richman is the God-King of Rock and Roll;
  • Thanks For Asking! (hate/racist speech; African/Libyan refugees to Florida or Idaho?;Taleeb Starkes vs. Augustus Sol Invictus, and a brief rant against Roger Stone); my favorite Playboy nekkid pictures, as if you wanted to know;
  • Garrison Center update and so forth.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

OK, I Was Spectacularly Wrong

I was supremely confident that Joe Biden would throw in for the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nomination. He didn't. My bad.

Things are looking bad for the Democratic Party. Even given the downright dismal Republican presidential field, a Democratic win next November isn't even close to a sure thing, especially with with Hillary Clinton -- a complete disaster of a candidate -- looking more and more likely to front for the Dems.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Case of the Missing Podcast/Thanks For Asking! -- 10/19/15

Well, I hadn't planned on not podcasting last night. I had intended to go ahead and put an episode together, even though I had also forgotten to put up the weekly "Thanks For Asking!" thread. Both of those things, had they happened, WOULD have been brought to you by Darryl W Perry:

But my voice was in no shape to croak more than a few words, and I was feeling so bleh that I just wandered off and went to sleep without remembering to post an explanation. Common cold is my guess, since I attended a large event with lots of people milling around on Saturday.

Maybe there'll be a midweek episode. Never had done that before. Or maybe it will just be next Sunday. Either way, let's go ahead with this week's AMA. The rules:

  • Ask me anything -- anything -- in the comments thread below this post.
  • I'll answer in the comments thread, on the podcast, or both.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Bitcoin Buying Cheat Sheet

New from David Smith, for those of you who may still be a little scared of the process of getting into crypto-currencies -- How to Buy Bitcoin: The Complete Step-By-Step Tutorial. Thanks for letting me know about it, Dave!

Concerning Feedspot -- Mea Culpa

A couple of months ago, I started looking for a new RSS feed reader to replace the one I was using (it had become slow and clunky). I joined and previewed a number of apps, eventually settling on Digg Reader.

One of the readers I tried out during that time was Feedspot. And apparently when I signed up for the account, I mistakenly checked the box that allowed Feedspot to "invite all my contacts." So a whole bunch of people started getting email messages to the effect that "Thomas Knapp would like to connect on Feedspot."

Strike one against me -- I apologize to anyone I haven't already apologized to for THAT.

But this morning I have received several iterations (at other email addresses I use) of a second, third or fourth message from Feedspot, "Thomas Knapp's invitation is awaiting your response." And so have others, a few of whom I've heard from.

Once again I apologize, but I blame Feedspot more than myself for the continuing spamminess. There doesn't seem to be any way to turn that "keep inviting" crap off, or even to just plain close my account with Feedspot, which I do not use, do not recommend, and do not have any desire to "connect" with any of y'all on.

Personally, I suggest adding the address (and all addresses to your spam filters. I apologize, once again, for the inconvenience.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Obviously I'm Not Getting Into Shape as Quickly as I Had Hoped

I've been back on the bike for a couple of weeks, but until yesterday hadn't done more than about 10 or 12 miles in a day. Yesterday, I decided to ride (with the bike in "campaignmobile" mode) to Bronson for the Florida Freedom Group's courthouse "Florida Harvest" rally. They -- we, now -- are circulating petitions for a ballot measure that "guarantees the right of persons over twenty-one years of age to possess, use, and cultivate cannabis."

The distance from my house to Bronson is 15 miles, give or take. I left in the morning and had a fairly easy ride going out. I made my usual stop to revere Bo Diddley's grave on the way into town, then proceeded to the rally location. Very nice event. In addition to signing the petition myself and bringing a stack home to collect signatures on, I did what I could to help Jodi James and Alex Snitker with the event. Here's a shot Alex took of me in my loud "please notice me and don't hit me, cars" riding gear with the campaignmobile:

Coming back home was kind of a disaster. I realized a couple of miles out of Bronson that I was getting dehydrated and hadn't brought enough water with me. Rookie mistake. I drank a bunch of water in Bronson and had a full water bottle when I left, but had obviously neither consumed nor brought enough. When I rode to Bronson, the temperature was in the low 60s and it wasn't obvious that I wasn't drinking enough. Coming back, it was in the mid-80s and I started feeling not well at all.

To keep it short and sweet, I ended up walking more than riding the 15 miles home, and taking two long rest stops on the way because I was literally seeing spots, going blind for a few seconds at a time, and occasionally nearly falling over. Fortunately there's a town (Archer) 2/3 of the way home and I was able to buy water to hydrate and a little candy to get my (unusually low, especially for a diabetic) blood sugar back up.

The trip to Bronson took less than two hours, stops included. The trip back from Bronson took about five hours. And 24 hours later, I'm still not anywhere near 100%. Dehydration and heat exhaustion. The cure to the former is "drink a lot of water," and I am. The cure to the latter is "rest," and I'm trying to do that too. I have another event to attend tomorrow, and there's a good chance between the exhaustion and a flat bike tire that I won't be cycling to it.

Bit off more than I could chew. But except for that hell-ride home, it was indeed a good and worthwhile time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Metaphysics Quickie

I know that this question, and the answer to it, can be found in various places around the Intertubes (and in older repositories like, you know, books). But I've heard it posed so many times, over so many decades, as if it was some kind of insoluble problem, that I'd like to post the answer here. That way I can just point people at the ol' blog instead of handling it again and again.

You've heard the question, too. Many times, no doubt. It's an old standard in adolescent bull sessions. Ooh ... deep. But it isn't deep at all. It's the simplest problem a budding philosopher could ever hope to have to solve:

Q: Can I even prove that I exist?

A: You just did.

Yep, it's just that simple.

If you didn't exist, there would be no you to ask the question, or to consider the possible answers to it. Duh.

Of course, the answer reveals little to the questioner above and beyond the fact of his or her own existence. The only property of that existence it exposes is "hey, not only do I exist, but whatever I am, I am something that can ask questions." But hey, it's a start.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Election 2016: In Which I Beg Off Live-Blogging the First Democratic Debate

I've live-blogged both sets of Republican dog and pony shows so far, and had planned on doing the same with tonight's Democratic event.

But frankly I'm just not up to it. I'm going to watch the thing, but I've had a hard week already (family car breakdown over the weekend spilling into Monday evening, etc.) and more to come (including a 30-mile round trip bicycle campaign ride to Bronson, FL for the "Harvest Tour" marijuana legalization event on Thursday -- 11am at the courthouse, see you there! -- and another 20-mile or so round-trip bike ride on Saturday to the Students For Liberty regional conference at University of Florida). So tonight I am going to sit there and watch, and maybe write something on it tomorrow (or maybe not).

Two More "Early Movers" on Their Way to the Granite State

Arkansas's loss is New Hampshire's gain ... long-time libertarian activists Rodger and Jessica Paxton are heading north and east!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, 10/11/15

This week's episode (like all episodes this year) is brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:

In this episode:

  • Thanks For Asking! (hypothetical Mouse That Roared stuff);
  • Quick rundown on the stuff I do and why you should support it.
Yes, it's a short episode this week, folks. I explain why, first thing. Short text version: I'm tuckered out from car troubles and bicycle rides. Should be back to the full 15-minute version next week, though!

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Thanks For Asking! -- 10/08/15

This week's AMA thread and the podcast to follow are brought to you by Darryl W. Perry (who is not responsible for my frequent tardiness in posting the threads):

As per usual:

  • Ask me anything (anything!) in the comments below this post; and
  • I'll answer in the comment thread, on this weekend's episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast, or both.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Horwitz Rides My HobbyHorse

The Center for a Stateless Society's October "Mutual Exchange" symposium covers the question "Do Free Markets Always Produce a Corporate Economy?" I suspect you'll enjoy Cory Massimino's introduction, Kevin Carson's lead essay, and rejoinders from Derek Wall and Steven Horwitz.

In this post, I don't want to cover the whole question, but I do want to point out something from Horwitz that applies to more than just that question:

There is no doubt that the interventions of governments at various levels have subsidized aspects of the current structure of the US economy, as Carson points out. The state's role in building interstate highways and the railways certainly enabled producers to externalize the costs of transportation onto others. Carson concludes from this that such large-scale transportation systems would not exist in a free society (or would not have existed had we been a free society) and that economies would be more regional and local. Perhaps. It is always worth reminding left-libertarians that you can’t prove a counter-factual.

When and where I disagree with Carson (which isn't nearly as often as you might think), it tends to be on that very subject ("what would have happened if A, instead of B, had happened a long time ago?") or on the related subject of predicting, other than in an extremely broad sense, future outcomes from this point ("if we free the market today, what will society look like 50 years from now?) Carson tends to be a little braver than I am on both matters. I consider it hubris to speculate as much as he does, even though we agree on broad outlines.

This caution of mine versus the speculations of others doesn't just apply to matters economic.

Monday, October 05, 2015


It's been five years and two months since the first time I ever checked my blood sugar. The level was 316. I promptly scheduled an appointment with a doctor, got my diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes, and began trying, without that much success, to control the blood glucose level.

Over that five years, my blood sugar has, at most times, run in excess of 200, no matter what I did. But what I did was approach it the wrong way. I switched to diet soda -- which, as it turns out, affects blood glucose pretty much the same as soda with sugar. I promised myself to "cut back." I took medication (Metformin -- I'm still taking it). I tried taking cinnamon. And so on and so forth.

So a couple of weeks ago I decided to change things in a different way.

Instead of promising myself to "cut back" on non-water beverages, I set a maximum daily ration of four. That might be two cups of coffee and two sodas, or some other combination. I've been doing that for a couple of weeks and plan to cut it down to three this week.

I also committed, instead of "trying to cut back" on carbs and "trying to eat more" green vegetables, to make one meal a day be a salad. One day I have it for lunch, the next day for dinner, back and forth. It's a Caesar salad -- romaine with not much dressing, very few croutons (when the bag I have is gone I'll be doing away with those completely) and most of the time some chicken and a sprinkling of parmesan. I like it. I think I can eat it daily and get used to that before getting tired of it. I'm generally avoiding bread (for the most part) and pasta (entirely so far, but I think I may cut myself a break once a month or something; we'll see).

I started taking yet another supplement: Gymnema Sylvestre. Its effects don't seem to be incredibly well documented, but I've seen a number of testimonials. Allegedly it acts in three ways: It reduces the perceived sweetness in food (I can attest to that, and it seems to be helping me resist sugar craving); it acts in the intestine to reduce uptake of fuel to make glucose with; and it boosts the creation of cells in the pancreas that make insulin.

I can't attest to that last. What I can attest to is that 48 hours after I started taking the stuff, my blood sugar tested below 200 for the first time in a long time.

And, as of two days ago, I'm back on the bike (which is a key part of my congressional campaign).

As of yesterday afternoon, my blood sugar was at 119. That's right below the "diabetic" level of 120. It's the first time I've tested below "diabetic" since August of 2010.

So I'm going to keep up with all this stuff.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, 10/04/15

This week's episode is brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:

In this episode:

  • Thanks For Asking! (Rand Paul's abortive "libertarian moment");
  • Comments on tonight's executive committee meeting for the Libertarian Party of Florida in general, and on the issue of Augustus Sol Invictus in particular (with fun historical religious trivia);
  • Hey, did I mention I'm running for Congress?

Quote of the Week, a day late

From Kevin Carson, taking apart a critic of "left-libertarianism" (better known as "libertarianism") over at the Center for a Stateless Society:

I state, without qualification, that anyone who advocates "intellectual property" in any way, shape or form is to that extent, not only not a libertarian, but an enemy of human freedom.

Technically, the quote was from last week (Friday -- today is the start of a new week). I'd seen it in draft and knew it was something worth sharing, but didn't noticed that it had been published until just now.

And before you start whining that you are a libertarian even though you're still caught up in the statist superstition of "intellectual property," read it carefully and note the "to that extent." If you're a libertarian who supports "intellectual property," you're a libertarian in error on the issue and you need to apply the non-aggression principle to it.