Saturday, December 31, 2016


162 is the difference between The William Lloyd Garrison Center's op-ed "pickup" goal for 2016 and the actual number of "pickups" (instances of a Garrison op-ed being published or cited in a mainstream newspaper or non-libertarian political publication).

The goal was 750. That means the actual number of pickups was either 588 or 912. Feel free to guess which.

Well, okay, actually the number was probably neither 588 or 912, because there were almost certainly pickups that I never identified through Google searches or notifications from editors or readers.

But I'm gonna go with the best number I have, which happens to be the larger of the two possible numbers.

A Question For Death Penalty Supporters of a Particular Variety

Whenever I write about the death penalty, at least a few of those who disagree with me fall into this sort of language (I'm not quoting any of them verbatim, but I think I'm accurately characterizing their argument):

"Society has a right to defend itself from e.g. murderers and to retaliate against them. The judge, jury, executioner et al. are acting as society's defensive/retaliatory proxies when they convict and execute a murderer."

My question:

Bob (a member of "society") is duly convicted of, and sentenced to death for, the murder of another member of "society." He is later executed. Still later, new evidence arises establishing his innocence. Since the judge, jury and executioner, acting on behalf of "society," killed an innocent man, should a random member of "society" be executed as a defensive/retaliatory measure?

I've only asked that question, in anything resembling that manner, once so far. The person I asked it of did not answer.

My own thoughts:

Some libertarians deny the existence of "society." I disagree on that specific denial, but not on what it implies.

"Society" isn't a particular thing. It's just a word used to describe an aggregate of human beings who share (or, if no longer among us shared), universally or nearly universally, some particular characteristic or characteristics such as speaking the same language, living on the same land mass, or being ruled by the same state.

"Society" isn't a person, or even a real thing. It's just a loose descriptor.

It's not something that can have "rights" apart from the individual rights of the individual people who fit the description. Nor is it something that can, itself, act.

Those who claim to be acting as proxies for "society" in ordering or carrying out executions are trying to evade culpability for their own actions. That excuse -- "society made me what I am, society made me do it" -- that doesn't seem to fly very well when it comes from the defense at trial. And it doesn't fly very well going in the other direction either.

Friday, December 30, 2016

I Just Watched a Movie

It opened with the now-standard warning notice from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security that I can be prosecuted for unauthorized reproduction and distribution of stuff.

Normally I just roll my eyes at such notices. But this one I had a good laugh over.

The movie was Snowden.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Professor Plum in the Conservatory With The Wrench!

"GRIZZLY STEPPE – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity" [PDF] was promoted in advance of its release along these lines by the media (example is from Bloomberg):

The FBI and Homeland Security Department will release a report Thursday with technical evidence intended to prove Russia's military and civilian intelligence services were behind hacking attacks during this year's presidential campaign, according to a U.S. official.

I just spent a little time reading the report. Interesting, but they seem to have left the "evidence" part out, unless "evidence" now means "the same assertions we've been making, but this time with diagrams asserting the same thing."

Is there something I'm missing here? Is there anything at all in the report that could be plausibly construed as evidence of anything?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Grndz Mah Grz ...

... when an online retailer advertises arrival in x days, then changes that to x+1 days as soon as the thing is marked "shipped."

Don't get me wrong. I know that sh*t happens, that there will be times a package doesn't arrive on time due to unforeseen delays, etc.

But this seems more along the lines of policy: "When the item is being displayed, or is in the customer's cart, or has just been ordered, display the most optimistic arrival date that's even remotely possible -- then after it's ordered, change the projected arrival date to something more realistic."

It's not just one retailer, but this week it is, you guessed it, Wal-Mart. I was looking at similar items for similar prices at different places, and one of the deciding factors was that this product from this place was advertised as arriving on the 29th (tomorrow). That's what it said on the site. That's what it said in the cart. That's what it said in the "thanks for your order" confirmation email. And I was glad, because I had plans to be using it by, say, noon on the 30th.

Then I got the "it's shipped" notice, with a projected arrival date of the 30th. Based on usual carrier delivery times in my neighborhood, I'm expecting it on the afternoon of the 30th, after the time I had hoped to begin using it.

Another angle that doesn't apply in this particular case: In the past, I've ordered items that were advertised as arriving on a Friday, when I would be home, but then were subsequently re-designated as arriving on Saturday, when I planned to be out. Even though I live in a decent neighborhood, I don't just assume that something big and expensive won't disappear if it's left on the porch for three hours. Which means I get stuck recombobulating my plans for the day so that I can be home awaiting a delivery.

Two outfits this complaint does not describe:

  • I've only had similar problems with them twice in 20 years. Once was not their fault -- the item was shown as "out for delivery" but the USPS carrier just drove on by the house, presumably forgetting there was a package in the back. The other time, I ordered an item advertised as coming with one-day shipping; later that day, I ordered an item advertised as coming with two-day shipping; both items got stuck in one box with two-day shipping. When I mentioned this as a Bad Thing that they shouldn't do again, without asking for any compensation, they immediately apologized and  threw me a free month of Prime service (which sells for more than I paid for the one-day item).
  • eBay. Normally things ordered on eBay come with a stated shipping time frame, not a date certain for arrival. And even when those things are shipped from Hong Kong or China, they generally arrive by the end of the timeframe (in feedback, eBay asks if they arrived within the timeframe).

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Thanks For Asking! -- 12/27/16

This week's AMA thread, and the podcast or podcasts to follow, are brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:

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

Kent McManigal on "Free Riders"

Here. Good stuff.

I haven't done a lot of writing on "public goods" and "free riders," but I recall one piece that I think is worth reading as a companion to Kent's thoughts.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 110: Six Miles Uphill Both Ways to School

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

In this episode:

The Five Words That Win Elections

Even if you never hear a particular politician say these exact five words, they're the five words that get candidates elected to office.

These five words function at a more primal level than any particular policy proposal or ideological proclamation. In fact, the politician's task (if he wants to win) is to translate those policy proposals and ideological proclamations into convincing versions of these five simple words.

Translated into different slogans or campaign promises, these five words can appeal to a range of emotions from hope ("Yes we can! Si se puede!") to fear ("segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!").

These are the five words voters want to hear from a political candidate. And even more than wanting to hear them, voters want to believe them whether they're true or not.

Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election by saying these five words or their equivalent louder and more convincingly than Hillary Clinton said them to a key demographic -- the "Rust Belt" working class in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.

These are the five words:

"I am on YOUR side."

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Gitmo Nuclear Option

In 2008, one of US president Barack Obama's campaign promises was to close the US government's prison facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It's still open. He blames congressional (and sometimes specifically Republican) obstructionism for that. But now that he's on the way out, there's a nuclear option.

It is possible that he does not have the executive authority to close the prison against the will of Congress.

It is possible that he does not have the executive authority to move the prisoners at Gitmo to other facilities (facilities actually in the US, where the fiction that constitutional protections don't apply to them would be less tenable) against the will of Congress.

But Congress has no say whatsoever regarding who he might choose to pardon.

If I was Obama and I really wanted to shut down the place, I'd invite Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan over for a chat. And that chat would be an ultimatum:

"You can let me close the place, and the people you consider most dangerous will be transferred to mainland facilities. Or I can just pardon every last prisoner there and you can continue to run an empty prison and take the blame for the guys you could have kept behind bars walking free instead. Let me know. You have 72 hours."

Thanks For Asking! -- 12/21/16

This week's AMA thread -- and the podcast or podcasts* to follow -- are brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:

* There may be extra/bonus podcasts over the "holiday break" period between now and the new year. Or maybe not.

Ask me anything (yes, anything) in the comment thread below this post. I'll answer in comments, on a podcast, or both.

And now some Christmas cheer at my favorite time of year:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"As long as our brothers are not safe, none of you, the guilties, should be safe."

That's a translation (courtesy of Will Coley of Muslims4Liberty, via last night's episode of Free Talk Live) of part of this speech:

The guy hadn't stopped yelling before various governments and various news broadcasters started calling this "terrorism." Is it?
Well, it's certainly "blowback." Russia went to war in Syria against the Islamic State and other forces arrayed in rebellion against the Assad regime. This guy specifically cited Syria in general and Aleppo in particular as reasons for his assassination of Andrei Karlov, Russian ambassador to Turkey.
Karlov was a government official, not a civilian non-combatant.
Just like Aslan Mashkadov, president of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. The Russian government paid a $10 million bounty for his killing.
And just like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, caliph of the Islamic State. The US government recently upped its bounty on his head to $25 million (the same amount it offered for the capture or killing of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein).
The international political class is a big club whose members kill anyone they want, assuming their own immunity. But when someone who's not in the club decides that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, all of a sudden it stops being officially sanctioned "war" and starts being criminal "terrorism."
Words mean things. "Terrorism" consists of attacks on civilian non-combatants for the purpose of creating a climate of terror that the terrorists hope will result in popular pressure on a state to act a certain way. Officials/employees of warring states are not civilian non-combatants. Even if the general goal is the same, state officials are fair game in war.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 109: Clowed CoupCoup Land

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

In this episode:

  • Thanks For Asking! (Ralph Raico RIP, Keith Olbermann is Depraved in a Boring Sort of Way; Electoral Coup Likelihood; Attack of the Annoying Alt-Right SJWs; Secession -- there's more, read the thread!);
  • This Election Makes Me Feel Like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

You Know, Maybe We're Kind of Dodging a Bullet Here

It's one of those things that we sort of know intellectually in general but that's really a cold blast of water in the face in each specific case:

I guaran-damn-tee that if we ever decide to trace the origins of the "dog ate my homework" excuse, we'll eventually find ourselves in Park Ridge, Illinois, listening to Maine Township High School East alumni and retired faculty dish on Hillary Rodham.

The former first lady and US Secretary of State never takes responsibility for anything negative.

When she and Bill were in the White House, each and every foul-up or ethical failing, major or minor, was the work of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" or Linda Tripp or gremlins in the West Wing stenography pool or whatever.

When she lost the Democratic Party's 2008 presidential nomination race to upstart Barack Obama, it was because the media (especially MSNBC/Chris Matthews) weren't nice enough to her.

Now it's all the fault of James Comey and !THEM RUSSIANS! that she ran such a crappy 2016 presidential campaign that she got beat like a drum by an orange-haired pussy-grabbing welfare queen with a bad case of Tourette's.

So much so that right now she has the Democratic Party flirting with coup d'etat and the CIA and the sitting president toying with world war just to make sure she doesn't have to admit "yeah, I blew that one, big-time."

I'm just spit-balling here, but doesn't that attitude seem a teensy-weensy bit at odds with "I'm the cool, commanding leadership presence America needs to guide it through the next four to eight years of an uncertain future?"

Friday, December 16, 2016

CoupCoup Clock

Cuckoo Clock by rones from

* Electors meet in their respective state capitals on Monday, December 19, at various times, beginning with Vermont and perhaps Maryland at 10am Eastern (here's the list).

The final set of electors don't meet until 7pm in the Hawaii–Aleutian Time Zone (three guesses which state we're talking about there) -- midnight Eastern.

For obvious reasons it will be some time Tuesday before all elector votes have been cast and the totals are known. But we'll probably have a pretty good idea much earlier as to whether or not there's a coup attempt under way in the electoral college.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

WTF, Dropbox?

With only one exception I can think of (their decision to appoint Condoleezza Rice to their board of directors), I've been a huge fan of Dropbox over the years. Great service for syncing files, backing up files, sharing files ...

... well, strike that last. I just got an email from Dropbox:

We'll soon be ending support for the Public folder. Dropbox Basic users will be able to use the Public folder until March 15, 2017. After that date the files in your Public folder will become private, and links to these files will be deactivated.

The only two descriptors I can think of for this are "dumb" and "evil."

Dropbox isn't just planning to make itself less useful in the future (dumb), it's planning to intentionally strike dead God only knows how many millions of links that users, including me, have used to share files with readers for years (evil).

This isn't "hey, sorry, we're going out of business" or something along those lines. That would be understandable.

No, it's "hey, sorry, you trusted us and we're screwing you."

So now I get to pencil in time over the next three months to track down all the links that I trusted Dropbox to preserve and find some other way to deliver the linked content. How did Santa know that was exactly what I wanted for Christmas?

Thanks For Asking! -- 12/15/16

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

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Kristen Wyatt is Deficient in English, Logic or Both

From an Associated Press report by Wyatt:

Buying things online could get pricier after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a case Monday that could ultimately lead to states collecting billions of dollars in sales taxes lost to increasingly popular internet retailers.

A mugger doesn't "lose" any ill-gotten gain when the victim gets away instead of handing over her purse. He never had the receipts of the robbery to lose.

Online shoppers always have owed state sales taxes on their purchases, but the rule has been widely ignored.

States have always demanded the money. That doesn't mean they're owed the money. Yo, Wyatt, I demand the keys to your car. Does that mean you owe them to me?

And back to the "lost" stuff again:

States have spent years examining ways to capture those lost tax dollars, but their options are limited when the retailers are not based in the state.

Why shouldn't the claims of states to be "owed" money and to have "lost" money be treated at least as skeptically by journalists as the similar claims of similar organizations like the Gambino family and MS13? This piece isn't reporting, it's free stenography for state departments of revenue.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 108: Attack of the Killer Wordpress Update

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

In this episode:

  • Thanks For Asking! (Planned Parenthood funding; naming some master debaters; Trump's general nuisances);
  • My terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Wordpress update experience.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Another Wordpress Update Disaster Tip

As I mentioned the other day, disaster ensued when I hit the "update to Wordpress 4.7" button on one of my sites. Hostgator (not a referral/commission link, I am just a customer who loves them) was able to get me out of that mess by turning off an incompatible plug-in.

Well, we thought they got me out of that mess by turning off the plug-in. The site seemed to work fine from my end. I could put new content in and, when logged in, the site looked fine. But visitors who weren't logged in didn't see updates for three days and some of them (thanks, Mama! Thanks Aria! Thanks, Timothy) wrote to let me know about it.

I futzed around with various possibilities and finally tuned back to Hostgator. It took them a few minutes to find the problem -- something wrong with the .htaccess file, presumably created by the Wordpress update fiasco. Deleted .htaccess (Wordpress re-creates it if it's not there, although if you have customizations you will want to hand edit instead of delete) and things went back to normal.

So, if you had the initial update problem and are now having a "site doesn't update for not-logged-in visitors" problem, try that.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

About That "War on Christmas"

I have yet to see any evidence that it exists ... but if it did exist, I can't for the life of me understand why advocates of "America as a Christian nation" would have a problem with it.*

War on poverty, war on drugs, war on terror -- pretty much every "war" we see that isn't, you know, an actual international military conflict and solely such a conflict, results in more of whatever is being warred upon.

If there's really a war on Christmas, we can expect that within a few decades at most more people than ever will be celebrating Christmas as opposed to some other holiday, or generic "happy holidays/season's greetings" or whatever.

Am I missing something?

* I exclude, of course, Christians who consider Christmas to be a thinly veiled pagan holiday rather than a genuine Christian celebration. Yes, there still are some of those around.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

That Thing I Mentioned the Other Day ...

... is here! "Approval Voting: Works Great, Less Complicated" is up at Cato Unbound.

Thanks For Asking! -- 12/07/16

This week's AMA thread, a thread which will live in infamy, is brought to you by Darryl W. Perry, as is the podcast to follow:

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

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Warning to Wordpress Site Admins

If you use the W3 Total Cache plug-in -- which is a great plug-in -- DO NOT UPDATE TO WORDPRESS 4.7 WITH THE PLUG-IN ENABLED.

It took my admin area (at RRND) down completely. Fortunately, Hostgator support was able to get my ass out of the sling it was in. I've effused about Hostgator before. If you need hosting, I highly recommend them, and no, I'm not recommending them on commission or for any inducement. They just rock, that's all.

Update, a few minutes later: My experience and other people's recommendations is that W3 Total Cache is a great plug-in. But as of a few minutes ago it was indeed labeled "untested with your version of Wordpress," so I expect there are some incompatibilities and that W3 will get things fixed ASAP. Until then, I'm using a plug-in called Comet Cache which HAS been tested with Wordpress 4.7 and DOESN'T break my site (I assume it works, too, guess we'll see).

Monday, December 05, 2016

There Seems to be Renewed Interest Lately in How American Elections Are Done

Unsurprising, given the electoral vote / popular vote disparity in the presidential election, and passage of an initiative in Maine to switch from plurality first-past-the-post voting to Ranked Choice Voting for governor, US Senate, US House and state legislature.

This month's Cato Unbound delves into the topic, starting with a lead essay by Rob Richie of FairVote. As the month goes on, there will be response essays from Free State Project founder Jason Sorens, San Francisco State University political science professor Jason McDaniel ...

... and me!

Sunday, December 04, 2016

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 107: Nobody Here But Me And My Barbed Wire Sideburns

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

In this episode:

  • Thanks For Asking! (Walter Block, David Bowie, Taoism, COINTELPRO, newspapers, flag-burning and Weld 2020);
  • Split rant (the Dakota Access Pipeline/Free Ross Ulbricht -- please hit, check out the Free-Ross-A-Thon, and match my $10 donation!).

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thanks For Asking! -- 11/30/16

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

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

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 106: YYYThe chair is against the wall. John has a long mustache.YYY

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

In this episode:

Товарищи, мы обнаружили!

According to an anonymous group of self-proclaimed "experts," I am either "being knowingly directed and paid by Russian intelligence officers, or .... at the very least acting as [a] bona-fide 'useful idiot' of the Russian intelligence services ..."

I work for one web site appearing on PropOrNot's "Initial Set of Sites That Reliably Echo Russian Propaganda" (, and my work has been published by at least three others (Before It's News, CounterPunch and OpEdNews).

Oh, no! How could this have happened?!?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving For Asking! -- 11/24/16

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

And yes, I did go a day late with the thread just so I could change the name.

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

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 105: European on my Lawn!

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

In this episode:

  • Thanks For Asking! (Paulie's health; if not for the courage of the fearless crew, the C4SS Minnow would be lost; blobs; Brito; Monty Hall; Trump's cabinet);
  • Concerning my predisposition to profanity. Trigger warning: Profanity.
I'm detecting a slight whistle in the audio that wasn't there last week. Anyone else hearing it? I'm not sure if I screwed something up with my mic setup or if my voice has more whistle than usual because of this damn cold I'm getting over.

@KentBicyles: Perhaps a Bit of Public Shaming is in Order

I've now gone through two Kent 700c single speed road bikes.

Both have failed at less than 100 miles of fairly gentle riding (road and paved bike path -- I don't even ride my bikes across my yard, I walk them in from the road -- and not hell for leather, just be-bopping along at commute or light cardio workout speed).

The failure in both cases was the same: The bolt holding the left crank arm loosens up. I don't know if this is due to a materials defect or to poor assembly, but I suspect the former -- on the first bike, the bolt would not remain tight when I re-tightened it.

From reading reviews, I see that this is a frequent problem with Kent bicycles. I've seen it mentioned in various reviews of various Kent models as sold by various web sites. So it isn't just a problem with the particular model I bought. Which, granted, is basically the least expensive road bike Kent (or anyone else) offers. But just because it's inexpensive that doesn't mean that it's OK for every instance of the product -- and I'm now two for two -- to come with the same known defect.

This time, the bike broke down six miles from home (this was the first time I trusted the bike for a 20-mile round trip; big mistake) and I had to chain it up and leave it. I'll be going back later today. Maybe it will still be there, maybe it won't, or maybe it will be there minus parts, or whatever.

I haven't decided whether to return the bike to Wal-Mart for replacement with yet a third bike, or whether to just disassemble the bike and use it for parts.

I do know that I'm planning to do the opposite of recommending Kent bicycles to friends and family. So far, they don't seem reliable enough even for the "occasional recreation" category of use my teenagers would likely put them to.

Update, 11/20/16, 5pm: Went to pick up the bike. Something seems to be different about it. Can't quite put my finger on what:

I wonder if I can still return it. Whoever stole the rear wheel wouldn't have had an opportunity to do so if the defect in the bike hadn't manifested too far from home for me to just walk it back to the house and too severely for me to safely ride it somewhere else.

For some reason I thought it would be reasonably safe, chained up five feet off one of Gainesville's main drags (Archer Road), in plain view and right next to an operating business. But now that I think about it, that may have been the least safe place to leave it. Whoever walked up and removed the rear tire was brazen about it. Anyone who noticed probably just assumed they were pulling off the rear tire to change a flat on their own bike.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Second $80 Bike, Same Malfunction

Six miles from home on the way to meet a friend for dinner,  of course. Bam, left crank arm goes loose.  I  see another trip to Walmart in my future.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thanks For Asking! -- 11/17/16

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

Yes, I'm a day late this week. Sorry, life's been a madhouse, not even counting the upper respiratory bug that tore through the family (requiring, among other things, re-scheduling of hernia surgery for Tamara).

The rules haven't changed, though:

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

So Now We Find Out ...

... whether or not the Democrats are serious about a comeback.

Howard Dean knows how to win elections. He was elected to five full terms as governor of Vermont (after taking over from the position of lieutenant governor when the incumbent died, and after two terms in the state legislature).

He would have whipped George W. Bush's ass in the 2004 general election, but the Clintons backed John Kerry to the hilt for the Democratic nomination. Why? Because they knew Kerry would lose and leave the way open for Hillary Clinton in 2008 (she blew that one in the primary before blowing the general election this year).

After the Clintons screwed him for the presidency, Dean took over the Democratic National Committee, implemented an aggressive 50-state strategy -- and the Democrats took back the House, the Senate and the White House.

From 2009 (when Tim Kaine took over as chair) on, the Clintons worked assiduously to regain complete control of the DNC so that Hillary Clinton could be the 2016 nominee, whether that was good for the party or not (it wasn't).

Now Dean is back, ready to rebuild the party after yet another Clinton-created disaster.

Are Democrats smart enough to let him do it?

If not, they deserve to remain a minority party.

Florida, Ceteris Paribus

With presidential elections comes talk of secession, this year more than usual. I wrote on that yesterday over at the Garrison Center, and overnight it occurred to me to look at some Florida numbers.

Ceteris paribus -- and yes, I know that lots of other conditions would not remain the same, but this is just for fun -- Florida as an independent country would rank:

  • 90th worldwide in land area at 65,755 square miles -- larger than, to name a few, Greece, Ireland, either of the Koreas, Tunisia or Cuba.
  • 59th worldwide in population at 20.27 million -- more populous than, to name a few, Syria, Chile, the Netherlands, Somalia, Sweden or Portugal.
  • 17th worldwide in GDP at $838 billion -- more than Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Philippines or Austria.

131 airports including seven hubs. 1,350 miles of coastline and six of the 100 largest seaports in the (current) US by cargo volume.

Maybe a little more reliant on tourism than would be comfortable for an independent country, but it's not the state's only asset. Florida is a major producer of citrus and sugar and provides 75% of the phosphates used for farming in the US (25% of the world supply).

Long after the Soviet Union's last gasp, Russia still launches its rockets into space out of Baikonur in Kazakhstan. I see no reason that Cape Canaveral shouldn't continue to provide launch services to e.g. NASA even if Florida goes its own way politically.

Independence looks plausible to me.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 104: "... Not Wreck My Election!"

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

In this episode: Thanks For Asking! (birthday; rain; running for office versus other outreach; why Trump won; Trump v. ObamaCare; the Libertarian Party -- What is to be Done?); Weekly rant (wrecking the election). Thanks to Clayton Hunt for my fantastic new Samson Q2U microphone, as recommended by Michael W. Dean of Freedom Feens Radio! Please comment on whether or not you think the audio is better (I think it's MUCH better).

Note to Libertarians Who Think the Trump Win was Some Kind of Victory for Freedom

The absolute most positive possible spin I could put on it from that perspective would be ... well ...

Like I said, the absolute most positive possible spin.

The spin-free version would necessarily include words like "idiot" and "drug-addled."

Saturday, November 12, 2016

And Now a Few Words from Hillary Clinton ...

... to the protesters in the streets and to those petitioning the Electoral College to carry out a coup d'etat:

Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans. This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for and I'm sorry that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country.


I still believe in America and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.

Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don't just respect that, we cherish it.

Those words are from Clinton's Wednesday concession speech. Why are so many of the people who claim to support her rejecting them?

I'm not a Clinton supporter, nor am I a Trump supporter, nor am I a supporter of the system the two were vying for the top slot in. But how about a little consistency, folks?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Everyone Has An Opinion ...

... on how and why Trump won the election and Hillary Clinton lost the election.

And yeah, everyone's entitled to an opinion.


Some people told me I was crazy for predicting that Trump would carry Michigan.

Some people told me I was crazy for predicting Trump would carry Ohio.

Some people told me I was crazy for predicting Trump would carry Pennsylvania.

Some people told me I was crazy for predicting Trump would carry Florida.

And as for predicting that he would carry all four and win the election, those people were pretty much chasing me around with straitjackets and syringes full of thorazine until about midnight on Tuesday.

Now all of a sudden those same people are earnestly explaining to me what happened and why. To them:

I know what happened and why.

I knew what was going to happen before it happened.

I tried to tell you what was going to happen, and you rolled on the floor laughing.

So I'm thinking maybe you should have a nice hot cup of shut the fuck up with the explaining business.

Spoil Sport

Of course Democrats are whining that Gary Johnson and Jill Stein "spoiled" what would otherwise have been Hillary Clinton's triumph. Umm ... horseapples, as I explain in yesterday's Garrison Center op-ed.

Basically the "spoiler" argument boils down to an argument that voters are too stupid to choose wisely.

Even if that's true (and I'd say that either likely outcome in this election would have constituted strong supporting evidence), it doesn't strike me as a great campaign line. "Hey, you should have only been allowed to vote for me last time because you're dumb as a box of rocks, how about we try again?" probably isn't going to appear in any ads before an "I approve of this message" voiceover, for good reason.

Hillary Clinton ran a condescending campaign. She took two particular voting blocs for granted, namely blue collar workers in the Rust Belt and Latinos nationwide,* and her hubris vis a vis those demographics cost her Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. In other words, it cost her the election.

Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were, to be perfectly blunt, not stellar candidates. Yet they both did quite well compared to their parties' usual presidential results. Why?

Because Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton suck, that's why.

Note to Democrats and Republicans: If you don't want to lose voters to third party candidates, stop sucking instead of whining about the other candidates and their voters.

* Trump did better with Latino voters this year than Mitt Romney did in 2012.

How Bad Could it Get?

According to a Politico piece on the presidential transition, former US Senator Jim Talent (R-MO) "has been mentioned" as a prospective pick for Secretary of Defense in the coming Trump administration.

I've had occasion to follow Talent's career with some interest, including managing the campaign of a US Senate candidate who ran against him and debated him in 2002 (that candidate also happens to be my wife, and btw she kicked his ass all over the stage in that debate) and running for Congress myself in his former district.

When I read that General Tommy Franks had called then under secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith "the dumbest fucking guy on the planet," my first thought was "obviously the general has never met Jim Talent."

How abysmally stupid is the guy? In one US Senate debate (not the one Tamara took him on in), he explained his opposition to human cloning by saying he didn't want to meet himself walking down the street. Yes, really.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

PSA: Regarding Peter Thiel

The Wall Street Journal ran a piece by Rolfe Winkler today titled "Silicon Valley Investor Peter Thiel Wins Bet on Trump" (you may or may not be able to read the whole thing -- WSJ pulls a lot of weird paywall nonsense.

The upshot of the piece is that Thiel backed the right horse when he threw $1.25 million at the president-elect's campaign back when almost nobody (except me) thought he was going to win the election. All of which is very interesting, but here's what brought me up short:

A staunch Libertarian, Mr. Thiel identified the undercurrent of economic distress that political pundits failed to appreciate but that exit polls showed drove so many voters to the polls.

If Peter Thiel is a "staunch libertarian," Pol Pot was Murray Fucking Rothbard.

Thiel postures as a "privacy advocate." What he means by that is that if Gawker publicly notices he's gay, he'll help Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, sue Gawker into bankruptcy for publicly noticing that Hogan had sex with someone else's wife. Somehow using lawfare to suppress speech that bugs you has become a synonym for "libertarian."

In reality, Thiel is exactly the opposite of a "privacy advocate" -- or a libertarian. His company, Palantir Technologies, produces software to power the US surveillance state and warfare regime.

Peter Thiel is an authoritarian scumbag, not a "staunch libertarian."

That is all.

Thanks For Asking! -- 11/09/16

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

In comments below this post: You ask.

In comments or on this weekend's podcast: I answer.

The Libertarian Party Dodged a Bullet ...

According to Dave Leip's Atlas of US Presidential Elections, the Libertarian Party's 2016 presidential ticket (Gary Johnson and William Weld) received 3.23% of the national popular vote yesterday. That might shift around a little as late returns filter in, but probably not much.

If the ticket had blown past 5% of the vote, the party's 2020 nominee would have been eligible for a multi-million dollar federal welfare check. At that point the immediate existential question facing partisan Libertarians would have been "can the party find a way between now and 2020 to forbid its nominee to accept those funds, or is a new libertarian political party needed to replace one that's now a few election cycles away from, and on rails to, de facto extinction?"

3.23% is far better than any past LP ticket has done (and 0.93% better than my prediction), and it buys us at least four more years to work on making the Libertarian Party libertarian again. Pretty good outcome all around!

Election 2016, Summarized

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Election 2016: My Prediction vs. Actual Results

POST EXPLAINER, ADDED ~11am Eastern: This post will be updated through the day as the spirit moves. Some bloggers put updates at the top, so everything is reverse chronology. I'm one of those bloggers who puts updates at the bottom, so if you're coming back and trying to catch up, scroll down. And hey, comments are welcome. To the extent that there's KN@PPSTER "election coverage," it will all be found in this post unless something just over the top happens that absolutely requires a separate bit - TLK]

9am Eastern: Here's a screen shot of my state-by-state prediction for the 2016 US presidential election -- that Donald Trump will carry every state Mitt Romney carried in 2012, plus Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida (you can drum up your own map at RealClearPolitics):

My friend Darcy Richardson's prediction is slightly different in that he has Trump losing North Carolina but carrying Wisconsin. I think those are our only differences, but I could be wrong.

We're probably both wrong on one state. As of the most recent polling, Iowa looks like it's going to go to Trump rather than to Clinton. But I'm not making any last-minute changes. Right or wrong, I made my prediction and we're going to see how right or wrong it was.

I'll update this post during the day and evening, assuming there's something worth updating it for. And at the bottom, where you can already see abbreviations for each state set up, I will update as I see them called for one candidate or the other (some of them possibly tomorrow if I crap out and go to bed before we hear results).

Update, 10:45am: A few days ago I made my predictions regarding third party performance over at Independent Political Report. Here they are:

Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party): 2.3% +/- 0.3%
Jill Stein (Green Party): 1.9% +/- 0.3%
Darrell Castle (Constitution Party): 0.5% +/- 0.2%
Evan McMullin ("Never Trump" Republican): 23% +/- 1% in Utah

I didn't try to predict how McMullin will do in the 10 other states where he's on the ballot. I'm guessing low single digits in all of them, but it's hard to tell.

Update, 12:45pm: Reuters is reporting that "Banks warn clients to brace for FX volatility after U.S. vote." The idea being that "the gap between buying and selling prices that determines the cost of trading [is] expected to widen sharply if Donald Trump were to win." Are the banks a little less certain of a Clinton victory than e.g. the prediction markets?

Update, 3:10pm: This blog usually racks up around a thousand page views per day. As of mid-afternoon, it is approaching TEN thousand page views today. Welcome to KN@PPSTER, new readers! If you like what you see here, feel free to poke around, and also to check out my podcast, the libertarian op-ed mill I run, and the daily email newsletter I publish.

Update, 3:20pm: I wonder if I'm having a case of confirmation bias today. That Reuters story mentioned above perked my ears up. Then a couple of minutes ago I was walking past the TV and heard the MSNBC anchor say that when they come back a reporter will be talking about "whether turnout is strong enough to keep Hillary Clinton's hopes alive." Is that a perception shift? It seems to me that usually phrases like "hopes alive" are said about an underdog, not a favorite.

Update, 7:01pm: Polls are beginning to close in the Eastern time zone. I'll start filling in states as MSNBC calls them, way down at the bottom, without comment up here except when there's something to actually talk about.

Update, 7:20pm: MSNBC just announced very early numbers from Florida. Trump 59%, Clinton 30%. Those numbers are already changing according to Politico. As I type this, Trump 50.4%, Clinton 47.1%, Gary Johnson 1.8%, Jill Stein 0.5%, Darrell Castle and Rocky de la Fuente 0.1% each. Looks like the state is going to swing back and forth all night and it may be a nail-biter.

Update, 10:20pm: As I write this, MSNBC is calling Ohio for Trump but has not called Florida and North Carolina yet. They are looking good for Trump. Michigan also looks like it's going to go for Trump as I predicted, but that's not quite as solid. Pennsylvania hasn't been called for Clinton yet, but I'm thinking it's probably going to go with her. I'm looking like 4 for 5 in those states on my predictions. I'm going to go sleep for two hours and come back. Hey, dL, are you as confident in a Clinton win as you have been up to now?

Update, 11:22pm: Couldn't sleep for all the bellyaching in the other room (I left MSNBC on). At present, of the states that MSNBC has actually called, I am 37 for 37 on my predictions. I'm expect it will turn out that I was wrong on Iowa and possibly Wisconsin (I picked them both for Clinton, they're looking like Trump states), as well as quite likely Pennsylvania.

Update, 11:35pm: Florida goes for Trump. Just like I said it would. Geez ... if you people would just listen to me we wouldn't have to stay up all night counting votes, would we?

Update, 12:02am: Finally my first bad pick. I had Iowa down for Clinton. Goes for Trump.

Update, 12:25am: Wow, I missed it -- some time in the last 24 hours or so, this blog passed 1 million page views since I started using Google stats to keep track (Sitemeter crapped out at nearly a million visits several years ago).

Update, 1:55am: MSNBC has not called Pennsylvania for Trump yet. However, Politico, The Hill, and the Washington Post all have. So I'm going to call it as well. MSNBC is just milking it. With 99.3% of precincts reporting, Trump is up by 2.2%, about 75,000 votes. Trump is now six electoral votes short of 270 and victory.

Update, 5:14am: OK, had to crap out. I see that MSNBC finally called Pennsylvania and Wisconsin (and, therefore, the election) for Trump, with New Hampshire, Michigan, Minnesota, and Arizona still up in the air. Of the states where the winner is known, I predicted 44 of 46 accurately.

I'm under the impression I had a better predictive outing than most pollsters, pundits, and analysts this year. That and five bucks will get me an iced white chocolate mocha latte at Starbucks. But you know I'm going to brag about it for the next two to four years, right?

State-by-state results:

AK -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump ✓
AL -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump ✓
AZ -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: ?
AR -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump  ✓
CA -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
CO -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
CT -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
DE -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
FL -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump  ✓
GA -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump  ✓
HI -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
ID -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump  ✓
IL -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
IN -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump 
IA -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Trump 
KS -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump ✓
KY -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump
LA -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump ✓
ME -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓ (Note: Trump gets 1 electoral vote, Clinton 3; I did not predict the split)
MD -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
MA -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
MI -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: ?
MN -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: ?
MS -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump ✓
MO -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump  ✓
MT -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump ✓
NE -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump ✓
NV -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
NH -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: ?
NJ -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
NM -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
NY -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
NC -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump  ✓
ND -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump ✓
OH -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump  ✓
OK -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump 
OR -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
PA -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump ✓
RI -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
SC -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump
SD -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump ✓
TN -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump ✓
TX -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump ✓
UT -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump ✓
VT -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton
VA -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
WA -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Clinton ✓
WV -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump
WI -- My Prediction: Clinton | Actual: Trump 
WY -- My Prediction: Trump | Actual: Trump ✓

Some Election Morning Photography

Instead of taking my daily bike ride at 4am, I decided to leave about 6:30 and see how things looked at "my" polling place as voting was set to begin (in Florida, poll hours are 7am-7pm). I got there about 10 minutes before 7.

This isn't all the signs, of course, just a sample that fit nicely into a photo. There were some signs for Democratic Party candidates ... but none for Hillary Clinton. On the presidential level, only Trump had signage there.

On one hand, west of Gainesville to the Gulf Coast -- rural Alachua County and all of Levy County -- is generally GOP territory (while I was out and about last night, I saw last-minute Trump signs springing up, a guy driving a pickup truck down the road flying a giant Trump flag, etc.).

On the other hand, this particular area is smack in the middle of upscale university city suburbia, so I'd expect it to be something of a Democratic island. I haven't looked at prior presidential election returns for the area, and frankly the area is in enough flux with new developments, etc., that I'm not sure they'd tell me anything. But I'd say it's telling that Democratic sheriff Sadie Darnell and Democratic congressional candidate Ken McGurn and Democratic state senate candidate Rod Smith and Democratic state legislature candidate Marihelen Wheeler have signs up at that place and Hillary Clinton doesn't.

Ten minutes before the polling place opened, there were more than 20 people lined up to vote. I've definitely seen longer lines, but in Florida nearly half of the state's voters had already cast their ballots by yesterday in early voting. I'm guessing that with lines at 6:50am on election day too, Florida will beat its 2012 turnout of 72%.

How did the early voting play out? Hard to tell. As the Miami Herald story linked above notes:

  • Somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.6 million Democrats and 2.5 million Republicans voted early this year -- a party affiliation differential of less than 100,000 votes. In 2012, that differential was twice as large in favor of the Democrats. Advantage Trump.
  • On the other hand, early voting turnout was higher in Miami-Dade (55%) and Broward (52%) counties, Democratic strongholds, versus the rest of the state (49.5%) -- also a reversal, as those two counties usually lag the state in turnout. Advantage Clinton.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

The $80 Bike Rides Again ...

When last I broached the subject, it was to troll Wal-Mart a little: I had dropped the $80 bike off for repair, it took them six days just to let me know they couldn't fix it, I had gone in for a refund and used that refund to order a second instance of the same bike, and was informed that it would take two weeks to get here. Personally, I thought they should expedite the shipping a little.

They did. The bike arrived five days ahead of schedule, on Halloween. Huzzah!

Of course, then there was the matter of assembly. They'll assemble bikes for customers at the store, but if it's ordered online you have to wait until it arrives to ask for assembly. So Tamara stopped that evening after work to "pick it up" and ask them to assemble it. She was told that because the holiday season is starting it might take up to ...

20 days!

Wow. I started to feel a little hot under the color.

They called the next morning -- 12 hours later, maybe 14 hours later -- to say it was ready. Huzzah again!

So that night I rode it home, several days earlier than anticipated. Thanks! Wal-Mart.

I've only had time to put 10 miles on it, but I keep thinking I hear the same squeak/grind that preceded the big problem with the last bike (the bolt holding on the left crank arm loosens and when re-tightened won't stay tight).

But you know, that may just be paranoia talking. Maybe this time the $80 bike will turn out to be one helluva deal.

If not, I have two possible courses of action in mind:

  1. Return it again, and let them know that I'm going to keep buying that same bike and bringing it back every time it turns out to be defective, so maybe they would prefer to just go ahead and replace it with a better bike that isn't going to break down with less than 100 miles on it.
  2. Strip it and use the parts on my beloved Trek 7000. It looks like the brakes would work out, and depending on chainline considerations, that rear wheel might be just the ticket for converting the 18-speed to a single speed bike.
If I follow course #2, I expect I'll be getting more than $80 worth of value out of the thing. I'll have two spare tires, two spare wheels, a set of brakes, etc. I might move the $80 bike's handlebars over as well.

My goal is to fairly quickly get back to riding more than 10 miles a day, probably the 10.5 mile round trip down the Archer Braid trail from my house to the trail's terminus at Archer and back each morning.

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 103: This Too Shall Pass Said the Kidney Stone

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

In this episode:

  • Thanks For Asking! (Ideal presidential nominees, Garrison naming trivia, Cookie Monster shout out, Election Day plans, peckerwoodstuff, I far ... er, I voted);
  • My presidential election predictions (an extended riff on this blog post).

Friday, November 04, 2016

This Election Still Looks Like a Trump Win to Me

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011
in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My prediction since some time ago (August I think, but possibly July or September) has been that Donald Trump will carry every state that Mitt Romney carried, plus Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida for 289 electoral votes.

Right now the RealClearPolitics "no tossups" map -- where they call the race in each state for whichever candidate is currently ahead -- has Hillary Clinton winning with 297 electoral votes to Trump's 241.

Now, remember what I've been saying lately -- I think Trump will almost certainly carry any state where he polls within 5% of Clinton. Why? Two reasons:

  • I think that a non-trivial fraction of Trump voters won't say they're voting for Trump. Not even to a pollster. They don't want their family, friends and neighbors to know, so they're not telling anyone.
  • Even though this is an "open" election with no incumbent, there's an extent to which it is a referendum on Barack Obama's presidency and the Democratic Party. That makes Trump the challenger. Voters who wait until the last minute to decide vote for the challenger, not for the incumbent. That effect may be a little muted since it's the incumbent party, not person, we're talking about here, but it's still the way things tend to go. This means that Trump is going to be gaining, not losing, over the next few days.

Note that neither of those things are really depending on e.g. some kind of massive Wikileaks bombshell than ends with something like Hillary Clinton being perp-walked in leg irons and orange coveralls on Monday. Not saying that couldn't conceivably happen. Just saying that my prediction doesn't depend on it happening.

Now, have a look at that RCP "no tossups" map and think about the non-Romney states I said Trump would carry. RCP's "no tossups" calls three of them -- Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida -- for Clinton, with only Ohio going for Trump (as I think it will, and he is 5 points up there).


  • The two Michigan polls done since Tuesday, the first of the month,  have Trump within either 3 or 4 points of Clinton -- 3 if Jill Stein is included.
  • The only Pennsylvania poll done since Tuesday has Trump and Clinton tied.
  • The only Florida poll done in November has Clinton 4 points up on Trump. That's toward the edge of my formula and right at the edge of Margin of Error, but I'm fairly confident in Trump winning the state.

So, Clinton was at 297 and Trump was at 241 in the "no tossups." Looking at those three states and assuming the rest of the map is in fact correct:

If Trump wins Florida but not Michigan or Pennsylvania, he wins the election with 270 electoral votes.

If Trump wins Michigan and Pennsylvania but not Florida, he wins the election with 277 electoral votes

If Trump wins Michigan and Florida but not Pennsylvania, he wins the election with 286 electoral votes.

If Trump wins Pennsylvania and Florida but not Michigan, he wins the election with 290 electoral votes.

If he wins Michigan AND Pennsylvania AND Florida, he wins the election with 306 electoral votes.

Unless there's some massive fundamental shift between now and Tuesday, I believe Trump will win that round of voting and, barring faithless electors or personal incapacity of some sort (i.e. severe illness or death), will be the next president of the United States

No, I don't like that any more than you do.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Without Comment

Camera 1, March 5, 2015:

Date: 2015-03-05 00:01
Subject: Re: Emails development


Sent from my iPhone 
> On Mar 4, 2015, at 8:01 PM, Margolis, Jim wrote:  
> Yes.
> If there is a release of the 55K, are there others that are not being
> released?

Camera 2, March 10, 2015:

[A]fter I left office the State Department asked former secretaries of state for our assistance in providing copies of work-related emails from our personal accounts. I responded right away and provided all my emails that could possibly be work-related, which totaled roughly 55,000 printed pages.

Garrison State

Fun pun, eh? I don't report here at KN@PPSTER on the state of The William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism nearly as often as I should, but it's definitely horn-blowing time.

October was the best month in the Center's history on two fronts:

  • More reprints of Garrison op-eds in mainstream newspapers and non-libertarian political publications. The previous record was in June, with 77. For October: 92.
  • Prior to October, the largest newspaper (by circulation) to pick up a Garrison column was the Dallas, Texas Morning News. In October, a Garrison column ("'Rigged Election' Rhetoric: A Dangerous Two-Way Street") was picked up by USA Today, as well as by 24 of its affiliated local newspapers.
Every list I find of US newspapers ranked by circulation differs, and I haven't found one newer than 2013. But:

Back when the Dallas Morning News picked up a Garrison column, as best I could tell it was the 11th largest newspaper in the US by circulation.

USA Today may be THE largest. That's what some sources say, so that's what I'm gonna go with. Others have it mixed in with the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times in various ways as the top three, though.

As far as I can tell, at least five of the USA Today affiliates that grabbed this column were  in the top 100 US newspapers by circulation, and one of them (the Arizona Republic) is possibly in the top 10 and certainly in the top 20.

So far I have identified more than 681 Garrison reprints this year against a goal of 750. I say "more than" because I count pickups for the previous month at the beginning of the following, and I almost always come across some later that didn't make the original count. At the end of the year I'll be going back through for a true count, and that true count will be higher than the aggregated initial counts.

Of course, if Garrison averaged 92 pickups a month, that would come to more than 1,100 per year. I'm working on it, folks.

The Garrison Center is one of the projects that keeps me standing on the streetcorner in fishnet stockings asking passersby if they wanna party. Or, rather, it's one of the projects you can support by supporting me, which you can do from over in the sidebar.

A Modest Proposal Regarding the Personal Security of Julian Assange ...

Resolved, that the personal safety of those inciting his abduction from Ecuador's London embassy should be openly and strongly linked to his safety from said abduction.

To put it a different way: It should be made abundantly and publicly clear to these assholes that if Assange is taken, as many of those as possible who called for him to be taken will come down with e.g. House Burned Down Syndrome, outbreaks of Why Are The Police Seizing My Hard Drives and How Did That Child Porn Get on Them? Complex, and maybe even moderate to severe .22 Caliber Round in Base of Skull Disease.

Just sayin' ...

Wednesday, November 02, 2016


Kennedy to Gary Johnson in the closing seconds of this interview:

All right Gary, I appreciate you, I like you, I believe in you, but please keep Bill Weld away from the Libertarian Party.

I knew there was a reason why I love her.

Thanks For Asking! -- 11/02/16

This week's AMA thread, and the episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast to follow, are brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:

The procedure:

  • Turn your head and cough; then
  • Ask me anything (yes, anything) in the comment thread below this post; and
  • I'll answer in comments, on the podcast, or both.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

I Feel Like Michael W. Dean is Trying to Tell Me Something ...

... about The KN@PP Stir Podcast. This came in the mail today along with a bunch of other buttons and stickers (you can get your own bag of weirdness from the Freedom Feens, and you probably should, just to be safe).

But seriously: I'm currently rocking a Blue Snowball microphone and was considering upgrading to the Blue Yeti. Dean knows his audio and told me that was a bad, bad move. I'm planning to buy the Dean-recommended Samson Q2U real soon now if someone doesn't buy it for me first. Hopefully you'll be getting better audio out of me by the end of the year one way or another. Thanks for the advice, the buttons and the worms, Michael.

We're Into Bonus Material Territory Now ...

My goal for this year was to average one KN@PPSTER post or more per day -- a posting rate I haven't managed since 2005.

This is post #378 for the year, so mission accomplished, heckuva job Brownie. I expect to break 400 posts and maybe even close in on 450.

I don't think I've cheated by just drumming up complete crap so I can say I posted. Yes, the quality of the material is highly variable, but I've tried to imbue each post with at least some value.

In terms of quantity, if my posts for the year average 150 words each (this post is 187 words long according to, I'll have blogged the equivalent of a mid-length novel.

Thanks to my supporters for buying the time I spend on blogging, podcasting and writing columns for The Garrison Center. I like doing these things much better than other things I might have to do (and have in fact done) to keep myself in Smack Ramen and women. If you'd like to be one of those supporters, see the sidebar for various options.

Monday, October 31, 2016

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 102: But It's Got Big Teeth ...

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

In this episode:

  • Thanks For Asking! (Buchanan v. Trump; Johnson/Weld 5%?);
  • Me vs. Jason Stapleton on government funding for Libertarian presidential candidates -- listen to his view first at 28 minutes, 30 seconds into the podcast here);
  • Hey, one of my Garrison columns made USA Today!

On the Next KN@PP Stir Podcast ...

... which I intend to record and release tonight or tomorrow, I'll be talking about today's episode of The Jason Stapleton Program, which I've embedded below.

About 28 minutes and 30 seconds in, Jason starts talking about whether or not the Libertarian Party's 2020 presidential ticket should accept the federal funding that will be available to them if Gary Johnson and Bill Weld break 5% of the national popular vote next Tuesday. He even mentions that some people are behind a proposal that I'm fairly sure I was the first one to make -- a bylaws amendment making eligibility for the presidential nomination contingent on a legally binding and legally enforceable agreement not to accept that funding.

Note #1: It seems like every time I mention Jason's program, I'm talking about something I disagree with him on. I should probably mention that he puts out a great show every day, five days a week. Great production values. Great show prep. Great voice. Comfortable speaking style. The reason I mention stuff I disagree with him on is because that's the stuff I want to talk about. Where I agree with him, why would I want to talk about it myself? I can just point you at his talk, right? So ...

Note #2: I gave you the time hack for listening to the portion of the show I plan to respond to. But if I were you I would just start at the beginning of the show and listen to the whole thing. And then do that again tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that and so on.

Feeling Sorry for James Comey

That's just not something my temperament leans toward, and given his generalship in the state's war on encryption, I doubt I have to explain why.

On the other hand, it's hard not to feel for him in the current controversy over the whining from Hillary Clinton's surrogates that he should have continued to cover Clinton's ass for just a little while longer on the Servergate scandal.

I stay away from "here's what we know" claims, because really they are "here's what we'd like to think we know but really may not" claims. So here's what I think we kinda sorta know that may or may not be entirely accurate.

According to CNN, "[b]y mid-October, Comey learned investigators in the [Anthony Weiner sexting] case might have found something that could have an impact on the now-closed probe into Hillary Clinton's private email server, according to one law enforcement official."

Also according to CNN, Comey received a full briefing as to what that something was on Thursday, "triggering his decision to notify members of Congress Friday that the FBI was reviewing emails potentially related to Clinton's server."

A couple of things to keep in mind here:

  • From the Clinton campaign's perspective, there was no "good time" for this information to come out. If it had come out two weeks ago, or two months ago, or two years ago, the Clinton camp would have claimed that it was just a political attempt to derail her presidential aspirations. If it hadn't come out until three weeks from now, they would have claimed it was just a political attempt to derail her presidency. The Clinton campaign's attitude is that Hillary Clinton is entitled to do anything Hillary Clinton wants to do because she is Hillary Clinton, and that anyone who even hints to the contrary is just part of a vast right-wing conspiracy to make The Greatest Human Being in History look bad. So Comey was going to be in trouble from that side if he even feinted in the general direction of doing his job, and no matter when said feint might take place.
  • From the perspective of congressional Republicans, the timing probably isn't TOO bad. On the other hand, it could have been better in several ways. Comey could have recommended indictment/prosecution of Clinton back in July when the evidence clearly called for doing so. Or he could have waited until after the election to reveal this latest so that its effect would be felt more in potential impeachment proceedings instead of election results (personally I think the GOP would be a lot happier with Clinton's head on an impeachment platter than with beating her at the polls, especially if they have to beat her with Donald Trump). But given how things are playing out, you know that if Comey had waited the Republicans would have accused him of playing politics even as they loved it.
So he's just not going to have a good couple of weeks, is he?

He was never going to, but the Clinton camp should be grateful that they got this much grace time.

The only reason Hillary Clinton is on the hustings instead of in the hoosegow right now is that she's Hillary Clinton. Any mere mortal who did what she did vis a vis the security of classified information would have been charged a long time ago, well before Comey gave his "well, we would charge her, but she's Hillary Clinton" press conference in July.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Podcast Delay Note

I've spent most of the day today on the road and am worn out -- it will be at least tomorrow before you see a new episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast. Sorry about the delay!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Word PSA

A lamb is a young sheep.

To go on the lam is to run away from impending capture by e.g. law enforcement.

Ewe really need to remember that.

Went Ahead and Felt the Johnson (Scofflaw Goodness Included)

I really was considering writing in Darryl W. Perry (for whom votes unfortunately wouldn't be counted in Florida) or Zoltan Istvan (who has a cool name and some cool ideas, but who isn't a libertarian) right up to the minute I walked into the voting booth. But I decided sticking with my party was the most reasonable thing to do. Yeah, I'm a hack that way a lot of the time.

Of course I voted for Paul Stanton for Senate.

There weren't any other Libertarian candidates on my ballot, and I don't vote Republican (and especially not for Keith Perry, who must have killed at least 50 trees to put all that crap in my mailbox) or in favor of retention of judges. So I did vote for some Democrats.

Why not just leave those races blank? Because I am phobic. In theory, I could have left them blank and the votes I did cast would be counted. But I'm always afraid that it would instead be treated as a spoiled ballot, especially in a recount situation. So I go lesser evil and vote my whole ballot.

I also wanted to get some civil disobedience in. "Ballot selfies" are illegal in Florida and the state has actually been warning on TV, etc. against taking them. But they are clearly constitutionally protected speech, as federal courts have already recognized in several states by way of suppressing ballot selfie bans.

If anyone wants a test case here in Florida, well, here you go.

I took this photo in my voting booth at the Tower Road branch of the Alachua County library system at 10:07am this morning.

I've posted it to Facebook and I've tweeted it at Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi; I guess not pursuing it would make her an accessory after the fact, wouldn't it?

Authoritahs: Just let me know I'm being charged and I'll come in and surrender myself. But let me warn you in advance that doing that will be both expensive and painful, and that it will produce the opposite of your intended outcome.