Tom Knighton

Recent Posts From Tom Knighton

Why GOP needs to remake their image

The Republican Party has an image problem.  Really, anyone who follows politics knows it.  Years upon years of corporatist policies has lead to people who really believe things like this quote that was in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“I hadn’t paid attention to the race, but I’m voting the Democratic ticket,” said Bryan Dabruzzi, a 43-year-old from Atlanta who is finishing a degree in nuclear engineering. “I’m not rich, so I can’t vote Republican.”

Now, Dabruzzi is probably a pretty bright guy.  After all, I’m not even close to finishing a degree in nuclear engineering.  At 43 years old, he’s also not likely to be some kid who just doesn’t know any better.  No, most likely, this is an opinion based on years of observation.  For what it’s worth, this quote was made in reference to a governor’s race here in Georgia.

It’s easy to discount Dabruzzi’s quote as someone who, while maybe not unintelligent, just doesn’t understand politics.  However, one would think that a member of Forbes staff might look at things a bit different.  One would be wrong though, according to John Tamny:

Having lost an eminently winnable presidential election to a failed president in Obama, the Republicans are a Party desperately seeking a message, image, and probably both.

Quit bashing the successful

If you spend enough time on Facebook, you’re bound to see some of the meme’s floating around about income inequality.  They point out how little one group of people make, then talk about how some CEO brings in so much more than they do.  These memes are designed to point out how gross the difference of income truly is and try to motivate people to oppose the discrepancy.

They’re also completely irrelevant.

Folks, I have run two businesses.  Both were classified as small businesses.  I own one, and was running a friends for a little while.  I know a little bit about business at this point.  Not a lot, but a little.  One thing I do know for sure is, it ain’t easy and not just anyone can do it.  This is also true of a lot of other aspects of business.  Here’s an example from Democracy for America.

DFA Meme

Now, it’s pretty obvious the difference in income.  Of course, it’s also irrelevant.  While Ray Dalio’s income really is pretty high, there are some key differences between what he does and what a teacher does.

First, teachers are far more common than hedge fund managers.  That automatically dilutes the market for their skills.  Second, Dalio works year round and most likely puts in some pretty insane hours.  That includes a lot of weekend and holidays, periods when teachers are off from work.  In addition, that summer vacation that teachers get?  Probably not a factor for Dalio.

Latest blame for Obamacare failure: White southerners

As a white man from the Deep South, I’m used to being blamed for a lot of things I didn’t really do. I’m blamed for poverty among the black community, despite the fact that I’m flat broke myself. I’m blamed for Jim Crow, which was gone long before I came into the world.  I’m really blamed for a lot of stuff.

Apparently, the disastrous trainwreck that is Obamacare is somehow my fault as well.  At least, that’s what constitutional law professor Gloria J. Browne-Marshall tried to argue, according to The Daily Caller:

The essay, by Gloria J. Browne-Marshall at the website Politics in Color, is entitled “2013: A Year of Racial Challenges.”

“[S]outhern White radicals vowed to stop implementation of the Obama-care law leading one to wonder if Tea Party members would oppose affordable healthcare if it came from a nonBlack [sic] President,” writes Browne-Marshall.

In the next two profoundly disconnected paragraphs, the taxpayer-funded professor rambles from Abraham Lincoln to Christopher Dorner, the black LAPD cop who killed a bunch of innocent people and then committed suicide at the end of a huge manhunt.

“Some called Dorner insane others said a modern-day Nat Turner, referring to the leader of a Virginia slave rebellion in 1831,” Browne-Marshall writes in her characteristically thick, ungrammatical prose. “However, the possibility racism was a core issue in this case was disregarded.”

Biggest Stories of 2013: Rand Paul’s Epic 13-Hour Filibuster

Throughout New Year’s Eve, we’ll be going through the 10 biggest political stories of 2013 as selected by United Liberty’s contributors. Don’t forget to chime in on the biggest stories of the year on our Facebook page.

While Sen. Ted Cruz’s filibuster against Obamacare is more recent, it was actually the second freakishly long filibuster of 2013 with the first being of far more significance.  That filibuster was Sen. Rand Paul’s epic 13-hour filibuster of John Brennan’s appointment to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

Paul’s filibuster came following repeated attempts to simply get the Obama administration to say that they would not use armed drones against American citizens.  It was a simple question, one that many felt the answer was obvious, yet administration officials repeatedly did everything they could to avoid an answer.

Yes, the answer should have been obvious.  However, the administration’s refusal to actually answer it became more and more alarming to people who don’t trust executive power.  Sure, eventually the answer came and it was what everyone expected.  That wasn’t the point.

Understanding the difference between the Free Market and Free Speech

Phil Robertson

By now, even people who don’t watch Duck Dynasty know who Phil Robertson is. The patriarch of the Duck Commander family recently got himself into a bit of controversy regarding an interview he gave to GQ regarding homosexuality. Now, supporters of Robertson are yelling about free speech after A&E decided to put Robertson on hiatus.

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” told Drew Magary, the reporter conducting the interview. “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Now, I’m not going to get into the meat of what Robertson said. That’s a matter of theology, and I’m hardly worthy of debating that against a man who has most definitely read the Bible more than me.

However, what I do want to do is address the people screaming about Robertson’s First Amendment rights.

You see, Robertson’s rights haven’t been violated. A&E, a television network, opted to not air more of Robertson as a means of protecting their profit margin, but Robertson still has the right to say whatever he wants.

What this is really about is a case of the free market, something most conservatives – the group most supportive of Robertson and his comments – say they agree with. A television network is either a corporation or part of a corporation. That means they need to make moves to protect their profit margin. If they’re worried that a personalities comments will alienate a significant portion of their viewership, then they’re going to make moves to prevent that.

For true marriage equality, should polygamy be legal as well?

The courts have rejected Utah’s anti-polygamy law as unconstitutional.  Now, social conservatives are already going nuts without realizing that Utah’s law didn’t just ban marriage with multiple partners, but behavior that could easily not have been polygamy.  Of course, should polygamy be legal?

First, a bit about the court’s decision.

Utah knows more about how Mormonism works than most other states.  After all, they have more Mormons than any other.  They know how many Mormon polygamists skirt the law, and they built their law to address that as well.

As I understand it - and I’m not a Mormon, so I could be wrong here - when a couple is married in the Mormon Church, they are also married in the eyes of the state.  However, if a Mormon couple gets a divorce in the eyes of the state, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Church recognizes the divorce.  So, a would be polygamist can then marry again within the eyes of the Church, while the state only recognizes the one marriage while the Church recognizes two.

Where Utah overstepped its bounds was in outlawing cohabitation under certain circumstances.  That is the behavior that the court found unconstitutional, not the ban against having multiple wives.

While many social conservatives are wringing their hands at the opportunity to go on the offensive, perhaps they should be asking themselves if perhaps polygamy should be legal.

First, the typical social conservative argument against gay marriage is usually to refer to the Bible as a source for how homosexuality is an affront to God, etc.  Now, I disagree with that, but that’s fine.  However, polygamy?  Yeah, that stuff’s all over the Bible.  Hell, it was common in the Old Testament, which is the same part of the Bible that has the passage in Leviticus that Social Conservatives often quote to support their arguments against homosexuality.

Jennifer Lawrence: A product of her world

Jennifer Lawrence

I’ll admit it.  I’m a big fan of Jennifer Lawrence.  The Oscar-winning actress is both beautiful and down to Earth, something I rarely get from most in Hollywood.  However, many conservatives and libertarians are justifiably upset about comments Lawrence recently made to Barbara Walters.

From The Daily Caller:

“The word ‘fat’ I think should be illegal,” the Oscar winner told Walters. “If we’re regulating cigarettes and sex and cuss words, because of the effect they have on our younger generation, why aren’t we regulating things like calling people fat?”

Now, I’m not going to excuse Lawrence’s desire to outlaw a word.  However, I am going to point out the rest of her comments, in bold above.

Many libertarians - and yes, a fair number of conservatives - argue that a simple regulation can lead to more and more intrusive regulations.  Lawrence, a product of her times and her society, is simply manifesting the innate desire to build upon previous works to move society in a direction more to her liking.

Is she right?  No, she’s not.  Banning a word like “fat” would make me criminal on a daily basis.  Am I some bully who’s shaming my son or daughter into developing an unreasonable body image?  No, I’m usually talking about my fat ass.  However, the act of banning the word - a word which is also used for a necessary macronutrient found in food, I might add - would make my own self-deprecation illegal.

Why we’ll see a minimum wage increase, whether we need it or not

Folks, there is going to be a minimum wage increase.  Despite the fact that only a fraction of workers actually draw minimum wage, and despite the fact that folks are actually living better on minimum wage than they did 20 years ago, we are going to see the minimum wage increase.

One of the problems with democracy is that the rule by the masses means that those who feel they have a tough spot in life will automatically vote with anyone who offers to make it better, while those who feel sorrow for such people will often vote along the same lines out of either guilt or pity.  This is why we have entitlement programs that, while having done absolutely nothing in the war on poverty, are here to stay.

Support for increasing the minimum wage is high.  In a recent report from the Wall Street Journal:

Americans strongly favor boosting the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour but oppose raising it above that, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds. In the survey, 63% supported a rise to $10.10 from the current $7.25 rate. Senate Democrats have proposed an increase of that size and it is supported by President Barack Obama.

In the poll, 43% said they backed an increase to $12.50 an hour. Only 28% backed a $15 wage—the rate sought by union-linked demonstrators at fast-food restaurants across the country.

Military service doesn’t legitimize anti-gun positions

From time to time, gun rights advocates find themselves in a discussion of the Second Amendment with someone who claims to be a military veteran that supports gun control. Most of the time, it’s easy to dismiss these people as pretenders or whatever, though military service doesn’t make one automatically pro-gun.

That’s the case with Lt. Col. Robert Bateman in a piece over at Esquire:

People, it is time to talk about guns.

My entire adult life has been dedicated to the deliberate management of violence. There are no two ways around that fact. My job, at the end of the day, is about killing. I orchestrate violence.

I am not proud of that fact. Indeed, I am often torn-up by the realization that not only is this my job, but that I am really good at my job. But my profession is about directed violence on behalf of the nation. What is happening inside our country is random and disgusting, and living here in England I am at a complete loss as to how to explain this at all. In 2011 the number of gun deaths in the United States was 10.3 per 100,000 citizens. In 2010 that statistic in the UK was 0.25. And do not even try to tell me that the British are not as inclined to violence or that their culture is so different from ours that this difference makes sense. I can say nothing when my British officers ask me about these things, because it is the law.

Bateman makes his desire for gun control amply clear throughout the rest of the piece, yet he manages to make Army officers as a whole look like complete and total idiots. After all, he can’t understand basic sentence structure:

Not zero tolerance, but just as stupid

I’ve maintained here at United Liberty that school administrators throughout the nation have been engaged in a competition to see who can use zero tolerance rules in the most idiotic manner.  The truth is, we’ve seen some great entries if that’s the case.  Of course, what happened to a Georgia woman last week doesn’t fall under “zero tolerance,” but I think it at least deserves an honorable mention at the awards ceremony.

Tanya Mount was issued a criminal trespass warning last week from her daughter’s school in the Richmond County School System.  Her crime?  Was she being disorderly?  Nope.  Did you threaten a teacher or staff member?  Apparently not.

So what the heck did she do that would keep her from being able to show up at her daughter’s school where she happens to be a volunteer?:

She asked what she did wrong. “The principal is scared of you and she doesn’t want you on the grounds. I ask for what? And he asks were you in the Army and I said yes. He’s like do you have a concealed weapons permit? I said yes,” says Mount.

No.  No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.


You see, Mount posted a photograph of her permit on Facebook.  The administrator got wind of it and apparently freaked out.  After all, if someone had a permit, they just might have a *gasp* gun!!!!!

Recent Comments from Tom Knighton

Tom Knighton

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Tom Knighton has been a blogger here at United Liberty since 2010. In 2011, he made history when he became the first blogger anywhere known to have purchased a newspaper when he purchased The Alba... Click here to read full bio

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