Thomas L. Knapp

Tom Knapp is the publisher of Rational Review.


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Ode to the people I work with
by Thomas L. Knapp

This is an article I've needed to write for some time, but never more than now. Rational Review is midway through its 15th month, moving up in popularity and making itself felt as a force of commentary in libertarian circles. I've been surprised and gratified by the success of virtually every new feature we've introduced. But more than that ...

The people I work with inspire me every day and, as publisher, I have the latitude to bloviate about it. Let me explain:

I subscribe to a lot of mailing lists and email newsletters. Most of you probably do, too. You are therefore familiar with the "dog ate today's edition" email.

"We didn't get yesterday's edition out because our ISP was on the blink."

"The car broke down."

"Musta took a left turn at Albuquerque."

When this article shows up in this morning's edition of Rational Review News Digest, it will be showing up in our 59th consecutive edition. Since commencing publication on December 23rd, 2002, we've shown up every weekday, except for Christmas.

Every weekday.

That includes the day when digging broke the phone line servicing my block and I had to invade a friend's house at 2 a.m. and use his laptop to get it done.

It includes the week when R. Lee Wrights soldiered on despite having taken a nasty fall and suffered a nasty head wound.

It includes the long weekend when Lee and Steve Trinward had to be gone for a Libertarian Party conference.

And it includes yesterday, when Mary Lou Seymour came home to find that her feline companion had been hit by a car and killed, and when I was in the hospital finding out whether the attack I had suffered Tuesday morning was a mild stroke or Bell's Palsy (thankfully, it turned out to be the latter).

Every weekday. No exceptions. No excuses.

And it's not just RRND, either. In the fifteen months since Rational Review commenced publication, the people who make it possible have made often herculean efforts to ensure that we have content.

That means a professional artist like Scott Bieser taking time out of his "money-making" work to produce a cartoon that you wouldn't otherwise see, for no better reason than that he knows there's an audience here that can appreciate it.

That means L. Neil Smith minimizing the window with the manuscript for his latest novel and choosing to give a few hours to the crafting of an essay that you wouldn't otherwise see, for no better reason than that he knows it will be read by people who are waiting for it.

It means Mary Lou Seymour buckling down for a weekly column that enriches the lives of its readers, for no better reason than that hundreds of those readers respond and tell her "I'm with you -- tell me more."

It means people like Donna DaPaolo at EducationalFreedom.Com and John Deere at LibertyForum partnering with us to get the word out and build a better freedom movement, and readers like Brad Spangler, Lee Killough, David Klaus and innumerable others making suggestions, offering help and telling us when we done good.

As much as I'm trying to turn Rational Review into something that financially supports itself and its creators, the fact remains that we've all done this when there was no money to speak of in it, and will be doing it tomorrow whether any money comes in or not. We're not altruists -- our bottom line is in creating something worthwhile, something that affects those who see it, something of value whether that value goes recognized or unrecognized.

Thanks, guys, for making this publication work.

And thank you to the readers of Rational Review for making it possible for me to work with people like this.

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Rational Review

P.S. If you'd like to support our work, please see the donation links on the Rational Review News Digest page, the "premiums and subscriptions" page, or the "support" page.