Category: ‘Shameless Plug’

Why I am A Libertarian Who Is Leaving the Libertarian Party

June 22, 2021 Posted by zachary

Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wasn’t a Republican or a Democrat. My first real exposure to the idea of parties outside the dominant parties was Ross Perot and his Reform Party in 1992. As a kid I was excited to see what a three candidate race for President was like. Even though I expressed preferences based on what my parents felt, I still thought his run was history in my lifetime. I had no idea why when it came to the Clinton/Dole election in 1996 that we only had two candidates. This dulled my interest in elections. It wasn’t until the Bush/Kerry election in 2004 that I took interest in elections again. This came about in my college years and I felt I had an obligation to at least see who was running, but I didn’t take much interest at that time. I don’t even remember who I ended up voting for aside from that it wasn’t Kerry.

During all this time, I never really felt at home in the two dominate parties in the US. When I started voting, I registered Independent and stuck with it until 2012.

Because of that lack of home, I was always curious about what other parties were out there. I read about the rise and fall of political parties with keen interest and thought I might one day start a party. In 2006, I returned to Oklahoma and looked up the procedures in state law to find out what it would take. I was astounded by the high signature count needed to form and even higher electoral burden to stay recognized. I read about how few parties formed in Oklahoma and how none ever survived their first year on the ballot.

Around 2010, I found a group of like minded people at Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform who were fighting to make it easier to form a new political party. I learned that prior to 1968, all it took to form a new party was 5000 signatures. But due to the success of a third party presidential candidate Oklahoma, a Democratic stronghold at the time, the election ended up with Nixon as the winner of the state’s electoral votes. So the Democratic majority in the state legislature increased the petition to 5% of the last vote for President or Governor, and increased the percentage of the vote that a party would need to stay recognized to 10% of the vote. Ridiculous.

I immediately got to work in the fight to change these laws. I worked every legislative session, calling legislators, visiting them in their offices, writing emails and letter campaigns, and writing a ballot access brief. 4 years I worked to get a bill passed to reduce that petition burden. Finally in 2014, we succeeded. After nearly 50 years, Oklahoma’s laws for forming a new party was eased. While not the 5,000 signatures it once was, the new 3% of the last vote for Governor was a huge improvement.

During this time, I worked on other efforts to expand electoral options for Oklahoma voters. In 2012, the American Elect party spent considerable money and effort to get on the ballot under Oklahoma’s old law. But when it came time to follow through with that ballot access success, they failed to organize and nominate a candidate for President. So a small group of American Elect supporters convinced me and others to join in nominating Gary Johnson for the Americans Elect position on the Oklahoma ballot. So I joined the party and registered to be an official Elector for Gary Johnson. We filed the necessary paperwork and immediately the Republican controlled state government challenged the nomination and sued to remove Gary Johnson from the ballot. They were successful in making up law on the spot and convincing the Oklahoma Supreme Court to rule in their favor and Gary Johnson was no longer a candidate for President in Oklahoma in 2012.

Back to 2014, during my time at Oklahoman’s for Ballot Access Reform, I met many people who were members of the Libertarian Party. As I learned more about that party, I was sure that I finally found a political home. Even before we were successful in getting the laws changed in Oklahoma, I joined the Libertarian Party and was elected as Secretary for the OKLP in 2012. Once the laws to form a new party were changed in 2014, I joined the effort to petition for party recognition. That petition was successful in time for the 2016 Presidential election.

Even during that time, I was still working to ease Oklahoma’s laws regarding the recognition of political parties. I knew that even if a party was successful in petitioning to form, they would have a severe uphill battle meeting the 10% vote requirement to stay recognized. So I convinced a handful of legislators to introduce a bill to lower that vote test to 2.5% of the vote for Governor or President. That bill passed in time for the 2016 election. That year Gary Johnson won 5.76% of the vote in Oklahoma, surpassing the new 2.5% requirement. Had that 10% requirement stayed, the Libertarian party would have failed to stay recognized and they would have had to petition all over again.

I wasn’t done yet. In 2017, I wrote a new bill that changed the vote test so that it applied to any statewide elected office as well as allow for a party to remain recognized for 4 years rather than 2. I convinced legislators to introduce this bill and pass it in 2018. This new bill again helped the Libertarian Party to stay recognized in Oklahoma. At that same time, I wrote and succeeded in getting passed a law that reduced the signatures needed to get an Independent Presidential candidate on the ballot as well as provide for an optional filing fee. Because of this, 3 Independent presidential candidates were on the 2020 ballot along with the Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian nominees.

During this time, I maintained some activity in the Oklahoma Libertarian Party. I still felt that they would be a home for me. However, due to the actions of some members of the party and the way they treated founding members of the modern OKLP, people who I considered to be friends, I reduced my activity to casual observer. I maintained my voter registration but stopped paying dues and attending conventions.

One aspect of Oklahoma election law that I like is the option for recognized political parties to invite voters registered as independents to vote in a party’s primaries. In 2016, the newly formed party invited independent voters to vote in the one primary election we had, for US Senate. While the primary results were not the ones the party, and even the candidates themselves preferred, I still felt it was a major reason why the party went from roughly 700 members at founding to several thousand after the 2016 election. But in 2017, the new Executive Committee chose not to allow Independent voters to vote in the OKLP’s primaries. This was primarily due to concern they had that independent supporters of Joe Exotic would nominate him for the LP place in the Governor Race. These concerns manifested themselves more broadly in 2019 and the primaries were once again closed. I felt this was a betrayal of the ideals of freedom and liberty that the Libertarian Party was meant to exemplify.

This wasn’t my only concerns with the party. For years, the Libertarian Party has had a provision in the Party Platform that allows for all sorts of restrictions on immigration so long as anyone claims that they are “reasonable”. And there are a lot of people claiming to be libertarian who believe that locking children in cages and destroying life saving supplies in the desert are “reasonable” restrictions. Despite many efforts to simply strike the word “reasonable” from that platform statement, it has failed every time. This isn’t my only concerns with libertarians. There are also many who believe that the government should be allowed to deny marriages to LGBTQ+ people. There are Libertarians who do not support civil rights in general. There are libertarians who glorify the Confederacy and hold that defenders of slavery were righteous warriors of freedom. Many libertarians also expressed solidarity with police who murder innocent civilians and who also violently break up protests against those police abuses. Not to mention the libertarians who express support or apathy towards pedophilia. It is frankly disturbing that people in the party of freedom for all would support so many anti-freedom beliefs.

Then the 2016 election came and boy was I not prepared. Trump won that election and the ensuing avalanche of support from supposed libertarians for him was mind boggling. Throughout his presidency with all his increasing of taxes, wall building, cracking down on immigration and asylum seekers and refugees; despite his effort to escalate the wars in the Middle East and start a new war with Iran; despite his terrible handling of the Covid pandemic, and so many efforts to destroy liberty and freedom in the US, libertarians flocked to him as if he was the epitome of libertarian ideals.

During his Presidency, Republican Congressman Justin Amash expressed disdain for the cult of Trump and changed his registration to Libertarian, becoming the first sitting Libertarian Congressman. He even made movements that indicated his intent to seek the Libertarian nomination for President. The 2020 nominating convention scared him off before he could even make an official announcement. Despite a deadly virus outbreak, some in charge of the convention refused to allow an online convention to take place. They fought to death to prevent it because they knew that if an in person convention was held, that their anti-immigration anti-freedom candidates would be nominated because only their Covid denying supporters would show up in person. Thankfully they failed and an online convention was held, but that whole fiasco scared off the best potential candidate since Gary Johnson.

It became quite clear to me that many active members of the OKLP and those seeking leadership roles in the party supporters were people who held the beliefs above. They fought against efforts to reject bigotry. They made it quite clear that bigots were welcome and the victims of bigotry are not. Then came the January 6 assault on the US Capitol that disrupted the counting and certifying of the 2020 Electoral votes. The OKLP refused to take a stand against it stating that it wasn’t an Oklahoma problem.

These kinds of libertarians were gaining extensive traction all over the country, but none so blatant as those in New Hampshire. The series of tweets that came from the official LPNH Twitter account were quite appalling and nary a word from the OKLP. When the national party decided to take action against New Hampshire, those in leadership and influence in the OKLP spoke out against the national party and in support of the edgelord messaging of LPNH.

All of this to say that at one time, I felt like I might have found a political home. There were so many aspects of libertarian ideology that rang true to me and influenced my line of thinking. But there are severe ideological differences between me and those who seek to control the messaging and direction of the Libertarian Party. Over the last week, so many people I admire have resigned from their roles in the party. Many people who started the Oklahoma Libertarian Party have long ago left the public spotlight. I feel it is my time as well.

I am moving soon. I will need to re-register to vote. When I do, I plan on once again registering as an Independent voter. However, I will continue to work toward a world set free. I will work for liberty and justice that is truly for all. I will be renewing my efforts with Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform. There are still so many areas of Oklahoma election law that needs reform. I feel that is where I can be of most help toward a world set free. Perhaps one day a new political party will emerge from those efforts and it will truly reflect the ideals that make up who I am.

-E. Zachary Knight

Random Battles Free On Smashwords

July 2, 2012 Posted by zachary

Random Battles: A Gamer’s Guide to What the Crap is Happening in the Games IndustryFor a while now, I have offered the ability to read my first book Random Battles: A Gamer’s Guide to What the Crap is Happening in the Games Industry for free here on my web site. The book was fun to write and I learned a lot about what I was interested in and what I wanted to express in it. I still have more that I want to say and probably in a better format in the future. I really like the idea of ebooks and what they have to offer young aspiring writers such as myself. Yet, there comes a time when somethings just need to be set free. Starting now (or rather a week or so ago), the book is available for Free on Smashwords.

This book is my first foray into writing about games as a money making enterprise. It admittedly has a number of weaknesses (not least of these is the lack of citations). So we will consider it as a first draft of a more in depth look at the world of gaming from the perspective of a gaming consumer. So let me tell you now, I will be back.

Now, if you want to support me in my endeavor to write more and bring a bigger and better reading experience, please feel free to buy it from Amazon. I decided to leave that pay option for those who would like to support me.

But buying this book is not the only way to support me in writing (and even game development). I also run a very nice little CafePress store in which you can buy t-shirts with various game related slogans on them. I will be adding more as time moves forward.

So there you have it. If I make enough money, I will be able to focus more of my time on writing as well as game development. This is something I have wanted for a long time and I am really working hard towards that goal at this point. Thank you for your time and support.

Changes To Random Battle’s Copyright Notice

December 16, 2011 Posted by zachary

I made a HUGE mistake when I published my book on Smashwords. I was reading the preview of another book, Digilife written by a friend Timothy Geigner, and his copyright notice got me thinking about mine.  I put in no thought into the copyright notice that Smashwords requires in all books it publishes. I thought the requirement was a little annoying and so I just copy/pasted one of the example copyright notices. Then I got to thinking about it and how much it disagreed with my overall philosophy with copyright.

Here is the original copyright notice:

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

I think this is very bad for many reasons. Chief amongst these is the first sentence. I hate the idea of things we buy only being “licenses”. That is so limiting and frustrating for many reasons. I hate it. Too many businesses are moving in the direction of wanting to remove any kind of fair use and first sale rights that we still enjoy. I don’t want to be a part of that.

Second, I don’t mind you giving this book to other people. That is how word spreads. In fact, I feel so strongly about this that I made the whole book freely available on my website. So why would I care that you let your friend or family member borrow it.

Third, The idea that I am upset with the idea that you didn’t pay for it prior to reading it as implied in the second to last sentence is absolutely absurd. I am not upset in any way. I am happy that people have read my book.

With these thoughts in mind, I wrote a new copyright notice that reflects my thoughts on this matter, and even references the book itself. So here is the new copyright notice:

My thoughts on copyright are very flexible as can be seen when reading Chapters 2, 3 and 7 of this book. While I would love for you to pay for this book, I can understand why you might be reluctant to do so. If you do find that you like it and want me to write more, feel free to drop a buck on it.

So there you have it. Enjoy the book.

Branching Out

December 11, 2011 Posted by zachary

For those who have been following me, this may be old news. However, I thought I would take a moment and share some news about what I am up to. I have become much more active online and have been doing a lot more writing as well as game development. So here is a small description of the individual works I have been doing.

Divine Knight Gaming

My brother Willis and I have been working on a game together. We are still in early development and are working to have a playable prototype by January so that we can officially announce our game and start making some money through it. Along with working on that game, we will be using the blog and website to post tutorials and other game development related articles. This is part of us giving back to the greater game development community.

Random Tower Games

Random Tower Games is a label Willis and I are using to cover a few things. One is our retail side of things. We currently operate an Amazon store in which we sell games. This has been mildly successful and we are working to make it more so. We are also working on building a small business designing t-shirts. On top of this, we are using it as a blog to discuss some of the latest and most interesting gaming news. We might even throw some game reviews in there if we ever have the time to play some games.

Mormon Libertarian

This one is pretty much me. I ran for Oklahoma State House in 2010 and have been fairly active in politics since. This is my way of continuing that effort. When I do write, it will be from the point of view of a Mormon who is also a Libertarian. This is who I am and how I roll. I can’t make any promises that I will run for office again, but at least this way I can work toward the greater good of this nation.

The Mantle of the Mighty

This one has not gotten started yet, but it is there. I want to write more fiction and this is where it will be promoted and displayed. I have had a novel in the works for 10 years now (I haven’t actually worked on it for the past few years) but I hope to finish it at some time. In the mean time, I will also be posting my short stories and poems there as I write them. I will even write up articles on writing, publishing, and things related to them.

Editorial Games

This one is currently not active. I plan on bringing it back out of limbo soon. I had written under that blog in the past but took it down and haven’t gotten back to it. This site will be dedicated to games that deal with political and social issues. If I find a game that meets that criteria, I will be writing about it there. I will also be using that site as a platform to promote and play games I have created for that theme. Keep an eye on this space in the near future.


I have been writing for Techdirt for a while now. You have probably seen my articles linked here and other places. This is a great gig and has been one of the driving points behind my greater interest in writing. I mostly write about legal issues related to copyright, patents and trademark, but often write about other interesting legal issues. There is a wide variety of topics there and I hope to bring a whole lot more.

EZ Knight

Finally, we have this site here. If there is ever a topic that doesn’t fit neatly into the narrowly defined boxes above, I will be writing about it here. This is kind of the catchall blog. If I ever find that I am writing a lot about a certain brand of news, I may even spin it out into its own blog to help keep things straight. Who knows. For now, you can expect to find a whole lot of variety.

So that is it. That is what I am up to. Feel free to keep things interesting by commenting and sharing these blogs with others.

Read Random Battles For Free

December 1, 2011 Posted by zachary

So I have decided to go with a little experiment. Since I am new to the Kindle publishing world and most of my writing has been confined to my blog and those other various places I have written, I have decided that the best thing for me to do is to offer the complete text of my book Random Battles for free.  Seriously, check it out.

The whole thing is available here on my website in web form. So feel free to read it, link to it, do what ever it is you like. If you like what I have written and would like a copy of your very own, you can buy it on Amazon or on SmashWords. By paying for a copy of your own, you will be supporting me as I continue to write. I have two more book in that series I want to write plus another book covering legal issues games have faced in the past.

What I plan to do with the money raised from the book is use it to help me get on the path to working full time on my game company with my brother. We really want to be able to do that instead of working for other people. I will also be able to use that money to help me write more on my blogs that you all love so much.

So check it out.

Announcing: Random Battles Book 1

November 11, 2011 Posted by zachary

Today is the official announcement for the first in a 3 part series of books on my observations and outlook on the games industry and how it effects the lives of gamers. The book is Random Battles: A Gamer’s Guide to What the Crap is Happening in the Games Industry and can be purchased at Amazon for the Kindle. In keeping with my philosophy on the issues, the book is available worldwide without DRM or installation restrictions.

For a sample of what the book is about, I am including the introduction and a snippet of one of the chapters.

Introduction: The Games We Love

Ever since my mom brought home the TI-99, I have been a gamer. I have played games on that, the Atari 2600, the Apple IIe, the NES, SNES, Genesis, Atari Jaguar, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, DS, PS1, PS2, GameCube, Wii, PS3 and various forms of the PC. I have gamed all my life. Ever since playing my first game, I knew I wanted to work in the industry as well. Gaming has changed my life.

Ever since the introduction of the internet I have immersed myself in gaming culture. I follow the changes in the industry, follow trends in game design, distribution and monetization. These changes have fascinated me on several levels. However, throughout the whole of it, I have retained what I think is a unique mindset. I still consider myself a gamer first and a game developer second. This means that any decision I make or position I take is most often leans on the side of the gamer.

This mindset has often put me at heads with those in the games industry. Many of them have forgotten what it means to be a gamer and make many decisions that negatively impact gamers world wide. Luckily, not everyone in the industry is like that and these people are working to change gaming for the better.

Within these pages, you will find many of my observations, thoughts, opinions and predictions regarding many issues with gaming. While it is not a comprehensive look at gaming, It covers many of the broader and more pertinent topics I have observed. Within these pages you will read about Piracy, Used Game Sales, DRM, Accessibility and many other issues.

I hope that those who read this book will look at the topics with an open mind and try to understand just what makes a gamer tick when it comes to these issues. I would also hope that those gamers who read this will take the advice I give in these chapters to better influence gaming for everyone in the world. That is my goal at least.

Chapter 3: Digital Rights Management

No discussion about piracy can be complete without bringing up Digital Rights Management or DRM. DRM is a tool used to prevent the widespread pirating of digital goods such as games.

It has a long and sordid history and has had varying levels of non-success and failure. It has taken such forms as the disk check, dongles, codes from manuals and even online verification. The worst offenses have caused damage to gamers’ computers and have caused all kinds of ill will amongst gamers.

Let’s take a bit of look at various forms of DRM.

Dread Forms of DRM

Like any good Mimic, DRM takes the form of a “benefit” to the gamer, and like all Mimics, ends with the player barely surviving the encounter.

In the early days of gaming, DRM was often found as secret codes that one had to enter into the game at various intervals. For instance, in the original Warcraft the player had to enter a seemingly random word from the game’s manual in order to play the game for the first time. This is fine for the original owners of the game, but as manuals became lost or damaged, it would cause all kinds of problems.

Other games relied on dongles that needed to be plugged into certain ports on the gamer’s PC. Again, these were okay until the dongle became lost or broken. This isn’t widely used any more due to its impracticality.

The next evolution of the dongle is the modern video game console. Proprietary hardware that is required for a game to run. This has allowed game developers many protections as it is often more difficult, though not impossible, to stop piracy when the hardware is locked down.

We also have the disk check. Most older PC games will install everything except a few bits of executable code, or assets and such onto the hard drive. This leaves a few things for the game that need to be pulled off the disk. However, as hard drive space grew it became more practical for everything to be stored on the faster hard drive. So the only thing left on the disk was a signature for the game to check against. If the game couldn’t detect the disk, it wouldn’t run.

With the internet age, developers were able to create a new kind of DRM. This one uses a process to ping a server and validate the game with the mother server. There have been varying levels of this starting with a simple one time registration to an “always on” connection.

Those are just a few kinds of DRM that gamers have encountered over the years. Some of it was okay and others were far more horrible.

The Purpose of DRM

So what is the purpose of DRM? Well, if you ask most any publisher, they will tell you that it is to protect their investment from theft through piracy. If you ask any gamer though you get a different story. They will tell you the purpose of DRM is to annoy us into ever more complicated hoop jumps, or to fight the used games market.

From my observation, DRM is nothing more than a way to avoid blame when a game is a failure. They claim it is to stop piracy, but when a game fails they can point to piracy and declare, “No matter how hard we try we just can’t win.” Then they stop making games for PCs and move to consoles.

So if DRM is not effective, why do they continue to use it? For the most part, it is because of investor pressure. Most DRM advocates are from publicly traded game companies such as EA, Activision or Ubisoft. They are pressured by their shareholders and investors to protect their investments from loss. With this pressure they have to put out measures that make it look like they are trying to stop piracy of their games. In reality, these moves are fruitless and the people being forced to implement them, the developers, know it. They recognize that trying to stop piracy is like trying to stop the tide from rolling in.

Welcome to My New Site

June 29, 2010 Posted by zachary

I have finished my new site. I was planning on doing a WordPress site, but after thinking it through, I found it to be the best option for my needs.

I will be adding content as time moves on. Stay tuned.