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Wednesday, July 9

Guest Editor

A. Magnus is the guest editor today.

WANTED: A new guest editor for Saturdays.  A guest editor selects the external links for that day and then uploads them to STR.  If you're interested, please email me.

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photo courtesy of Moyan Brenn

Original article "As sequestration takes toll on the Pentagon’s budget, Defense officials must decide how to maintain superior military capabilities. A new study suggests that the Pentagon should focus more on a “great power conflict,” reflective of a newly aggressive Russia and rapidly modernizing China."
Original article "There may be more fiber in your food than you realized. Burger King, McDonald’s and other fast food companies list in the ingredients of several of their foods, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) or “powdered cellulose” as components of their menu items. Or, in plain English, wood pulp."
Original article "It seems not even The Pope's private bank can make money when its only allowed to do it the legal way. As The FT reports, profits at the Vatican bank plunged last year after thousands of accounts were closed as part of an overhaul of the scandal-ridden institution. The Vatican bank, officially known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), now has 17,419 customers, down from 18,900 in 2012 and net profit fell from EUR86.6m in 2012 to EUR2.9m last year. So - in sum - accounts fell 8% and...
Original article "On Saturday morning, the Greek government issued civil mobilisation orders to striking Public Power Corporation (PPC) workers, ordering them back to work by placing them under martial law. The order was issued after a ruling by the Athens Court of First Instance on Friday evening, which declared the strike illegal."
Original article "Want to hear the worst idea in the history of horrible ideas? How about we take the industry responsible for destroying the U.S. economy and wrecking the lives of tens of millions of people, and then allow it to create a “government-industry cyber war council.”"
Original article "The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee is refusing to cooperate with an insider trading investigation, saying its employees are “absolutely immune” from having to comply with subpoenas from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)."
Original article "In lieu of Weinstein’s promised anti-Second Amendment epic, “Cloverfield” director Matt Reeves produced a film with a distinctly anti-gun subtext. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is now in theaters and it has some Second Amendment advocates crying foul."
Original article "Thirty-eight journalism and open government groups today called on President Obama to stop practices in federal agencies that prevent important information from getting to the public. The national organizations sent a letter to Obama today urging changes to policies that constrict information flow to the public, including prohibiting journalists from communicating with staff without going through public information offices, requiring government PIOs to vet interview questions and monitoring...
Original article "The unspecified threat the DHS is reacting to has added a new requirement for passengers taking direct flights to the United States. In short, you’d better make sure all your electronics are charged before you reach the security checkpoint or you quite possibly won’t be going anywhere."
Original article "Marijuana dispensaries in Washington state began legally selling recreational weed on Tuesday morning, joining Colorado by officially becoming the second state in the country where adults can lawfully purchase pot. Customers formed lines outside retailers in the Evergreen State early Tuesday as select shops prepared to open their doors for the first time ever."
Original article "In recent days an estimated 30,000 Internet users have received emails containing copyright warnings and demands for cash settlements. The emails, which detail alleged infringements on content from EMI, Sony, DreamWorks and Paramount, are not only fake but also have a sting in the tail - a nasty trojan just waiting to be installed."
Original article "The Russian Government signed a draft agreement on the creation of a $100 billion pool of currency reserves that the BRICS countries are forming to guard against financial shocks. According to the document, the countries’ dollar reserves will remain on the balance sheets of their central banks. However, these reserves can be made available at the request of one of the parties."
Original article "A 'painful' restructuring of the Vatican’s scandal-ridden bank in order to weed out suspicious activity has resulted in a massive fall in profits and the closure of hundreds of customer accounts."  (Editor's pick)
Original article Song by Smoke Fairies.  (Editor's pick)
Original article For all our brothers and sisters withering and wilting in the heat...
Whose Side Is History On?
0
Tim Hartnett 2013-07-16 07:34
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR Quiz: The phrase “one step forward and two steps back” is? a. The title of a book by Vladimir Lenin. b. A generous assessment of 20th Century American diplomacy. c. A rate of progress that gets “experts” promoted and keeps “think-tanks” well-funded. d. All of the above. When Morsi was toppled by a military coup in Egypt...
The Zimmerman Spectacle Showcases a Racist System and a Hypocritical Support Base for Trayvon Martin
5.5
Kevin M. Patten 2013-07-15 08:45
Column by new Root Striker Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR Now that the inevitable and unsurprising acquittal of George Zimmerman has been handed down, scores of angry citizens will be asking, “What’s next?” It should at some point cross the minds of those rioting in Oakland and those currently “taking the freeway” in Los Angeles – the same activists who are...
Words and Deeds
9
Douglas Young 2013-07-15 08:26
Column by Douglas Young. Exclusive to STR Celebrity chef Paula Deen was professionally lynched for having once used a racist epithet at home 30 years ago when referring to the black man who robbed her at gunpoint. This came in a legal deposition prompted by an extortionist $1.25 million discrimination lawsuit filed by a white female former employee who admitted she hadn’t heard Ms. Deen use...
33 Years of School Daze
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Tim Hartnett 2013-07-15 07:53
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR Tony Soprano spoke out for a lot of people when he asked a school psychologist: “What constitutes a fidget?” The mob boss wasn’t buying the results of a test contrived to smoke out a condition known as ADD. His boy, AJ, was in hot water after getting caught nipping sacramental wine at the Catholic school he attended. That he was just...
No Lamming From the Free World Order
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Tim Hartnett 2013-07-12 08:31
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR After hearing how outraged First World leaders are about US government actions recently revealed by Edward Snowden, you’d expect the boy to be a celebrity guest damn near anywhere. Instead, blatant war criminals get better welcomes in places where human dignity is supposedly a government mandate. Powerful regimes are inclined to grant each other...
Official Hypocrisy
9.33333
Mark Davis 2013-07-12 08:07
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR "To blindly trust government is to automatically vest it with excessive power. To distrust government is simply to trust humanity--to trust in the ability of average people to peacefully, productively coexist without some official policing their every move. The State is merely another human institution--less creative than Microsoft, less reliable than...
Limbic Linguistics
0
Emmett Harris 2013-07-11 07:18
Column by Emmett Harris. Exclusive to STR Earlier this year, legislators in Washington state engaged in an emotional orgy of fatuity by passing a bill to erase 40,000 words from the overstuffed bindings of their state statutes. Given the sacrosanct pronouncements that, among other things, forbid the use of x-rays in the realm of shoe fitting, one might find it shocking that any of the verbiage...
Two Minutes of Hate for the Collectivists
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Paul Bonneau 2013-07-08 08:18
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I was listening to the interview of Mike Vanderboegh by my friends Michael Dean and Neema Vedadi, and made an initial response on Libertarian Enterprise. Since naming that response “How To Not Be a Collectivist” bothered me a bit (you can detect my uneasiness in that article), I have thought some more about it; here are my cogitations. First I...
Taxation Is Theft. Always.
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Jim Davies 2013-07-08 07:56
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR In a LewRockwell.com blog post on June 7th, Mike Rozeff offered the surprising opinion that taxation is not necessarily always theft, because some people accept the need to pay it and do so willingly. He called that an example of the “consent of the governed.” I've engaged him in a friendly email exchange since, but we still disagree....
An Open Letter to the NSA, CIA, FBI, and DOJ (In Fact, You Have Probably Already Read It)
0
Travis Irvine 2013-07-03 08:29
Column by Travis Irvine. Exclusive to STR Dear NSA, CIA, FBI, DOJ and any other U.S. intelligence entities that I do not know exist, Congratulations! Edward Snowden is on the run, Bradley Manning is on trial, the AP’s emails have been hacked and Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings is dead. It seems like your attempts to stop intelligence leaks – via the whistleblowers who...
A Sign of Our Depravity
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R. K. Blacksher 2011-09-02 00:00
Column by R.K. Blacksher   Exclusive to STR    Some people love to lament the popularity of violent video games and rap music. They view this as a sign of our depravity. Other people love to lament the popularity of NASCAR and professional wrestling. They view this as a sign of our stupidity.   Are they right? Does the popularity of these cultural phenomena emblemize the much...
The Trouble with Traditional Schooling
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livefreeretiree 2011-09-07 00:00
Column by new Root Striker Vahram G. Diehl.   Exclusive to STR   Traditional concepts and applications of learning have generally been one-sided. The “teacher” transmits information in the form of conclusions through words and images, while the “students” are expected to act as flawless receivers and adopters of these conclusions; they are to memorize them...
Remembering 9-11
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Michael Kleen 2011-09-15 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR Ten years ago, at around 8:00 a.m. in the Chicago suburbs, I awoke to a phone call. It was my father, calling from work to tell me to turn on the television. He said a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center, and true to his word, there it was live on CNN: a black plume of smoke billowing out of the North Tower. Moments later, I, along with millions...
On Standing Up for Our Rights and Bringing Government Criminals to Justice
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Scott Lazarowitz 2011-09-16 00:00
Column by Scott Lazarowitz. Exclusive to STR Recently an Atlantic article on the history of guns emphasized the 1960s Black Panthers exercising their right to bear arms openly on the California state capitol steps. The article highlights one confrontation between a Panther and an Oakland police officer, who sees guns in the Panthers’ car and asks to see one of the guns. Knowing his rights,...
User's Guide to Spreading the Philosophy of Liberty Recommended
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livefreeretiree 2011-09-19 00:00
Column by Vahram G. Diehl. Exclusive to STR Whatever the collective heading they arbitrarily choose to fall under, the supporters and practitioners of free choice who reject coercion through force or fraud as a viable ethical standard are constantly facing barriers in the path to spreading this moral precept to those around them. Those who believe in a stateless and free society absent of...
A Rationalist's Call to Action: Commence Breeding
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livefreeretiree 2011-09-20 00:00
Column by Vahram G. Diehl. Exclusive to STR Crisis! The planet is in a state of dreary imbalance! Tasks that should take three steps take three hundred! Human affairs everywhere are initiated with unnecessary hardship and carried through with extensive roundabout hoop-jumping and mountains of parlor-trick paperwork! Entire populaces can scantily differentiate their defecatory...
Staying Sane in an Unsane World
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livefreeretiree 2011-09-27 00:00
Column by Vahram G. Diehl. Exclusive to STR It is no secret that most people do not know what they are talking about, most of the time, on most subjects.  As a young person with an inclination toward the exclusive use of reason, this is for me an especially infuriating environmental defect.  People who cannot use reason (most people) will substitute authority in its place,...
Fun and Gun
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Mark Davis 2011-10-13 00:00
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR  I’ve had enough of the emotional handwringing about the evil of guns and the chastising rhetoric about gun owners. Of course, inanimate objects like guns can’t be evil or good; they are just tools that can be used for good or evil. Further, gun owners are no more inherently wicked than people who own knives, hammers, shovels or...
On the Road to a Right Education
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livefreeretiree 2011-10-17 00:00
Column by Vahram G. Diehl.   We face a profoundly sad state of affairs in human civilization. What is called a conventional education today is little more than mass cultural training in a particular brand of patriotism, including enforced memorization of the current era's arbitrarily acceptable ideas. The entire public school system operates under one goal: preparing every...
The Spinnerians
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Leonidas 2011-10-17 00:00
Column by new Root Striker G. Asher. Exclusive to STR   Let’s imagine a group of high minded, socially conscious, wealthy individuals. They form a charitable social group called The Spinnerians.   The Spinnerians energetically do all manner of kind works. They diligently raise money for children’s hospitals. They help the elderly. The feed and house the homeless and get them...
'Obamacare Nightmare Edition' of Ringo's Law and the Healthcare System of Doom MUST READ
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Glen Allport 2013-10-30 08:02
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR Introduction for this 2013 Edition As I write this – October 28, 2013, more than four years after the column below was posted (here with minor edits; see the original at this link if you wish) – NBC News is reporting that the Obama administration “knew millions could not keep their health insurance" under Obamacare, and has known...
An Armed March on Washington? MUST READ
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Alex R. Knight III 2013-05-07 06:52
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Perhaps never before have I encountered a proposal within Liberty Movement circles that has generated more controversy faster and further than Adam Kokesh’s planned July 4th march on Washington, District of Criminals, in which he states that himself and the other participants “will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to...
The Orwellian Paradigm--Killing You, For Your Own Safety MUST READ
9.625
fmoghul 2013-04-10 08:12
Column by Faisal Moghul. Exclusive to STR Almost 30 years ago, cultural critic Neil Postman argued in Amusing Ourselves to Death that television’s gradual replacement of the printing press has created a dumbed-down culture driven by mindless entertainment. In this context, Postman claimed that Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World correctly foresaw our dystopian future, as opposed to George...
Frameworks, Virtual Reality and Civil Society: A Manifesto for the Doctrine of Love and Freedom MUST READ
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Glen Allport 2012-12-06 08:44
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR Perhaps I should say this paradigm shift is resuming. The healthier incoming paradigm is a modern, more accurate, better-supported, and better-understood version of one that began the shift towards a free, healthy, and prosperous world more than three centuries ago and which informed the creation of the United States itself: Classical Liberalism. - 1...
Timeline of a World-Killing Paradigm Shift MUST READ
0
Glen Allport 2012-05-14 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR   Part 3 of "Could the Non-Aggression Principle Stop the Sixth Great Extinction?"   Part One of this series discussed the Non-Aggression principle, calling it "the libertarian half of the Golden Rule" (compassion being the other half) and describing the function of aggression in creating not only tyranny and war but also...
Terrorist Alert: Government Extremists Threaten Americans MUST READ
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Glen Allport 2012-03-26 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR   Question: are you more terrified by Muslim extremists, by "domestic terrorists" – or by your own government? Which group is more likely to assault you? To kill you? To unjustly imprison and even torture you?   The U.S. federal government has ALREADY:   Built and is staffing a huge gulag of concentration camps ["...
The State Is a Firing Squad MUST READ
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JGVibes 2012-02-17 01:00
Column by JGVibes.   Exclusive to STR   Although the common perception of human nature is very negative, the truth is that most people who aren’t mentally ill have a very difficult time committing acts of violence. Usually it takes a sizeable payment and a fair amount of manipulation to convince someone to act violently, and even then a tremendous amount of guilt typically...
How the 1% Took America's Wealth--and How to Get It Back MUST READ
9.25
Glen Allport 2011-12-01 01:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR  - 1 - Plundering Wealth vs Producing Wealth   In recent decades, the rich have gathered an increasing share of the total wealth in the United States. As this wealth disparity grows and especially as large numbers of the formerly middle class fall into poverty and even into homelessness, this flow of wealth from main street (from anyone not...
'Anarchy or Minarchy' Is Only Half the Question, Part 2 MUST READ
9.5
Glen Allport 2011-04-13 03:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR  This is Part 2 of a response to a column by Wesley Messamore. Last week's Part One of this column discussed the following:   ·      Minarchy: Lighting a Match to the Fuse of Tyranny ·      Anarchy: By Itself, Yang without Yin ·      The Missing Key...
Oh, Stanley MUST READ
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tzo 2011-03-30 03:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Stanley Milgram was an American social psychologist best known for his Milgram Experiment, a study conducted in the 1960s.   Dr. Milgram wanted to research the relationship between obedience and authority, and he was at least partly motivated to do so by the events of the Nazi Holocaust. It greatly troubled him that so many supposedly good people could...