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Monday, April 27

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Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR You are notified by a group of strangers that you must send them a large amount (by ounce? gram?) of money. The request is reasonably polite, although there is, in small print, or hushed, mumbled tones, a promise of unpleasantness should you decline the request. Or perhaps you learn, by TV or newspaper, that henceforth you will be required to do something which you had not previously been required to do: carry certain papers on your person at all times,...
Original article "In a series of articles, Eric Lipton of The New York Times examines the explosion in lobbying of state attorneys general by corporate interests and the millions in campaign donations they now provide."
Original article "American foreign policy has been the instrument of the corporate class since the turn of the last century. This is what empires are all about – and, as imperiums go, ours is in a class of corruption all by itself."
Original article A brief critique of some lesser known selections from Marx.
Original article "Some 900 people from Libya may have died when their boats capsized in the Mediterranean Sea as they fled the barbaric chaos that the Obama administration helped unleash in Libya in 2011. Yet, the mainstream U.S. media has amnesia about the bloody American hand in this tragedy, writes Robert Parry."
Original article "Turse has unearthed a continent’s worth of bad behavior, even as U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) went out of its way to obstruct his reporting and the documents he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act were so heavily redacted that ink companies must be making a fortune."
Original article "The growing 1,200-file record is comprised of 8,900 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the files of various FBI informants and government employees engaged in “domestic intelligence work” since the 1950s."
Original article The real problem is the belief that all our social problems can be solved with force.
Original article "It's a strange demand to make on a political philosophy -- that it instantly fix everything that the opposing philosophy has broken. Moreover, I'm concerned that some libertarians, in their justifiable enthusiasm for "the market," inadvertently lead nonlibertarians to think that this unrealistic expectation is part of their philosophy. Of course, that is not good because nonlibertarians won't believe that the market would make all things right overnight, and so they...
Original article "In a landmark 2009 report, the National Academy of Sciences concluded that, aside from DNA, there was little, if any, meaningful scientific underpinning to many of the forensic disciplines. “With the exception of nuclear DNA analysis … no forensic method has been rigorously shown to have the capacity to consistently, and with a high degree of certainty, demonstrate a connection between evidence and a specific individual or source,” reads the report."
Original article "But in hindsight, there’s a giant, glaring problem with my educational experience: I hardly did any real thinking, and I didn’t really give a damn about learning. At least not for most of that time. For the vast majority of my “education”, I wasn’t asking deep, probing questions; I wasn’t generating original ideas about the topics at hand; I wasn’t engaging in creative problem-solving; I wasn’t imagining multiple perspectives or...
Original article "Why in the world has JP Morgan accumulated more than55 million ounces of physical silver?  Since early 2012, JP Morgan’s stockpile has grown from less than 5 million ounces of physical silver to more than 55 million ounces of physical silver.  Clearly, someone over at JP Morgan is convinced that physical silver is a great investment."
Original article "Reflecting on the diverse ways in which libertarians seek to reduce the states impact in our lives, a general theme emerges. When previous revolutions have been loud, confrontational and very often violent, the libertarian revolution in its myriad forms is all about evading, creating and finding more ways in which we can avoid conflict. It is not about resisting but simply not complying, which may make it the quietest, and best, revolution to date."
Original article Some of the history and business models of various blockchain startups.
Original article Will recent breakthroughs in computer science make truly free markets a reality?  
Original article "Since early in 2013, Darkcoin has been a permanent fixture in the daily digital currency news. From Darkcoin’s initial meteoric rise, quickly reaching a USD value of $15, to the level of security and innovation it provides for privacy seekers, to the failures and triumphs of the “Masternode Network”, Darkoin has been almost as interesting and intriguing as Bitcoin itself. And 2015 is shaping up to be a year of rebirth for Darkcoin, which is now Dash. We discuss...
Original article Learn how to use PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) to protect your communications.
The Pendulum Swings
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Kevin M. Patten 2013-10-04 08:14
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR There always seems to be a fine line between those who are praised and those who are condemned. Circumstances and rationalizations play a vital part in deciding who will be considered “heroes” and who will go down in history as bloodthirsty monsters. Usually when this happens, the morals that were supposed to be held so close to our hearts...
Horsing Around With Tax Preparers
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Emmett Harris 2013-10-02 08:01
Column by Emmett Harris. Exclusive to STR The Obama administration is filled with dreadful little sycophants who manely specialize in finding rationalizations for regulatory overreach. Because of this, when an opportunity to saddle the populous with a more burdensome government comes along, we would never expect them to look a gift horse in the mouth. Their latest chestnut, however, is about a...
Left-Libertarians and the Ring of Power Recommended
9.5
Glen Allport 2013-10-01 08:32
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR Whoever cannot hit the nail on the head should please, not hit it at all. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche Image of The Ring of Power from Wikimedia Commons – 1 – If I had the Ring of Power, I would only use it for GOOD!   Recently, I was reminded that to at least some extent, left-leaning libertarians and anarchists do not understand that...
Winston Smith Defects to Eurasia
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Tim Hartnett 2013-09-30 08:13
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR In June 1949 when 1984 hit the bookstands, Joseph Stalin had nearly four years to live and was busy as ever waging war against his comrades. It was Uncle Joe’s second wind for massacre after racking up a toll of millions that had already knocked Hitler out of contention for greatest psycho of all time. Nothing on that kind of scale had ever gone on...
The Yoke
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Jim Davies 2013-09-27 07:48
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Recently there was an unusually perceptive comment posted on these pages, that noted the folly of supposing that believers in government can be expected to leave us infidels in peace. There are only two ways of getting what one wants: earning it, or stealing it. Persuade, or compel. This is the great divide, the feature that separates believers from non-...
Everyone Gets What He Wants
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Paul Bonneau 2013-09-24 08:09
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Do you yearn for some thing? I certainly do. Why can’t we go ahead and get the things we yearn for? What’s wrong with that? At some point every person needs to learn to take “yes” for an answer. That’s what Panarchy is, taking “yes” for an answer. I’m going to talk about “liberals” and “...
Government Belief Is Suicide
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Alex R. Knight III 2013-09-23 08:07
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR During my sojourn as an undergraduate student, I had the pleasure of studying under the tutelage of a fine poet. Ben was a likeable enough guy: Literary, musical, humorous, and easy to work with. My study project title that semester was The Craft of Poetry, and so I read and wrote lots of both, which was also agreeable enough. But during our in-...
Starbucks and Guns
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Alex R. Knight III 2013-09-20 08:06
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR The recent announcement by Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz that the open carrying of firearms in his popular coffee shops is no longer welcome, has elicited quite a range of reactions from both pro and anti-gun groups. Some of it, in fact, has reached a hysterical pitch (as, I suppose, is only to be expected from what is such a hot button...
Amerika Is FUBAR
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Alex R. Knight III 2013-09-19 08:28
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR There are a lot of people, well-intentioned ones among them (and we know what the road to Hell is paved with, don’t we?), who are still locked into the mindset of playing the government game, as it were. I’ve written quite a bit about that recently myself, and here’s another current essay that sums their misguided and futile efforts...
Socialism
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Jim Davies 2013-09-19 08:11
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Famously, in 1922 Ludwig von Mises predicted the ultimate failure of socialism, for the good reason that in a planned economy, freely-moving prices are outlawed, while freely-moving prices are the only valid signal of what is wanted, where, when and in what quantity. It took a while – and a dreadful war – but in 1990 he was proven right. The...
A Look at the True Collectivist, Socialist and Communist Nature of Today’s Conservatives Recommended
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Scott Lazarowitz 2011-12-06 01:00
Column by Scott Lazarowitz. Exclusive to STR Many of today’s conservatives speak of traditional moral values and free-market capitalism, and say they are “against collectivism, socialism and communism.” But an examination of the actual policies they support and the way they want to implement their “values” shows that many conservatives are really the collectivist,...
Stupidity Reigns
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Paul Hein 2012-01-10 01:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   Perhaps you saw the video clip of Bridget Brown, who is a “markets reporter” declaring that gold is not backed by anything, whereas the U.S. dollar is backed by the American government. She apparently considered this a shortcoming of the precious metal. The mind boggles.   The late Merrill Jenkins, the original Monetary Realist...
They Built the Roads, Bringing Genocide to Millions
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painkilleraz 2012-01-11 01:00
Column by Jesse Mathewson. Exclusive to STR Manifest destiny: these two words were used to promote genocide, the expansion of the state and War with Mexico. This term was coined and subsequently popularized in 1845 by John Sullivan in an article titled “Annexation” written for the United States Magazine and Democratic Review. There was and remains, an overwhelming belief, among...
The Bureaucratization of Airport Security
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Alex Schroeder 2012-01-18 01:00
Column by Alex Schroeder. Exclusive to STR A recent flight to a sunny Caribbean island unfortunately required interaction with our friends at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). While having my privacy invaded by these inconsiderate bureaucratic underlings, I began to contemplate precisely why airport security is so unpleasant and why it becomes more so subsequent to new security...
Rule by Children
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Bob Wallace 2012-02-06 01:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   Of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates, all of them, except for Ron Paul, are whores and puppets for international bankers and international corporations (I call them Cosmodemonic Transnational Megacorporations). And Paul doesn’t stand a chance, because he is an adult. It doesn't matter if Obama is re-elected, or...
Panarchy, Subsidiarity and Me
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Paul Bonneau 2012-02-06 01:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR  When I first started writing on this subject (see here, here, and here), I was mostly shooting in the dark. Subsequent reading has yet again proven the old saying, from Ecclesiastes, that there is nothing new under the sun; that what I wrote has been thought of before. This article will attempt to collect and connect these themes.   The first...
To Govern and Enslave
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Jim Davies 2012-02-07 01:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR  Given the axiom of self-ownership, there's very little difference between those two verbs. To govern someone is to override his own wishes; he wants to do X, but government commands him to do Y. Likewise, to enslave someone is to override his own plans; he wants to be an Econ Professor and columnist, but the slave-owner commands him to pick cotton, and...
Government Protection and the Drug Problem
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painkilleraz 2012-02-16 01:00
Column by Jesse Matthewson. Exclusive to STR From 1920 to 1933, a strong prohibition was in effect in the United States. Alcohol, illicit drugs and mind-altering substances were banned and violence and crime had reached epic proportions. It had been a struggle for the religious right of the late 1800s and early 1900s to remove all of these evil products. They succeeded in 1920 with the complete...
The State Is a Firing Squad MUST READ
10
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...
A Modest Proposal
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Paul Hein 2012-02-23 01:00
Column by Paul Hein.  Exclusive to STR  Once again the earth’s alignment with the sun is becoming such that assorted natural—and some quite unnatural--phenomena can be expected.   In the unnatural group is the appearance, like dandelions in the lawn, of assorted individuals and firms offering expert income tax preparation. This is so predictable, and has been happening...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
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D. Saul Weiner 2015-02-13 09:13
Column by D. Saul Weiner. Exclusive to STR There are a lot of heated exchanges going on right now in social media related to vaccination. Many people have become convinced that parents who do not vaccinate are jeopardizing the health of others and that vaccines for children should be mandated. Politicians who are expected to run for president in 2016 are starting to weigh in on the topic and some...
'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
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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
10
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...