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Wednesday, September 17

Guest Editor

A. Magnus is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Kansas Poetry

Original article "Ukrainian legislators on Tuesday passed a law granting broader autonomy to the Donetsk and Luhansk eastern regions, with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declaring the move protects the "sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence" of Ukraine while advancing decentralization."
Original article "Do you really own something that you are forced to perpetually make payments on and which can be seized from you if you don’t pay? I would say that you don’t. You would possess such an item, but you wouldn’t own it—an important distinction."
Original article "The Pentagon leadership suggested to a Senate panel on Tuesday that US ground troops may directly join Iraqi forces in combat against the Islamic State (Isis), despite US president Barack Obama’s repeated public assurances against US ground combat in the latest Middle Eastern war."
Original article "Ahead of Thursday's critical Scottish Independence vote, we thought some context was worthwhile. As The Guardian notes, history shows that when people are asked, they almost always say yes to independence. Every election, country and place’s history is unique and different. Scotland is no exception. Yet, when given the opportunity, The Guardian finds countries tend to vote in favour of independence, and to do so decisively - across 50 votes since 1846, the vote for independence came out on top...
Original article "Boeing and SpaceX have been awarded contracts to become NASA's space taxis, shuttling astronauts to and from the International Space Station, the agency announced Tuesday."
Original article "If you needed another reason to hate Comcast, the most hated company in America, they’ve just given it to you: they’ve declared war on Tor Browser. Reports have surfaced (The first one was via /r/darknetmarkets and another one submitted to us) that Comcast agents have contacted customers using Tor and instructed them to stop using the browser or risk termination of service. A Comcast agent named Jeremy allegedly called Tor an “illegal service.” The Comcast agent told its customer that such...
Original article "Questions are being asked as to why the Los Angeles School District police needs equipment previously used in Iraq after officials admitted they had acquired a 20-foot-long armored vehicle as well as grenade launchers from the U.S. military. The 14-ton armored vehicle, which was was formerly used to transport US Marines, was obtained in July and has been stored at a secret facility since it was received from the military at no cost. CBS LA were denied permission to film the vehicle."
Original article "Rep. Peter King (R-New York) issued a dire warning about the threat posed by the jihadist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS and ISIL) in a conversation with Business Insider on Monday. King argued the group, which is currently mainly active in Iraq and Syria, is at least as dangerous as Al Qaeda to those living on American soil. "We have to assume it's a threat. I mean, when people say there are no terror threats from ISIS, you know, there were no terror threats to the United States...
Original article "The United States would retaliate against Syrian President Bashar Assad's air defenses if he were to go after American planes launching airstrikes in his country, senior Obama administration officials said Monday. Officials said the U.S. has a good sense of where the Syrian air defenses, along with their command and control centers, are located. If Assad were to use those capabilities to threaten U.S. forces, it would put his air defenses at risk, according to the officials, who insisted on...
Original article For those who missed the celestial show this past weekend...
An Open Letter to the NSA, CIA, FBI, and DOJ (In Fact, You Have Probably Already Read It)
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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...
The Exit on the Road to Tyranny?
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George F. Smith 2013-07-02 08:51
Column by George F. Smith. Exclusive to STR One of my favorite quotes from the quotable Thomas Paine is a mere footnote in his treatise, Rights of Man, Part Second, in which he wrote: It is scarcely possible to touch on any subject, that will not suggest an allusion to some corruption in governments. Paine was referring to “the splendor of the throne,” which he said “is no...
Corporate Tyranny?
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Jim Davies 2013-07-02 08:36
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR In a lively exchange in the Guardian comments section recently, a strong bias was revealed to the effect that government is needed to prevent corporations running wild and tyrannizing the world. That's one of the elderly fictions that is still thrust down the throats of trusting children in government schools, to assure them that government is not...
Copperhead Movie Review
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Bradley Keyes 2013-07-01 08:04
Column by Bradley Keyes Exclusive to STR Towns and families ripped apart by war, neighbors turned against neighbors, fathers against sons and daughters, all without a shot fired or an “enemy” in sight. Copperhead, The Movie, presents the conflicts and tragedies of war far from the battlefields. Director Ron Maxwell, whose previous works include Gettysburg and Gods and Generals,...
Why Searching for Dog Toys Online Might Increase Your Home Insurance: The Importance of Internet Security
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Michael Gurnow 2013-07-01 07:25
Column by new Root Striker Michael Gurnow. Exclusive to STR As I was vanity surfing one afternoon, out of sheer boredom I opted to click on one of the many seemingly innocuous web hit listings supposedly offering my personal data for a price. In most cases, these sites merely provide a name, estimated age, and then the option to buy additional information: Current location, phone number, email...
GDP, Adjusted
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Jim Davies 2013-06-24 08:32
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR In one of the best STRticles this year, the new Root Striker “forty2oz” proved that if five people each earn $100K a year, and one of them is a cop, as a group they receive not $500K but $400K. I've never seen it done that well, and no fuzzy math is involved. Like all good writing, this stimulated thought, and mine went to the...
Snowden vs. Bernanke
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George F. Smith 2013-06-24 08:03
Column by George F. Smith. Exclusive to STR From the regime’s viewpoint only, who is the greatest threat, Edward Snowden or Ben Bernanke? The government’s defenders would likely turn their backs on the question, but they ought to look closely at it.  Here’s their take: Snowden has broken the law and exposed sensitive government snooping operations.  At the very least,...
When the Cure Is the Disease
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Tim Hartnett 2013-06-21 07:49
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR “How is the world ruled and led to war? Diplomats lie to journalists and believe these lies when they see them in print.” ~ Karl Kraus The author of the quote above was an Austrian who vocally criticized his country’s foreign policy at the highly risky period before, after and during the First World War. The way he got away with it was...
Melpomene's Magnum Opus
9.33333
tzo 2013-06-20 07:56
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR It seems fairly easy to feel sorry for Edward Snowden, assuming he is in fact a well-meaning individual who was just doing his job and—seeing that the system was being abused to the detriment of others—bravely called it out and is subsequently being persecuted for his actions. One might—and many do—even venture to label him a hero. But...
Mr. Snowden Departs
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Jim Davies 2013-06-17 08:25
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR When I mentioned here last year that I'd made a little web site at TinyURL.com/QuitGov, there were, incredibly, some who poured scorn on the idea – which was, as stated, to introduce to its employees the news that it's dishonest to work for government, and so to prepare their minds for the day when one or more of their friends invites them to...
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
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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...
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...
The Difference Between a Leader and a Master
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JGVibes 2012-03-09 01:00
Column by JGVibes. What is the difference between a leader and master? These are two different terms which imply two different types of relationships that exist between human beings. The key element that separates these two types of people is the element of force; masters will use force and intimidation on others so their commands will be obeyed, while leaders will naturally gain admiration...
The Free Lunch
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Paul Hein 2012-03-21 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR  If you watch political commentators on television, you won’t have to watch very long before the subject of the national debt is introduced. That, in itself, is interesting, because the national debt has been around for a very long time indeed. Evidently it has reached such proportions today that it cannot be ignored, and the pundits are wringing...
Finding the Divine
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Glen Allport 2012-03-22 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR   Scientific consensus is emerging that people are fundamentally empathic, kind, fair-minded, and cooperative. Yet these characteristics are being undermined by widespread emotional damage and a corrupt system of coercive governance.      - 1 - Why So Much Darkness Staining the Light?     "The divine within me...
Star-Crossed Super Ships: Titanic, Enterprise, America
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Douglas Herman 2012-03-23 00:00
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR The whole world looked different one hundred years ago.   In 1912, the automobile and the airplane were curiosities. England enjoyed an enormous empire in 1912, served by freighters, tankers, liners and warships. As immigration flooded across the Atlantic Ocean, hundreds of those ships ferried passengers across to America. Shipyards launched bigger...
'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
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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...