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Thursday, March 5

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Robert Taylor is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Pai Shih

Original article The “evidence based” reform campaign presumes that politics is essentially a noble business in which public servants love nothing more than serving the public. But for politicians, programs are fiefdoms. How many kings have abdicated their thrones after becoming convinced that monarchy did not truly serve the downtrodden masses? Will politicians cede power after social scientists document how their favorite programs do more harm than good?
Original article As we engage in peer-to-peer civil disobedience, we are making choices that are leading to the emergence of new law, however slowly and clumsily it follows on.  
Original article Each time we try to understand some individual market exchange, what we are viewing reveals only traces or hints of the individual acts of valuation engaged in by the actors, and even less so about such acts when we attempt to forensically examine any group of market exchanges. But this is more or less exactly what most economists do. It is why, in fact, economists are so blazingly wrong most of the time.
Original article If you crave war like Netanyahu, it is peace that is an existential threat.
Original article We can live without the fear of terrorism — but only if the U.S. government stops antagonizing foreign populations that have never threatened us.  
Original article Fear is a powerful tool. This is not only well-known by those in positions of power, but exploited. Just like a child makes a parent check under his bed for the monster, U.S. citizens, out of fear, have called upon their elected leaders to be “proactive” against monsters like “drugs” and “terrorism.” 
Original article Innocent Americans are vulnerable to petty harassment by officious officials who demand blind obedience as the price for letting us go about our lives.
Original article The following story should send shivers down the spines of all decent, law-abiding American citizens. It’s also a great reminder of the primary reason it’s so wise to videotape interactions with police. Many of them turn out to be egregious liars.    
Original article They’re less expensive, better at crime prevention, they do not target citizens for revenue, and, best of all, each officer is personally accountable for his or her actions.
Original article All prisons should be scrapped, scorched, and relegated to the past along with the lash and the hangman. There is no substitute for abolition and there is no prison undeserving of a riot.  
Original article Those on the inside of the military/industrial/surveillance supercomplex -- who leak under the name of "anonymous official" to aid filmmakers, deploy talking points or steer narratives -- will never see this side of the two-faced administration. Their leaks are more equal than others.  
Original article It's not surprising that the Status Quo craves pseudo-solutions, for real solutions necessarily disrupt the corrupt, sclerotic, wasteful, inefficient, fraud-ridden and cronyist-paradise of vested interests..."faster, better, cheaper" destroys the friction of vested interests.
Original article “Sovereignty” is a claim of ownership. If individuals cannot be “sovereign,” their only choice is servility. There was once a thoroughly imperfect but in many ways commendable country on the North American landmass that was created by people who understood that principle, and shed blood in righteous defense of individual liberty. That country has been supplanted by a soyuz in which even speaking of such things is often treated as a crime.
Cyprus, v.t.
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Jim Davies 2013-09-09 06:57
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Last month in The Thirteenth Year, I suggested a few dreadful government actions that would make 2013 memorable. I missed one: mea culpa. This was the year in which a minor government in the Mediterranean turned an island into a verb. Its subject is a government, its object is the money someone holds in a bank in its jurisdiction, and its meaning is that the...
Everything Voluntary (Book Review #5)
0
Alex R. Knight III 2013-09-05 07:13
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR While there are certainly many superb libertarian/voluntaryist anthologies in publication, both past and present, most tend to be unitopical in nature. This is why Everything Voluntary: From Politics to Parenting, a 2012 offering from editor Skyler J. Collins, is not only instantly distinguishable, but perhaps of broader utilitarian value in terms...
Anna Karenina Meets Anarcho-Capitalism
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2013-09-04 07:12
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR The first line of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina reads as follows: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” How about this adaptation? “In their unwavering respect for humanity, voluntaryists are all alike; every advocate of coercive governance is irrational in his or her own way.” Why? We...
Rights
7.75
Jim Davies 2013-09-03 07:19
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR They mark limits on government power. If you or I have some right or other, it means government is excluded. If we own some property by right, its agents may enter only by permission – or else by force, violating the right. If we have the right to remain silent, its agents may not rightly oblige us to speak. Government really, really doesn't like...
The Recent Recrudescence of Racism
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Paul Bonneau 2013-09-03 07:05
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR In the current run-up to Revolution (or Secession, or Rebellion, or whatever it is we seem to be running into shortly), I have noticed on blogs a significant increase in the expression of racism. This is usually combined with assertion that the thing we will be facing soon is a race war. I believe this take on things is a mistake on several levels; but...
Dude, Where's My Freedom of the Press?
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Travis Irvine 2013-08-29 06:52
Column by Travis Irvine. Exclusive to STR These are the times that try journalists’ souls. While Thomas Paine was the American patriot who proved the power of the press, it was arguably the penman of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, who truly understood and fought for freedom of the press. “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press,” Jefferson once wrote...
Political Science Is Junk Science
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Alex R. Knight III 2013-08-28 06:25
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR One of the more amazing aspects of the increasingly untenable farce that passes for education in America today is the widespread availability, at the college or university level, of degrees in Political Science. What is “political science” – if indeed we are to even accept the idea that two such concepts bear any relation to one...
The Thirteenth Year
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Jim Davies 2013-08-27 06:32
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR There's a lot of silly superstitions around, one of which regards the number 13 as unlucky, leading to irrational but septasyllabic triskaidekaphobia. Tall buildings are built with floors numbered up to 12, then 14 and beyond; it must play havoc with the design engineers. According to Shyam Sunder Gupta, in 1993 the prestigious British Medical Journal...
A Kingdom of Lies
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Alex R. Knight III 2013-08-22 06:53
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR “People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche Ask virtually any person on the street if they like being lied to, and they will invariably tell you no. Of course – what other answer would you ever expect? But the truth is that people quite obviously do...
Unapologetic Anarchism
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Alex R. Knight III 2013-08-20 06:39
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Last October, a friend of mine from the People’s Republic of Marxachusetts was visiting me here on the slightly more enlightened tax-farm/slave plantation known as Vermont, and the topic of discussion turned to guns. I remarked how different the situations were between where she lived and here in that respect – how in Vermont, no licenses...
The Difference Between a Leader and a Master
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JGVibes 2012-03-09 00:00
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 2012-03-20 23:00
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 2012-03-21 23:00
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 2012-03-22 23:00
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...
Help Wanted
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Jim Davies 2012-03-29 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR  The power-crazed psychopaths running government need one thing above all: a supply of employees to do their grunt work. With that, they can survive any crisis, any criticism, any revenue shortfall, any desertion by voters; but without it, they are powerless. Therefore, those wishing to enjoy life without government in practice as well as in theory need...
Shadow Boxing
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Paul Hein 2012-04-16 23:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR It takes two to tango. Who could deny it? Have you ever seen anyone dancing the tango, or the fox trot, or the waltz, by himself?   Would you buy a ticket to a fight if the fighter entered the ring and boxed or wrestled with himself?   And yet there are instances of fights against nobody: the War on Poverty is an excellent example. Poverty seems to...
The Ballad of Cullen Mutrie
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Alex R. Knight III 2012-04-19 23:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR It’s made national news by now, and so the information I’m getting is from the Washington Post: Apparently, around 6 p.m. on April 12th, members of the New Hampshire Drug Task Force went to serve a search warrant on Cullen Mutrie of Greenland. They were ostensibly searching for steroids, and if they found any in Mutrie’s...
Breivik's Defense
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Jim Davies 2012-04-22 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Is Anders Breivik bad, or mad? If his Norwegian judges find him insane, they will lock him up at the King's pleasure with crazies until he proves he loves Big Brother, and that may be forever; but if they find him criminally liable for murdering 77 people last July, he will spend about 20 years in the company of others, about half of whom are probably...
Neocons and Progressives: One Big Family of Aggressors and Central Planners, with Delusions of Grandeur Recommended
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Scott Lazarowitz 2012-04-25 23:00
Column by Scott Lazarowitz. Exclusive to STR Regarding the traditional left-right scheme and modern uses of the terms “conservative” and “liberal,” the neoconservatives are hardly conservative and the liberals and progressives are hardly liberal or progressive. Rather than viewing “left” as liberal or progressive, and “right” as conservative or...
What a Time to Be Alive!
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Jim Davies 2012-05-07 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   For ten thousand years, governments have polluted the human race by stealing and squandering the products of our labor, repeatedly creating war and destruction, and choking off initiative and invention. Yet now, in this present era, there is serious hope that these parasites will cease to leech. The root of the problem is, at long last, being...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
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D. Saul Weiner 2015-02-13 08:13
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 07:02
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 05:52
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
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fmoghul 2013-04-10 07:12
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 07:44
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 2012-05-13 23:00
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 2012-03-25 23:00
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 00:00
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 00:00
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 02:00
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...