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Tuesday, July 22

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Emmett Harris is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of MaxGag

Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I recently came across some old news reports from 2009, when, in the early days of July, the media concerned itself with the really significant news: the death of Michael Jackson. However, we were also given a glimpse of other matters, admittedly less important, such as the nation’s perilous finances. What I most vividly remember was the report that financially-strapped California would be attempting to “pay” its bills--at least some of...
Original article “The Affordable Care Act's subsidies for buying health coverage on the federal exchange are actually tax credits given in advance, with the final accounting due by April 15 when people file their returns. Many taxpayers will end up having to repay part or potentially all of their subsidies.” The old bait-and-switch still works with some people. Of course, all of us get to suffer because of their gullibility.   
Original article Governments don't like it when others cut in on their territory.  
Original article “Julius Baer expects to strike a deal with U.S. authorities in a matter of months to settle a criminal investigation into the Swiss bank's role in helping wealthy Americans evade their taxes.” The shakedown continues.
Original article “With the U.S. economy expanding at a slower pace and less wage growth to pressure inflation.” When the definition of inflation is conflated with its symptom – rising prices, is it any wonder that most still don't recognize the Fed as the primary culprit causing inflation?
Original article “A group of eight taxicab and limousine companies operating in Northern Virginia have asked a judge to order ride-sharing app companies Uber and Lyft stop operating in the state.” This is how crony capitalists respond to market competition. See the next article from The Freeman.
Original article “The benefits of free markets and the problems with government intervention are well illustrated by the unfolding story of smart phone-based car services such as Uber and Lyft.”
Original article When child protective services do get involved, the result, like most state interventions, is often bad. However, it's sickening how government loves to shield its actors from the responsibilities they claim to have.
Original article It's a shell game. “Homeowners will get some of the largest reductions in property taxes in 2014, about $171 million, or about 5.2 percent lower than last year. But owners of agricultural property, public utility land and commercial property could see their property levy edge up.”
Original article Says Amish Patel, executive director of Grassroots Illinois Action, “People are fed up and they’re looking for something different.” Progressivism is hardly something different. Here's a novel idea: Try freedom.  
Original article “As the new school year kicks off in a few weeks, all Bexar County public schools will be operating under a uniform truancy plan. Aimed at intervention and prevention, the measures could help them recover millions of dollars lost when there are vacant desks in the classroom.” Doing it for the children … and the dollars attached to having their butts in chairs.
Original article “His deep pockets promise a seemingly endless fight over his pet causes — revamping the state’s education system and eliminating the Missouri income tax.” Perhaps he might eventually win some small victories, but “he has largely ended up on the losing side.”
Original article Robin Abcarian thinks the idea is stupid … and I agree. Why stop at six?
Original article William Wallace might have had a different view. 
Original article “'I think it will be a good tool for us,' said Andrew Willis, enforcement analyst for the commission. 'It’s a resource for all of the people of the state, not just the people who live there on the coast.'” Fines and the threat of force are “good tools” for statists. Their much preferred to addressing the problem of lack of defined property rights.  
Original article He often played “[a] manly hero, able to take care of himself, who was nonetheless far more inclined to use his wits rather than his fists to get out of a jam.” R.I.P. 
Original article “The researchers are using evolutionary game theory models to understand how words and actions acquire meaning through natural processes, whether through biological evolution, social learning or other adaptive processes.”
Original article The latest enviro-attack on people aims to take away steak because cow farts may lead to climate change. What a lot of hot air.
Original article This may be a parody, but I say let's extend it to everyone on the planet and make it a 7,000,000,000-state solution.
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...
A Meeting of the Minds
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forty2oz 2013-06-14 07:02
Column by new Root Striker forty2oz. Exclusive to STR Discussion with a left-leaning Statist who claimed to not be employed by the government: (We were at Starbucks sitting at adjacent tables with three other patrons seated nearby; a couple in a booth along the windows facing street-side, and a man in a state-issued costume in another booth directly across from them near the entrance to the...
Comments on 'Liberty in the Tenticular State'
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Paul Bonneau 2013-06-13 08:13
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I was just reading “Liberty in the Tenticular State” by Charles Cooke and had a few comments about how confusing issues get, to people with a rights-based (not to mention Constitutionalist) view of reality. There is a better way. First interesting item in the article was this: “So complete has been the destruction of liberty’s...
My Frustration With You Minarchists
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Alex R. Knight III 2013-06-13 07:50
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR It’s not as great as with the out-and-out leftie government lovers, but it’s catching up. In fact, in many ways you’re worse. It’s not your sentiments, for the most part, just your methods. They will change nothing. In fact, they are detrimental. Let’s set aside the fact that any government, however small, violates...
The Violent Libertarian, Part 2
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Alex R. Knight III 2013-06-12 08:50
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR In the first part of this train of thought, I focused on my own past personal travails in order to shine a light on what I perceive as an unrealistic and undue degree of self-ascribed perfectionism in libertarian circles. Perhaps as a result, perhaps for other reasons, that essay has to date generated very little comment or controversy. However that...
The 'Case' Against Thomas Paine
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George F. Smith 2013-06-12 08:20
Column by George F. Smith. Exclusive to STR Thomas Paine died on the overcast morning of June 8, 1809, in New York City.  Libertarians have long savored his unabashed attacks on government and the many evils of paper money, and the fact that he not only ignited the drive for American independence but kept it alive during its darkest moments.  He played an important role in history, both...
Government Chaos
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Jim Davies 2013-06-10 08:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Yet another overture is being played, for the magnum opus of Armageddon, the long-predicted final battle between good and evil (i.e., us vs. them) somewhere not far from Israel. Others have been played before, in 1967, for example, but this one centered on Syria is shaping up to be quite a doozie. Nearly all players in the region are tuning up their...
Ten Reasons Why Libertarianism Is the Way of the Future
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Jakub Bozydar W... 2013-06-06 09:04
Column by Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski. Exclusive to STR 1. It is the only social philosophy that places the highest value on the only common characteristic of all thinking beings--individual liberty. 2. It is the only social philosophy that takes individual rights seriously, consistently refusing to sacrifice them in the name of collective moral and legal fictions. 3. It is the only social...
Swarm Intelligence and Dynamics
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Lawrence Samuels 2013-06-05 08:27
The article below contains excerpts from L.K. Samuels’ new book, In Defense of Chaos: The Chaology of Politics, Economics and Human Action. Column by L.K. Samuels. Exclusive to STR Intelligences take many forms, but the particular ways in which social animals—ants, bees, wasps, termites, birds, fish, and so forth—network into highly coordinated units without supervision has...
The Pope Joins the Chorus in Blaming Free Markets
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George F. Smith 2013-06-03 08:39
Column by George F. Smith. Exclusive to STR On Thursday, May 16 Pope Francis delivered a short speech on economics and finance, blaming the “cult of money” for the millions of people suffering in poverty.  He addressed the New Non-Resident Ambassadors to the Holy See, calling for “financial reform along ethical lines.” He describes the problem thusly: "While...
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
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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
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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
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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...