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Tuesday, December 1

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Melinda Secor is the guest editor today.

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Original article "While many in The West had hoped for a 'see, we told you so' strongman military response from Vladimir Putin, it appears the Russian leader has, for now, taken a more practical approach."
Original article "It’s rare to see physics being used as an effective tool to comment on current events, but astrophysicists Tom van Doorsslaere and Giovanni Lapenta of the Belgian KU Leuven used some simple Newtonian mechanics to show that both the Russian and Turkish accounts of what happened with the downed jet can’t be right."
Original article " Just over a week after Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief, Can Dündar, represented the Turkish daily news outlet in receiving a press freedom award, he and another top editor were arrested and jailed on charges of espionage. In question was a controversial article exposing arms shipments from Turkish intelligence to Syrian extremist rebels."
Original article "Late last month in “Russia's Mid-East Takeover Continues As Afghanistan Requests Military Assistance From Moscow,” we noted, with some amusement, that Kabul was set to request a weapons delivery from Russia to aid in the fight against the Taliban."
Original article "ISIS and terrorism in general and how it all began - An entertaining summary"
Original article "Every year Pamplona, Spain hosts the annual Running of the Bulls festival. Thousands join in as either observers of the event or participants, who risk life and limb for a chance to outrun a herd of bulls released onto the streets of the city. People are often hurt, mangled or even killed. Regardless, many come back the following year for more. Here in America we have a similar celebration. Though no Spanish bulls are to be found, hundreds of thousands of sheep are released into the wild...
Original article "Joseph P. Ganim shocked the political establishment after he was elected the next Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Why was his election so shocking? Because he was the mayor from 1991 to 2003—until he was convicted of 16 felonies, including racketeering, extortion, bribery, two counts of filing a false tax return, and eight counts of mail fraud. Ganim spent seven years of his life in federal prison as a result of the convictions."
Original article "San Francisco police are puzzled by the mysterious appearance of dozens of spiked baseball bats all across the city for the third day in a row. Treating it as a 'strange occurrence,' authorities have asked for public help in shedding light on the phenomenon. Wooden or metal baseball bats first graced the streets early Thanksgiving morning, chained to parking meters or poles. The number of improvised and potentially deadly weapons found in the city continues to grow."
Original article "With Thanksgiving upon us once again, we offer a reminder of the economic lesson that made our first Thanksgiving possible:"
Original article "An international team of astrophysicists has for the first time witnessed a star being swallowed by a black hole and ejecting a flare of matter moving at nearly the speed of light."
Original article "A mathematics student has worked out the secrets of how chocolate behaves in a chocolate fountain, answering the age-old question of why the falling 'curtain' of chocolate surprisingly pulls inwards rather than going straight downwards."
Original article "Researchers have created a new type of foam made of real gold. It is the lightest form ever produced of the precious metal: a thousand times lighter than its conventional form and yet it is nearly impossible to tell the difference with the naked eye. There are many possible applications."
Original article "The science of how a spirit gets better over time"
Original article A Photo Blog
Iron Felix
Jim Davies 2013-12-04 07:42
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR In 1991, while a Communist counter-coup was being repressed in Moscow, jubilant crowds pulled down a statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky which had stood in front of the KGB headquarters building, the Lubyanka. Despite his nickname, it had been made of bronze, lest a Hero of the Revolution turn rusty. Note that it was a spontaneous demolition by plain people, not...
Jim Davies 2013-11-22 08:03
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Better late, it's said, than never. So while I should have taken the opportunity years ago, this month I got around to it and listened to the famous interview of Ayn Rand by Mike Wallace, made for TV in black and white in 1959. You too can see it, on YouTube here (use Ixquick to find Parts 2 and 3.) It lasts 30 minutes, and it's a half hour very...
Letter to a Young Juror
Jim Davies 2013-11-18 08:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR (With acknowledgements to C.S. Lewis and Christopher Hitchens.) So, nephew, you've been called to serve on a jury. Congratulations! I was very glad to learn last month that you plan never to vote again, so it's a good idea to get yourself off the voters' list. But meanwhile, you're still on it – hence this opportunity to help some...
Hey Mooky, Got Another Bag of That QE?
Tim Hartnett 2013-11-11 07:50
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR Does anybody else ever feel phony in conversations that get preachy about the way they keep expanding the money supply? You don’t need a spreadsheet and algorithms to figure out printing the stuff up like toilet paper can’t have a good end. So it sounds kind of streetwise to see gloom and doom coming on. Secretly though, most of us know we don...
Handgun Primer for Liberals
Paul Bonneau 2013-11-08 08:33
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The intended audience for this article are people outside the “gun culture” who nevertheless have decided they might need one for defense; particularly for those who imagine never getting more than one gun. I intend to cut through the gun-nuttery and give you enough information to get started. However far you want to take it from that point is...
What They Owe
Jim Davies 2013-11-08 08:09
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR There was a lot of fuss recently about something they call the “debt ceiling.” Supposedly, it's a kind of limit to what the FedGov can borrow. It's all a load of horsefeathers, of course, because whenever they find the limit inconvenient, they will raise it – as they have already done, 95 times in a row. One of the key features of...
A Personal Reflection of Proposition 19's Failure: How I Could Have Become a Victim of Section 4
Kevin M. Patten 2013-11-05 08:01
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR Ever since reading Section 4 of the measure, the mandatory criminalization that, for some reason, had to come with legalization, I had been on edge, and on guard. I now think my suspicions had merit. In the immediate morning following proposition 19's defeat, I, a fearless cannabis reporter, found myself in a situation where a real-life nightmare...
Fifty Years After JFK, the Empire Strikes Back
Douglas Herman 2013-11-04 08:12
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR H3 { margin-top: 0.14in; margin-bottom: 0in; color: rgb(79, 129, 189); page-break-inside: avoid; }H3.western { font-family: "Cambria",serif; font-size: 12pt; }H3.cjk { font-family: "Arial Unicode MS"; font-size: 12pt; }H3.ctl { font-size: 12pt; }P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able...
Don't Tase (Or Kill) Me, Bro!
Alex R. Knight III 2013-10-31 07:21
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR One of the latest techno-gadgets government has taken to employing against the public in order to further cement its grip on control by perpetuating a reign of terror are, of course, tasers. They are touted as an allegedly non-lethal means of coercing an uncooperative person into compliance with a government goon. Yet, according to a May 2013 study...
Jim Davies 2013-10-30 07:20
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR During the latter half of the last century, shopping changed its character, to accommodate the popularity of the inexpensive horseless carriage. Instead of stores being all grouped together near the town center in a manner convenient for customers who arrived on foot, either direct from nearby homes or from the bus depot, the “out of town shopping...
Amendment Done
dubhub9 2012-05-13 23:00
Column by new Root Striker William Hubbard.   Exclusive to STR   I have sullied myself this day, and for no profitable reason. I have stained my soul and made a lopsided deal with the devil. I entered the voting booth this afternoon, for the last time, against my principle, in order that I may fight for other principles. I have not voted in years. This is not out of apathy but out of...
So You Work as an Elections Clerk?
Jim Davies 2012-05-17 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR [Author's Note: Readers who know someone who helps operate elections might usefully refer him or her to this article. Should it become widely read before November, it could have an interesting effect. It's adapted from one of a series at the new web site, which aims to help government employees lead honest lives....
The Armored Cars
Paul Hein 2012-05-20 23:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Decades ago, seated at my desk, writing checks, the thought came, unbidden and unexpected, into my mind: Where are all the armored cars?   I was, at that moment, probably only one of thousands—perhaps hundreds of thousands—of individuals writing checks. By means of those written instruments, money was being transferred from one bank to...
Protecting Your Family from Fukushima Radiation and Other Health Threats
Glen Allport 2012-05-21 23:00
Column by Glen Allport. Part 4 of "Could the Non-Aggression Principle Stop the Sixth Great Extinction?"   Exclusive to STR   My previous column – Timeline of a World-Killing Paradigm Shift – describes our current situation, including the dead-serious threat that the Fukushima disaster poses to the entire planet, and how we got here. In this column, I will describe...
Working Capital
Jim Davies 2012-05-28 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR "Capitalism" is another of those words, like "liberal," whose meanings have been twisted by time, use and particularly by government influence, to mean something quite different from, and sometimes opposite to, their original intent. When we see Occupy Wall Street protesters waving banners calling for its downfall, they are referring to...
Gary Johnson: Statist
Scott Lazarowitz 2012-06-07 23:00
Column by Scott Lazarowitz. Exclusive to STR Economist Robert Wenzel recently gave Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson a tough interview. Wenzel pushed hard for honest answers on behalf of mainly his “hardcore libertarian” readers and listeners. By “hardcore,” he refers to those with a bias toward Austrian School economic thought, Rothbardian ethics and an...
Dickens, Reconsidered
Jim Davies 2012-06-11 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Few novels if any can have so profoundly assisted the spread of socialism in the century following 1850 as those of Charles Dickens, for they portrayed vividly the slums in English cities during the Industrial Revolution which enabled Karl Marx, who lived in London with support from his friend Friedrich Engels, to denounce the capitalist system he said had...
Newt's Letter
Jim Davies 2012-06-19 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Government tries to justify its ubiquitous spying on private correspondence on the back of 9/11. It's just another government lie. The events below took place four years earlier.   Back in 1997, Mr Gingrich was a powerful figure in DC – Speaker of the House. Soon afterwards he swapped wives and was cast into outer darkness for a decade, but recently he ran...
Robbing Peter to Pay Pablo
Paul Hein 2012-06-24 23:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I like to go out to eat. Three or four times a month my wife and I--usually on the spur of the moment--will decide to go out to lunch at a neighborhood restaurant. We are lucky to have several quite close to home that serve excellent food.   It’s not only the food that I enjoy. I marvel at the snippets of conversation I overhear from other diners....
Writing 'The Troy Standard'
AGFredericks 2012-06-27 23:00
Column by new Root Striker A.G. Fredericks. Exclusive to STR   “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down in front of a typewriter and bleed.” ~ Ernest Hemingway   It may be written in black and white, but if you search between the lines of The Troy Standard, you are sure to find the red stains of which Mr. Hemingway spoke: my blood.   I always wanted to...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...