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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.
A Remarkable Document
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Paul Hein 2014-04-02 08:45
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR From time to time, we hear our rulers refer to the Constitution, in such solemn tones and with such serious demeanor that we might think they took it seriously. For example, some of them have expressed outrage that the NSA should violate the people’s right to privacy. Good for them; it IS an outrage. Some of the rulers are indignant that the...
Liberty: Rooted in Rights
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Jim Davies 2014-03-31 08:57
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Everyone wants to be free, to make his own decisions without interference. That's a no-brainer; if there are any exceptions beyond those unhappily born without the ability to manage for themselves, they are very few. I never met anyone who said “Rule me, please!” Libertarians, however, add one crucial and distinguishing feature to that: We...
I Don't Have Rights; Nor Do I Want Any
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Paul Bonneau 2014-03-26 08:18
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Ever since I can remember, I have questioned. I suppose I am a contrarian. Whenever a herd of people goes off in one direction, that is prima facie evidence that the direction they are going needs to be questioned even more. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect,” as Mark Twain nicely put it....
Vlad's Oscar
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Jim Davies 2014-03-24 08:12
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Everything they say, these Pols, is scripted and rehearsed. I find it really, really difficult to tell whether their endless stream of dicta is serious, or just theater. It's always theater, of course, but sometimes it's also truly meant, and that usually means big trouble, but how does one know when they're kidding and when, not? Clearly,...
A Review of Becky Akers' Novel 'Halestorm'
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2014-03-20 07:58
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR Becky Aker’s novel Halestorm is a perfect companion to her other work of historical fiction, Abducting Arnold, and it takes the reader on a wild ride of suspense—girded about by a powerful sexual prohibition that threatens to crumble under the pressure of an even deeper passion shared by the two main characters, Nathan Hale and his half...
Favorite Local Boondoggles
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Paul Bonneau 2014-03-19 08:20
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The town government just got done patting themselves on the back for a renovated library. I notice in the “key numbers” sidebar, they left out “Money stolen from taxpayers.” In the story, though, it’s explained that it cost $9.5 million dollars; but if I am not mistaken, this bought not a single book. This sort of thing is...
On the Institution of Marriage
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PSYCHOTICNUT 2014-03-19 08:05
Column by new Root Striker Steven Holman. Exclusive to STR Intro This has been a long time coming. Recently, many of my friends and family have been getting engaged and married, so I thought I would report my understanding of the institution. First, I’d like to say that I love my friends and family and support them in their life choices, and wish nothing but happiness for them. I don’...
What's Mine Is Yours--If You Say So
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Paul Hein 2014-03-18 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Reading the newspaper this morning, I got the impression that the purpose of the paper is to obscure, rather than present, the news. The front page headline, for instance, was a piece about a local hockey player, and his rise to fame. Succeeding pages concerned local school board problems, and other such trivia. Not until page seven was there any information...
A Critique of 'Against Libertarian Brutalism'
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Paul Bonneau 2014-03-16 23:18
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Jeffrey Tucker writes a thoughtful (if not concise) article in his Against Libertarian Brutalism, but at the end, one is left unsatisfied. It has the flavor of one big straw man argument, as well as looking like a bit of “divide and conquer,” splitting libertarians unnecessarily into two distinct camps (as if we did not have enough camps...
Home of the Slave, Land of the Fee
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Paul Hein 2014-03-06 09:10
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR My Fourth Edition of Black’s Law dictionary defines “slave” thusly: “a person who is wholly subject to the will of another.” The phrase “will of another” sounded familiar. I checked the same dictionary for “statute,” and found it defined as the “written will of the legislature.” You might come...
A Juggernaut of Destruction
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George F. Smith 2009-02-19 17:00
Exclusive to STR February 20, 2009 Nature is stingy; the things we need to sustain life above a primitive level are scarce. Fresh tomatoes, iPods, and rotator cuff surgery do not come forth as easily as the air we breathe, and thus man had to discover on his own how to produce or acquire them.
Ringo's Law and the Healthcare System of Doom
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Glen Allport 2009-08-12 16:00
Exclusive to STR - 1 - The Law Some years ago, noted philosopher Ringo Starr described an important and now-famous discovery: "Everything government touches turns to crap." That observation clearly deserves elevation in status from the mere "something Ringo said" to the more formal Ringo's Law. Ringo's Law generates accurate predictions and explains events in useful fashion;...
Separation of Me and State
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B.R. Merrick 2009-07-26 16:00
Exclusive to STR I listened to Dr. Laura every once in a while years ago, back when I was proudly religious and conservative. She was, and I assume still is, unabashedly conservative. She took a lot of abuse for it, but she stuck with it. (Of course, it did make her a millionaire.) One time when I was listening, a man called in to tell her that a young woman he knew had just had an abortion...
Anarcho-Statism
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Anthony Gregory 2004-07-13 16:00
If anarchism means anything, it is a rejection of the state, meaning, a rejection of an institution claiming and maintaining a monopoly on violence. Of course, anarchists find themselves in the real world, in which such monopolies clearly exist. Some of the things states do we might even approve of, at least circumstantially. If an anarchist is being mugged, and a police officer comes by to stop...
The Greatest Tragedy
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Anthony Gregory 2004-05-16 16:00
The greatest tragedy in our culture is the widely accepted lie that the wars in U.S. history, since after the American Revolution, have been necessary, proper and even glorious. And this lie has been swallowed, parroted, and perpetuated by many of those who call themselves conservatives, liberals, progressives, socialists, constitutionalists, 'libertarians' and even 'anarchists'--all to the fatal...
Why Deism and Corrupt Government Don"t Mix
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Robert L. Johnson 2004-12-16 17:00
It's been my experience when talking to people about religion, that the overwhelming majority of them have never heard of Deism. Hopefully, with the recent conversion of world-famous philosopher and atheist, Antony Flew, to Deism, this will begin to change. The lack of knowledge of Deism is highly unusual given the strong role Deism has played in the history of Europe and America. But, as FDR is...
Libertarianism in One Sentence
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Roderick Long 2004-05-30 16:00
David Bergland once offered Libertarianism in One Lesson. I would like to offer libertarianism in one sentence. The most succinct formulation of libertarianism I can think of is this: Other people are not your property. In other words: They are not yours to boss around. Their lives are not yours to micromanage. The fruits of their labour are not yours to dispose...
I Remember
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strike 2004-05-08 16:00
I remember how, after the brakes went out on the station wagon after coming down a hill, she reached over just before we crashed and held me back against the seat with her arm. I remember that vividly even though I was only a little boy. That probably saved my life, as my head still cracked the windshield. I remember how she'd pick us up from swimming lessons and take us to Vacation Bible...
Wheat and Chaff
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Bill Butler 2009-12-08 17:00
Exclusive to STR 'His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.' ~ Matthew 3:12 So much of life is about: (1) making distinctions; and (2) making choices. Indeed, the meaning and consequence of all our lives can fairly be said to be a test of our free will choices and the rational,...
Origins
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Jim Davies 2009-10-25 17:00
Exclusive to STR  Where and when did government start? It's quite a mystery. Given that human beings are basically harmless creatures, how did it happen that an inherently violent institution arose in human society, whose whole raison d'tre is always to destroy the fundamental human right of self-governance? The question is important not just to satisfy historical understanding, but to...
'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...