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Thursday, October 27

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Back during the American Revolution there were a lot of radical ideas floating around, one of which was “no standing army.” In those days before police existed, the army was what the rulers used to plunder the productive and keep the people under the rulers’ thumbs: “the sharp point of the spear.” The Crown used it that way in Boston. So naturally, the people were having none of that. Of course one of the first things the...
Original article To understand the marketplace, it is not necessary to believe in the existence of a selfish, profit-maximizing human.    
Original article War, what is it good for? In America, the answer is that, much of the time, you’ll probably never know what it’s good for – or, in some cases, even notice that we’re at war. 
Original article Unaffected by elections. Unaltered by populist movements. Beyond the reach of the law. Say hello to America’s shadow government. A corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country, this shadow government represents the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry.  
Original article Not unlike the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—where private military contractors fed, trained, equipped, and protected U.S. military forces “on the ground” in unprecedented numbers—an escalation of hired security forces in a hot spot like Syria would likely boost the presence of U.S. “boots” without causing the political heartburn of putting more actual soldiers and Marines in harm’s way.
Original article If this election season does not cure you of voting at any level in a statists enterprise, you have been paralyzed from the neck up in a skiing accident. When you pull that lever, it is a declaration of war on your neighbor. Use this time to tend to your preps.
Original article In the middle and later decades of the eighteenth century arguments began to be made questioning the Mercantilist conception of society and the economy. Two leading centers for this change in ideas were France and Scotland. These ideas undermined the rationales for government regulation and control of economic activities in society. In its place there arose a conception and vision of a free society based on individual liberty, free trade, and market-based and directed prosperity. 
Original article Financial systems, like economies generally, are organic entities. They must be allowed to flourish in a natural way.  Financial innovations will, no doubt, lead to occasional troubles even absent government interference. But those troubles will in turn sponsor further innovations aimed at correcting them. Over time, a stable and highly efficient system tends to develop. 
Original article People imagine that they own themselves and that they are free. But don’t tell that tale to the tax men. They know who really owns you.    
Original article The government’s decision to centralize doesn’t imply a solution to the infinite information problem. It only reveals the state’s presumptuousness.
Original article Social network loosening community standards for newsworthy events instead.  
Original article A recent Wikileaks dump reveals, for the first time, the precise financial flows between the Clinton Foundation, Doug Band’s firm Teneo Consulting, and the Clinton family’s private business endeavors.  
Original article Thanks to Wikileaks, we now have the smoking gun email irrefutably proving not only did President Barack Obama know about Hillary Clinton’s non-government-issued email account, he used it in correspondence with her.    
Original article Snowden tweeted this week, saying that "no matter your opinion" of the site or the founder, "censorship is never the answer."   
Original article Officially, of course, the national bird of the United States is that half-a-peace-sign that Philadelphia sports fans like to hold up at opposing teams. But unofficially, the film "National Bird" has it right: the national bird is a killer drone.  
Original article A story from the LA Times about how there are no Repubs on the CA state-wide ballot this year and how there may not ever be again. Two Dems running against each other is as close to opposition as it gets now. Somebody go find Francis Fukuyama and tell him that this is how history ends, in a democracy. Eventually it becomes one man, one vote, one time. Over.
Original article [Defense lawyer] "Schindler called it a 'catastrophic mistake' for prosecutors not to identify what their informants did and who they were. He asked jurors: 'How can you trust a federal government who placed a dozen informants into the conspiracy then doesn't' tell you who or what they did.'"
Original article If you think your taxes are too high, the schools are lousy, the cops are incompetent brutes, the cost of living is too high, or whatever else is bugging you, then voting for another politician based on promises to fix it all probably won’t work. Your concerns are forgotten the day after the election. Instead, do a little research, then pack up your shit and head off for someplace better. (Cato Institute podcast, 10 minutes)
Original article If you think your taxes are too high, the schools are lousy, the cops are incompetent brutes, the cost of living is too high, or whatever else is bugging you, don't think that voting for another politician based on promises to fix it all is gonna work. Your concerns are forgotten the day after the election. Instead, do a little research, then pack up your shit and head off for someplace better. (Cato Institute podcast, 10 minutes)
Original article “[America] is more fragile than it looks. Its people cannot feed themselves. The economy really can collapse. If civil unrest broke the link from farm to cities, in two weeks New Yorkers would be eating each other. Soft white urbanites eeeeking and squealing about guns cannot defend themselves. It is over. Watch. Trump if elected will be more interesting, Hillary a boring but more certain civilizational mortician, but both are chips floating on a fetid tide.” Finally, some GOOD news.
Original article Don’t expect to see these results (from an anti-gun U.N. outfit, no less) reported very widely in American media. 
Original article Good luck with that meine guten Herren, but I predict that very few Americans will want to pay $1,365 USD for a dubious, likely hackable, battery-dependent, single stack .22 caliber pistol, that has not been vetted for IRL conditions. Armatix has already failed at this once before (cuz of poor sales) and there doesn’t appear to be any demand for it now, either. Go figure?
Original article “‘This sort of crime goes to the very integrity of government,’ said US District Judge Michael H. Watson. ‘It certainly calls into question whether the competitive bidding process is real or a sham. [It] would appear [the] playing field was less than level. Indeed, one could fairly question whether this is the basis for the letting of other contracts in local government.’" This judge is shocked, (SHOCKED!), to discover there’s corruption here. GMAFB.
Original article And the NY Times is the (self-proclaimed) “paper of record” for the English-speaking world, too. Just ask them.
Original article All the cool middle-age guys in Hollywood are signing up for this wonderful new procedure. That should tell you everything you need to know about it right there.
Taking Responsibility for Freedom
Craig Russell 2003-12-01 17:00
But pick and choose. Robot or Man. Machine- or hand-made, You cannot have both. Greed, I keep reminding you, Is the failure to choose. The unwillingness to pick one thing over Another. Wealth or simplicity; you cannot have both. ~Diane Wakoski, 'Greed: Part 8'
Marriage and the State
Sean Turner 2003-12-01 17:00
The recent 4-3 ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriages has fueled emotions on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. According to the ruling, written by Chief Justice Margaret M. Marshall, "It cannot be rational under our laws and, indeed it is not permitted, to penalize children by depriving them of State benefits because the State disapproves of their parents...
Rise of the American KGB
Joe Blow 2003-11-23 17:00
Richard Willing writes, 'DNA profiles from hundreds of thousands of juvenile offenders and adults arrested but not convicted of crimes could be added to the FBI's national DNA crime-fighting program under a proposed law moving through Congress. [Emphasis mine.]
Innocents Betrayed
Mark and Tina Terry 2003-11-18 17:00
"The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property.  The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare...
Love, American Style
Daniel Patrick Welch 2003-11-18 17:00
Can the Brits feel the love yet? Exporting democracy, it turns out, means more than just showing unfortunate non-westerners the joys of having someone else write a decent constitution for them. We have now advanced to the point where we can tell even the land of the Magna Carta just where they went wrong. Apparently, they are so inept at running their own country that George Bush and his coterie...
Property Rights Go Up in Smoke
Stephen Cassarino 2003-11-17 17:00
An amazing thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I was in a bar, and when I came home I didn't have to wash my hair before going to sleep. I usually do so because my hair stinks of smoke after barhopping and the smell invariably oozes into my pillowcase, where it resides for the next few nights.
Federal Register Watch
Nick Ebinger 2003-11-17 17:00
What freedoms have you lost this week? The Federal Register is the official daily publication for Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as Executive Orders and other Presidential Documents. This column attempts to summarize the highlights (or lowlights) of the Federal Register during the preceding week. Instructions for subscribing to the Federal...
Joe's Story
Joe Frederick 2003-11-16 17:00
My name is Joe Frederick and I graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School , class of 2002. I accumulated sufficient credits to graduate as a junior, but my father thought it best not to rush off to college, but to enjoy my senior year by taking physics, a couple of fun classes, and playing high school soccer.
Just Plain Anarchy
Mark Gillespie 2003-11-16 17:00
'Today's rebels are tomorrow's aristocrats.' ~ Frank Herbert Before I begin this column, I want everyone to visit the forums of and view this thread. I post there under the nickname 'Anarch, Now and Forever.' Now, let's chat for a minute.
Why Capitalism Is Always Suspect
Tibor R. Machan 2003-11-16 17:00
Few people who criticize corporate crime make mention of the fact that we hardly have a genuine free market in place anywhere on earth. So, business corporations operate, as does the rest of commerce, in a mixed economy, with substantial government intervention-'taxation, regulation, protection and so forth'-thoroughly diluting the free market process.
Taoism and Anarchy
Mark Gillespie 2003-10-21 16:00
I have studied many religions in my search for truth. In my searches, I embraced a few. I was a nominal Christian for many years and converted to Islam about six years ago. Of course, I have left all of those religions behind, in my never-ending quest for truth. However, there is one "religion" that I studied that seemed to contain more truth than any other. That way is Taoism.
An Open Letter to the Peace Movement
Roderick Long 2003-03-10 17:00
Dear Peace Activists:All honour to you. In your opposition to the United States' impending war on Iraq, you represent a welcome voice for sanity and civilisation, lifted up against the incessant baying of the dogs of war.But I want to urge you to follow the logic of your position just a bit further.Much has been said, and eloquently so, about the need, in dealings between nation and nation, to...
How I Said No to the Automatic Social Security Number
Scarmig 2003-12-11 17:00
This is the story of how I successfully refused to accept a Social Security Number for my child. I simply said 'no.' Really. That's how easy it was. I just said no, again, and again. On the Texas Application for Birth Certificate, which I was unable to get a copy of for this article, there is a check box down at the bottom of the page. It says, and I'm paraphrasing, 'Check here to have your...
Supreme Court Lets Dogs Go Fishing...for Drugs
Rex Curry 2005-01-25 17:00
A new Supreme Court case states that cops can take dogs fishing. Dogs can go fishing for drugs in Illinois vs. Caballes. As an attorney, I am often consulted by people victimized in searches by dogs trained to smell drugs. A drug dog's skills are often overestimated because people anthropomorphize dogs. A humanlike quality that dogs have is that they are natural libertarians with no interest in...
Radical Solidarity and Moderate Anarchism
Anthony Gregory 2005-01-27 17:00
Libertarians, and especially anarchistic libertarians, are known for their principles and strong ideology. This has often been, but does not have to be, a double-edged sword in the fight for freedom. To be a libertarian, one must embrace the Non-aggression Principle, or at least come to the same policy conclusions as one would based on the principle. Some libertarians say they don't like the...
The Suppression of Dissent
Jim Davies 2005-10-25 16:00
Exclusive to STR The jury is still out, as I write these words. Its verdict may be in by the time you read them, and there's a blog with the latest news--but that's okay because the point of this article is not to comment on the trial's outcome but to show what government had to do, in order try to silence an influential advocate of freedom. Its conclusion will be that government is wholly unfit...
The Power of One
Jim Davies 2005-11-21 17:00
Exclusive to STR Nobody is better qualified than my friend Per Bylund to propose, as he did in a recent STR article, that we who yearn for liberty "save the world through saving [our]selves." Per is not only a brilliant thinker and prolific author (in two languages!) he founded an anarchist website before many of us got our brains in gear and has engaged in debate there all comers from...
Be Free
Mark Davis 2005-07-10 16:00
The state has grown too big and powerful and conversely the individual appears small and powerless. Libertarians of all stripes can debate endlessly on why this has come about and where we should ideally be instead. When the question of what to do about it comes up, there is typically a moment of silence and perhaps a chuckle or two coupled with some frustrated cynicism. After this moment of...
Utopia vs. Liberty
Richard Rieben 2005-07-18 16:00
In his insightful analysis of the Dark Side, STR writer Jonathan David Morris notes that, "The Dark Side of the Force is not evil for evil's sake. It's evil because it believes the ends always justify the means . . . .
The Preamble Reconsidered
Jim Davies 2006-05-17 16:00
Exclusive to STR The Preamble to the United States Constitution is surely one of the most sublime paragraphs ever written. Before this dissection begins, let's prop it up and admire it in all its glory: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
D. Saul Weiner 2015-02-13 09:13
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...