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Friday, November 24

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Serenity is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Original article What we call Reality is a hall of mirrors. It reflects itself back and forth and builds up a consensus.
Original article Many Anarchists scorn Statists that distract themselves arguing over politics, presidents, parties, etc. Yet, likely out of unconscious habit, follow in their footsteps in that they argue over what I want to call anarchist politics. And I don’t mean friendly arguments that seek new conclusions.
Original article Oftentimes when government officials insist that a certain freedom needs to be eliminated or a new law enacted in order to advance the cause of “public safety,” it’s merely a smokescreen for some other covert agenda
Original article What does it mean to be “free”? To me, being free or having freedom simply means living one’s life free from threats, demands, orders, coercion, or claimed authority emanating from other individuals or entities. It means that no one has the right to stop you from thinking, saying, or doing whatever you want so long as your actions do not constitute aggression against other people.
Original article Fascist ideology has crawled its way into the mainstream yet again. Amidst this resurgence is a concomitant escalation of paramilitary brownshirts deploying a rhetoric of “free speech” and using it to justify ever increasing violence against perceived enemies. While the ability to freely express oneself is a critical part of a thriving society, there are other freedoms at play as well.
Original article There is one important area of American life where no effective freedom of speech or the press does or can exist under the present system. That is the entire field of radio and television. In this area, the federal government, in the crucially important Radio Act of 1927, nationalized the airwaves.
Original article While political correctness is typically associated with the American Left, modern conservatism has its own sacred totems that dare not be criticized. Like its progressive counterparts, the Right’s choices of sanctification fit together like an elegant jigsaw puzzle to form an internally consistent worldview. Police, Military, Bible, and Flag are all symbols of the Right—each embodying order, tradition, and Americanism to varying degrees.
Original article If ‘society’—whoever that’s supposed to be—were to push for any values, equality shouldn’t be among them. Equality only exists before the law. People are unique, and therefore naturally unequal. We’re not like ants or blades of grass. Equality is not only impossible, it’s not even desirable. A proper goal to strive for is freedom, which is possible and desirable." Doug Casey
Original article Vermont’s use tax is meant to make sure that Vermont citizens don’t shop online or across the border to avoid the state’s sales tax. Currently, only about 10 percent of people pay the 6% use tax according to Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom.
Original article The high-technology revolution is not normally associated with farming. Yet some of the most impressive advances in automation are occurring in agriculture. New breakthroughs in the information and life sciences threaten to end much of outdoor farming by the middle decades of the coming century. The technological changes in the production of food are leading to a world without farmers, with untold consequences for the 2.4 million people who still rely on the land for their survival. (what use...
Original article Unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, commonly known as drones, have become an effective, reliable tool to help commanders gather battlefield intelligence. They have also exploded on the commercial market, flooding toy stores and hobby shops with inexpensive, multi-propeller drones.
Original article GREENVILLE, NC—Aiming to accommodate family members’ preferences and avoid any frustration, local parents Melissa and Ron Walters officially designated the upstairs television for anybody who did not want to watch the Thanksgiving football games on Thursday, sources reported. “You can use the TV in the guest room if you don’t want to watch football,” said Melissa Walters,  (the onion) 
Gun Control in the Third Reich
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Alex R. Knight III 2016-10-03 05:19
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR It is perhaps apropos – with gun control hysteria reaching a feverish pitch as society pushes towards another bi-annual rat-on-a-treadmill November bean counting -- that I just recently got around to reading Stephen P. Halbrook’s 2013 literary offering, Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and “Enemies of the State...
Bold New Steps
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Paul Hein 2016-09-29 08:05
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR How goes manufacturing in the United States? Not very well. We’ve all seen the empty stores in the mall, and read of small--and sometimes not so small—firms failing, or being gobbled up by larger ones. Only if you were in a coma could you fail to know of American firms moving to Mexico, or China, and the resultant loss of jobs. Manufacturing...
Can They Really Say That in a Movie?
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Douglas Herman 2016-09-28 07:52
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “But talking about it (freedom) and bein’ it, that’s two different things. I mean, it’s real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. Of course, don’t ever tell anybody that they’re not free, ‘cause then they’re gonna get real busy killin’ and maimin’ to prove to you...
Growing Up
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Mark Davis 2016-09-21 08:07
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR “Can we all get along?” ~ Rodney King Finding our way in the world includes seeking companionship and furthering self-interest. There are many forms of companionship ranging from umbilical cords to satellite signals, from blood-related to totally unconnected and intimate to casual. Humans crave both autonomy and brotherhood, to be left alone...
Ignorance of Bliss
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Anarchoblake 2016-09-15 07:52
Column by Blake Bengtson. Exclusive to STR The cascading nature of human events is truly a sight to behold, amplified tenfold by the advent of technology's current level. We are simultaneously connected and disjointed from one another unlike any other time in history. There is division. There is camaraderie. Fear, love, anger and pain. All for the world to see at any given moment through...
It's Very Simple
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Paul Hein 2016-09-08 06:22
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I have often wondered why candidates for political office are never asked the most fundamental question: What, in your opinion, is the purpose of government? I have posed this question to several office-holders, both state and federal, even including a self-addressed envelope for their convenience. The question is never answered. If pressed, a politician...
Voluntaryist Vitriol: Anarchic Attacks Against Alcoholics Anonymous
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Alex R. Knight III 2016-08-29 05:12
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Times have changed considerably – at the very least, for myself – since I scribed my first piece even touching upon this subject for STR, a decade ago. As I’ve talked about here in both direct and allegorical terms, I’ve gone from being a chronic, practicing alcoholic, to a recovering one. And my active participation in...
Slaves of the Law
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Paul Bonneau 2016-08-18 07:18
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It’s been noted many times, that to obtain liberty, the first and most important thing that must be freed is one’s own mind. I don’t know who first recognized and stated it. Of course the reverse is true as well; the most important thing for the ruling class to do is to enslave people's minds. And the way that is done is to make those...
Yes, Or No?
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Paul Hein 2016-08-14 22:03
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR There can be good reasons for not answering questions. If you are being questioned by the police, for example, prudence would dictate that you remain silent. Or perhaps you do not know the correct answer to a question, and would prefer not to guess and subsequently be proven wrong. But you might also decline to answer if your answer could put you in an...
Jealousy, Jouvenel and the War Against Socialism
8.5
Alex R. Knight III 2016-07-28 06:36
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR In his famous post-World War Two exposé, On Power: The Natural History of Its Growth, Bertrand de Jouvenel makes some salient observations at the very beginning of Chapter IX, “Power, Assailant of the Social Order” (pp. 171-172): “Power is authority and makes for more authority. It is force and makes for more force. Or,...
Does the American Empire Deserve to Die?
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Douglas Herman 2009-11-01 16:00
 Exclusive to STR November 2, 2009 I’m halfway through a reflective book written by an old curmudgeon. Part patriot, part historian, all gadfly, Gore Vidal wrote Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia in 2004, just before the upcoming national elections. Almost a time capsule coupled with dire prophecy, the book is a sober,...
Voting Sophisms
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Mike Powers 2008-11-03 03:00
 Exclusive to STR   With Election Day looming, Americans are constantly being reminded about the importance of voting.  Politicians, news media, celebrities, and talk show hosts alike wax poetic about this hallowed institution we call democracy and how crucial it is for voters to cast their ballot.    Rock the Vote!  Vote for Change!  ...
Do It. Vote. MUST READ
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strike 2001-12-31 03:00
They Hate Us Because of Our Freedom
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Alfred A. Hambi... 2004-04-18 23:00
Whenever I hear 'they hate us because of our freedom' or "because they hate our way of life" or some other such drivel, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. If real people didn't suffer the consequences of it, such ignorance would be amusing. But another annoying thing about statements like these is that they perpetuate the myth that we live in a land of freedom. The sad fact is, we are not...
Let Us Awake Now
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B.R. Merrick 2009-06-04 02:00
Exclusive to STR On May 30, 1962, a modern musical masterpiece premiered in England ’s newest cathedral, built next to the remains of the cathedral that was destroyed when the Nazis bombed Coventry .  Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem" combines two choirs, two orchestras, three vocal soloists, and the Latin religious funeral text with...
The Abolitionist Argument in 35 Seconds MUST READ
10
Glen Allport 2010-06-21 02:00
Exclusive to STR   -1- ". . . a power too great and terrible to imagine."   The Lord of the Rings trilogy was released on Blu-Ray in April, which reminded me that I hadn't seen the first installment, The Fellowship of the Ring, since its theatrical release in 2001. While watching the film again I was struck anew with its abolitionist message – a message...
Who Is Afraid of a Real Inquiry?
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Uri Avnery 2010-06-21 02:00
  If a real Commission of Inquiry had been set up (instead of the pathetic excuse for a commission), here are some of the questions it should have addressed:   1. What is the real aim of the Gaza Strip blockade?   2. If the aim is to prevent the flow of arms into the Strip, why are only 100 products allowed in (as compared to the more than 12 thousand products in an average Israeli...
Public vs. Private
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Paul Hein 2010-07-19 02:00
By Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR     The two terms have always confused me. In general, public means the people considered as a whole, the populace, the citizenry, etc. Private, on the other hand, refers to particular individuals. So public ownership means ownership by everyone, which is a bewildering concept, to say the least. Private ownership, on the other hand, is...
Had Enough Government 'Regulation' Yet? MUST READ
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Glen Allport 2010-08-19 02:00
By Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR    - 1 - The Blessings of True Regulation in a Civil Society   Many things should be regulated – for health and safety, for protection against fraud, and for other reasons.   Regulation is a normal function of civil society. We don't want to get electrocuted when we touch a toaster or vacuum cleaner, for example, and the makers of...
Blame Wikileaks?
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Patrick Coleman 2010-08-27 02:00
By Patrick Coleman.   Exclusive to STR   The media controversy concerning the recent leak of over 91,000 military reports, termed the “Afghan war diary,” by Wikileaks.org has focused very much around the supposed moral culpability of Wikileaks as an organization, its founder, Julian Assange, as well as the accused leaker, Bradley Manning, who now faces 52 years in prison for...
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
9.625
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...