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Friday, April 24

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Ken Kraska is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Terry Chen

Original article “It is no coincidence that ‘law enforcement’ is sliding into general disrepute – even outright loathing. And the same goes for ‘authority’ generally. People are questioning. And beginning, many of them, to see. Our task is to encourage this. And to be patient. To resist the temptation to lose hope – and lash out.”
Original article “What happens when BlueCross knows what’s in your smart fridge? Your life becomes a series of overlapping—and often competing—rewards programs, gamified events, penalties, coupons, warnings, alerts, and nudges. Practically your entire existence becomes subject to dynamic surge pricing.”
Original article I may never buy another new car again if this trend continues.
Original article Helpful guide for accessorizing a generic .22 caliber bolt-action rifle cheaply and easily. Under $250 USD is easily possible.
Original article “The long-term contract, which is ongoing, has cost taxpayers $21 million. But according to one DLA worker, many of the parts never arrived, showed up in the wrong packaging or were surplus to requirements. And rather than fix the contract or process the paperwork necessary for a refund, the DLA ate the cost—and even tipped some spare parts into the garbage in order to make the problem disappear.”
Original article Interesting but, no thanks. Is a little convenience and a few pennies off the price really so valuable?
Original article “A hundred years after their first use in wartime Flanders, chemical weapons have yet to be completely removed from its battlefields. One still finds their remnants lying around Belgium. As Trogh says, ‘They are still there; when foundations are dug on building sites they always find gas canisters.’ “
Original article Good news for tech manufacturers, environmentalists, and bad news for China’s R-E oligopoly.
Original article “ ‘What Are You, a Little Bitch?’ A Post-Feminist Analysis of Your Masculinity”   Heh.        
Malum Prohibitum, Ad Nauseum
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Paul Hein 2014-08-25 07:40
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR “I’ve got a tremendous idea,” you announce to your colleagues. “Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had health insurance?” “You bet,” they agree--at least most of them. “Well, let’s make everybody buy it. If some can’t afford it, we’ll subsidize it, somehow, and if they refuse, we’ll...
Superintelligence
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Glen Allport 2014-08-12 08:06
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR The dangers inherent in superintelligent machines have inspired any number of science fiction books, films, and short stories. From Asimov's I, Robot series (and the 2004 movie of the same name starring Will Smith) to James Cameron's Terminator and its sequels, from Johnny Depp's recent Transcendence to the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey,...
Assumptions
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Paul Hein 2014-08-11 07:31
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Our lives are, to a large extent, based upon assumptions. Many of them are obvious: the assumption that the sun will rise in the morning, or that the car will start when you turn the key. The validity of these assumptions has been shown hundreds of thousands—millions—of times. They have become less assumptions and more statements of fact. Other...
Economics for Dummies
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Paul Hein 2014-07-31 08:06
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I don’t want to deceive you: I am not going to present a sort of Economics 101 for the benefit of the economically illiterate. In fact, I am myself among that number, never having studied economics. What I am suggesting is that, in the current financial crisis, economics may be, in my opinion, somewhat irrelevant. It may be foolish to think that there...
Who Owes What?
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Paul Hein 2014-07-22 08:00
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...
The Advantage of Panarchy
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Paul Bonneau 2014-07-14 06:32
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The crucial advantage of Panarchy is that it converts aggressive violence into defense. Most people on the Internet tend to “stick with their own kind”; for example, liberals read only sites like Daily Kos. However, when they venture out and run into those of different persuasions, you always see a battle of competing arguments, and the...
Small Things
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Paul Hein 2014-07-08 08:14
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The small things in life are sometimes enclosed in ritual. There’s nothing wrong with this per se; it often adds an appropriate appreciation to the simple thing being done--as, for instance, being married. The accompanying ceremony may give the couple an awareness of the importance and significance of what they are doing. Sometimes it can be amusing....
Dick Cheney and the Dead Pool
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Douglas Herman 2014-07-07 07:41
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “It is a universal trend for peoples to unite in a national emergency.” ~ Uri Avnery Dick Cheney rarely reads my columns here at STR. Certainly I’m glad that millions of Winston Smiths over at NSA read my stuff. I want them to read my stuff. I want young and impressionable minds, like Edward Snowden, to read STR and have ideas implanted...
A Pleasantly Filled Dungeon in My Back Yard
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Kevin M. Patten 2014-07-03 07:52
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }“This ain't no place for no hero. This ain't no place for no better man. This ain't no place for no hero To call "home." ~ The Heavy, Short Change Hero It’s been now, for me, more than five years of freedom; and eight years since I first experienced the Los Angeles county jail...
Logical Fallacies?
8.5
Paul Bonneau 2014-06-30 08:23
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I vaguely remember when I first discovered logical fallacies (hint: it was not in a government school); I recall being thrilled that there were some boundaries for argumentation that could be used to reject some poor arguments and help find the truth of things. I have long used Stephen Downes’ site as a particularly good exposition of them, since it...
Does the American Empire Deserve to Die?
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Douglas Herman 2009-11-01 17:00
 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 04:00
 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 04:00
They Hate Us Because of Our Freedom
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Alfred A. Hambi... 2004-04-19 00:00
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 03:00
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
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Glen Allport 2010-06-21 03:00
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 that is clear,...
Who Is Afraid of a Real Inquiry?
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Uri Avnery 2010-06-21 03:00
  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 03:00
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 03:00
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 03:00
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 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
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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...