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Monday, January 16

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Melinda Secor is the guest editor today.
 

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “This is the true joy in life – being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one: being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” ~ George Bernard Shaw Mike: I’m a fellow Michigander, a fellow filmmaker like yourself, raised with...
Original article "Chief among the common misconceptions about the way official propaganda works is the notion that its goal is to deceive the public into believing things that are not 'the truth' (that Trump is a Russian agent, for example, or that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, or that the terrorists hate us for our freedom, et cetera). However, while official propagandists are definitely pleased if anyone actually believes whatever lies they are selling, deception is not their primary...
Original article "A couple of days ago, Politico published a fascinating piece describing how factions associated with the current Ukrainian government apparently interfered in the U.S. election on behalf of Hillary Clinton. The findings seem pretty damning, and certainly warrant at least some conversation within the American media given the 24/7 obsession with Russia. Nevertheless, most of you have probably never heard of this saga, since when it comes to the corporate media news cycle, some election...
Original article "Do not be fooled by the tears and gushing words of Obama and his supporters as he counts down to his departure from the White House. They are an insult when measured against the tears of the countless Libyans, Syrians, Afghans and others who have suffered as a result of a foreign policy that brought his administration into disrepute."
Original article "As Obama’s days as U.S. President draw to a close, both the Obama administration and the mainstream corporate media are attempting to provoke a greater conflict with nuclear-armed Russia on the basis of something that never actually happened; at least on the basis of something that they have yet to prove has actually happened. Still, the hype and hysteria being piped from the halls of the White House, intelligence community, and the mouthpiece of the establishment, the corporate...
Original article "Having arrived in Germany a few days ago, a mass of over 3,000 US ground troops backed by a large column of American tanks are advancing eastward toward the Russian border today, heading across Poland as part of a major NATO operation called Atlantic Resolve."
Original article "The 'fog of war' erupts in the confusion caused by the chaos of war. And in the media, it’s an intentional phenomenon that makes it difficult to separate fact from fiction. While the battles over war narratives evolve, they all have a common goal: to distort reality on the ground. Such is the case on the crisis in Syria, the new cold war with Russia, and even the buildup for President Bush’s support for Kuwait’s 'humanitarian' war against Iraq....
Original article "Thanks to CNN and BuzzFeed, a war now rages among corporate media outlets, a true study in irony, as the New York Times and Guardian hurl accusations the two outlets are guilty of publishing Fake News — the same Fake News all of the aforementioned have cited in unabashed attempts to discredit legitimate alternative media."
Original article "Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko is once again warning about the long-standing problems of corruption in Afghanistan, and the amount of US 'reconstruction aid' disappearing down black holes over the course of the years. As always, the discussion came around to 'ghost soldiers.' Ghost soldiers are a phenomenon in which Afghan military commanders fill their ranks with fictional names and just keep the salaries, which since the...
Original article "On average, we spend over 50 hours a week away from our homes. Chances are, if a sudden disaster occurs at your workplace and you are forced to shelter in place for a given time, many coworkers (including yourself) could be unprepared."
Original article "Yes, You Need a Vehicle Survival Kit! And here’s why. You jump in the car, fire the ignition, head down the road, and all is well. But then, the unexpected happens. A small error, an unavoidable accident, a rapid change in weather, some black ice, vehicle malfunction, something causes everything to change in an instant."
Original article "Fear your exploding smartphone no more. Scientists have designed a heat-activated molecular fire extinguisher that could make lithium-ion batteries safer."
Original article "Researchers are reporting development of the world’s thinnest electrical wires, made of chalcogenide and diamondoids (the smallest possible bits of diamond)."
Original article "A chemical that is thought to be safe and is, therefore, widely used on crops—such as almonds, wine grapes and tree fruits—to boost the performance of pesticides, makes honey bee larvae significantly more susceptible to a deadly virus, according to researchers at Penn State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture."
May A Libertarian Take Money From The Government? A Modification To Block's Argument
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floppytilleyhat 2016-05-16 06:20
Column by new Root Striker David Rogers. Exclusive to STR Back in August 2015, Walter Block and Bob Murphy debated on the Tom Woods Show whether a libertarian could rightly take government money. Bob Murphy's argument was simple and effective: the government stole the money from taxpayers, and that libertarians who take money from the government knowingly receive stolen wealth. Walter Block...
Tyranny Hits the Road Running
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Retta Fontana 2016-05-13 06:58
Column by Retta Fontana. Exclusive to STR Early humans were as free as anything imaginable. They learned that living in loose bands and tribes provided some warmth and protection against predators and the elements. As long as they didn’t violate someone else’s space or challenge a stronger person for any possession, every living thing was free to roam. It was the unquestioned norm -...
The Aborted Fetus of American Fascism?
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Kevin M. Patten 2016-05-07 14:37
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR As of late April, the remnants of an enthralling legend still stand within the hills of Pacific Palisades. Down here, some seventy years ago, a potential Fascist headquarters was being cultivated for the day that Adolf Hitler announced victory in World War Two. Afterwards, the Third Reich would make its way across the ocean to the shores of Los Angeles...
The First & Last Tabloid Presidential Elections?
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Douglas Herman 2016-05-05 06:17
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Our Republic Reels from Absurdity to Obscene in Prez Selection 2016   Maybe I’m getting old. At 66, I certainly don’t recall another presidential election so entertaining in a sleazy, openly corrupt sort of way.  I don’t recall Nixon vs. Kennedy with such rancor and mud-slinging.  I was ten at the time, in 1960. ...
Light, Metal, Shadow: The Freedom of Welding
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Alex R. Knight III 2016-05-03 07:07
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR I suppose my first serious exposure to the trade, craft, and art of welding came during a brief five-month stint I did working for a railroad company. Technically, my job title was that of forklift driver, loading and unloading rail cars when freight came in to a small ex-airport on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River. On days when no such...
Not Surprised: Thoreau Pissed Off Some New Yorkers
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Douglas Herman 2016-04-26 06:24
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Years ago, while working in LA as a struggling scriptwriter, I observed that Hollywood is a Moronocracy:  movies made by morons, for morons and about morons.  Rainman, Forrest Gump, Waterboy, Dumb & Dumber, Batman vs. Superman, etc. You see the trend? Intelligent, insightful opinions, subtlety, cleverness, playful and caustic remarks have...
A Method For Achieving Panarchy (Part 1)
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Paul Bonneau 2016-04-22 06:50
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I wrote up a recipe for achieving Panarchy, and posted it on a forum frequented by anarchists. It was intended as a focus for discussion more than an actual plan of events. This is a slight re-write, version 2. *What is Panarchy?* Panarchy is that condition, when people are affected by, and can only affect, those political institutions and structures in a...
What's a Public Purpose?
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Paul Hein 2016-04-21 07:08
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The next time you’re in Missouri, go to the penitentiary in Jefferson City. As a visitor, of course: a tourist. The penitentiary is now retired from active duty, and its conscriptees confined to a newer facility some distance away. But the original building, grim and grey, is open for tours. I’ve toured Alcatraz, which held about 500 prisoners at...
A Place Somewhere Beyond 'White Man's Burden' and 'I Hate N*ggers'
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Paul Bonneau 2016-04-21 06:38
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The typical arguments about race are so common and predictable, I wonder why people can’t find something different to talk about. It’s funny how similar the two seemingly disparate positions are, if you think about it. The so-called “liberal” position, AKA “White Man’s Burden,” is in agreement with what “...
Top Ten Reasons to Love Airbnb
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Retta Fontana 2016-04-15 06:30
Column by Retta Fontana. Exclusive to STR For the uninitiated, Airbnb.com is an online network for connecting people who have spaces in their homes, apartments, or castles to rent out temporarily and travelers who are looking for accommodations. Airbnb is secure and worldwide, although obviously more available in some places than others. It is an idea whose time has come. Here are my top ten...
Origins
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Jim Davies 2009-10-25 16:00
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...
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
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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...
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
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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
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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...