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Monday, March 30

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photo courtesy of Tommie Hansen

Original article This article is comprehensive (17,000 words) and covers everything you need to know about why mass surveillance is dangerous (whether you "have nothing to hide" or not), what kinds of surveillance are happening now, and what dystopian surveillance mechanisms we may have in the near future.
Original article "A passphrase is like a password, but longer and more secure. In essence, it’s an encryption key that you memorize. Once you start caring more deeply about your privacy and improving your computer security habits, one of the first roadblocks you’ll run into is having to create a passphrase. You can’t secure much without one."
Original article End the ridiculous War on Some Drugs.
Original article "If you’ve noticed that the national security policies of Pres. Barack Obama’s administration are almost indistinguishable from those of the previous Republican administration and wondered why, Glennon has a “disquieting explanation” for you."
Original article "Google wants to attack independent news media, it seems to me, now, in order to prevent coverage damaging to the Obama government and other major world powers from individuals reporting the truth about war, espionage, and violations of civil liberties.  For what benefit?  Google wants more government influence, government contracts, power, and money, it seems clear, to me, from their actions."
Original article A great summary of the conflict and its geopolitical significance.
Original article "Rumours are flying that the owner of a beachfront mansion in Hawaii, which was once used to film the hit TV series “Magnum PI”, is none other than President Obama – the same President who warns us that global warming, and rising sea levels, are a greater danger to the future of America than Islamic terrorism."
Original article "The overwhelming majority of police brutality cases stem from the war on drugs. When so many people are tasked with finding and prosecuting those in possession of a substance deemed illegal, the interactions become more frequent and less cordial. If we end that, we get the state out of the private lives of most individuals. This will only serve to lessen the scope of police harassment, in turn lessening the instance of brutality and killings."
Original article "They are all welfare ranchers subsidized by US taxpayers, and you know who are the biggest welfare ranchers of all, grazing livestock on the hundreds of millions of acres of public grass and forest land, all assisted by public subsidies paid for by US taxpayers? Billionaires that populate Forbes rich lists."
Original article War is a racket, and bankers are the biggest winners.
Original article "And here we are today, in March 2015, just 3½ years after said “point of no return,” with the world at its low economic point of our lifetimes; debt not only at historic highs, but risingparabolically; the “final currency war” more explosive than ever; and global social discontent at unprecedented levels due to the inflation and wealth disparity caused by such suicidal monetary policies. Clearly, the root cause of this economic hell is the global fiat...
Original article "Former Internal Revenue Service employees have access to your sensitive financial information. So do current employees who aren't authorized to see such data. Even some visitors to IRS facilities may have access to sensitive material. Unless the IRS patches up its information security, warns a Government Accountability Office report, "taxpayers could be exposed to loss of privacy and to financial loss and damages resulting from identity theft or other financial crimes.""
Original article "Without a doubt, the core principles of that “paranoid” libertarian impulse were present to both motivate and justify their selfless defiance of bad laws. That “impulse” led them to actions that exemplify a historic unification of radical libertarianism and civil disobedience as underwritten by natural law, a potentially powerful combination of ideas if it is wielded responsibly and inspires others to follow suit."
Original article And once there is a viable one, it will be very, very difficult to stop.
Original article "Tutanota is Latin for “secure message,” at least if you separate the two words. The company was founded in 2011 and presently serves around 100,000 accounts. It is backed by two German private investors and has ambitions to expand into other areas, such as a secure calendar interface and a file sharing / storage service not unlike Mega."
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?
0
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...
Cancerfornia: A Letter to the Golden State
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Kevin M. Patten 2014-06-27 07:33
Column by Kevin Patten. Published in late 2009 There is a cancer growing inside the State of California. It is crushing the social stability of our counties and destroying the lives of thousands. The mass media has lied to you, saying it is in your best interest. But do not be deceived by this creature, for it is our own prison system – The California Department of Corrections and...
Kindness Generates Kindness
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Douglas Herman 2014-06-27 07:16
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “I’d love to change the world But I don't know what to do So I'll leave it up to you” ~ Ten Years After Memorial Day weekend. Mixed emotions. Sunshine and flowers in bloom and flags flying everywhere. Pretty girls and propaganda on TV and more empty, patriotic slogans from those who want to stir up trouble but never served....
Through Thick and Thin: Ahoy!
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Mark Davis 2014-06-25 07:17
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR Mini-statists love to use lifeboat analogies in an effort to reveal a weakness in the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) and/or in respect for property rights (self-ownership).   But what is revealed?  These lifeboat situations are, of course, not even close to being universal experiences.  These analogies are used by statists to make the...
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
10
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...