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Thursday, March 5

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Robert Taylor is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Pai Shih

Original article The “evidence based” reform campaign presumes that politics is essentially a noble business in which public servants love nothing more than serving the public. But for politicians, programs are fiefdoms. How many kings have abdicated their thrones after becoming convinced that monarchy did not truly serve the downtrodden masses? Will politicians cede power after social scientists document how their favorite programs do more harm than good?
Original article As we engage in peer-to-peer civil disobedience, we are making choices that are leading to the emergence of new law, however slowly and clumsily it follows on.  
Original article Each time we try to understand some individual market exchange, what we are viewing reveals only traces or hints of the individual acts of valuation engaged in by the actors, and even less so about such acts when we attempt to forensically examine any group of market exchanges. But this is more or less exactly what most economists do. It is why, in fact, economists are so blazingly wrong most of the time.
Original article If you crave war like Netanyahu, it is peace that is an existential threat.
Original article We can live without the fear of terrorism — but only if the U.S. government stops antagonizing foreign populations that have never threatened us.  
Original article Fear is a powerful tool. This is not only well-known by those in positions of power, but exploited. Just like a child makes a parent check under his bed for the monster, U.S. citizens, out of fear, have called upon their elected leaders to be “proactive” against monsters like “drugs” and “terrorism.” 
Original article Innocent Americans are vulnerable to petty harassment by officious officials who demand blind obedience as the price for letting us go about our lives.
Original article The following story should send shivers down the spines of all decent, law-abiding American citizens. It’s also a great reminder of the primary reason it’s so wise to videotape interactions with police. Many of them turn out to be egregious liars.    
Original article They’re less expensive, better at crime prevention, they do not target citizens for revenue, and, best of all, each officer is personally accountable for his or her actions.
Original article All prisons should be scrapped, scorched, and relegated to the past along with the lash and the hangman. There is no substitute for abolition and there is no prison undeserving of a riot.  
Original article Those on the inside of the military/industrial/surveillance supercomplex -- who leak under the name of "anonymous official" to aid filmmakers, deploy talking points or steer narratives -- will never see this side of the two-faced administration. Their leaks are more equal than others.  
Original article It's not surprising that the Status Quo craves pseudo-solutions, for real solutions necessarily disrupt the corrupt, sclerotic, wasteful, inefficient, fraud-ridden and cronyist-paradise of vested interests..."faster, better, cheaper" destroys the friction of vested interests.
Original article “Sovereignty” is a claim of ownership. If individuals cannot be “sovereign,” their only choice is servility. There was once a thoroughly imperfect but in many ways commendable country on the North American landmass that was created by people who understood that principle, and shed blood in righteous defense of individual liberty. That country has been supplanted by a soyuz in which even speaking of such things is often treated as a crime.
Striking the Root of Religious Extremism
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Robert L. Johnson 2012-02-14 00:00
Column by Robert Johnson. Exclusive to STR  We are all appalled and disgusted when we hear about Islamic courts sentencing people to be whipped or beheaded for blasphemy against Islam or Mohammed.   We wonder how injustices can be justified by their perpetrators when we see images of Muslims being forced from their homes by Israeli settlers or hear Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu...
Should Anarchists Be Tolerated?
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Paul Bonneau 2012-02-10 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR  I had earlier addressed the question of tolerance of anarchists, in this article. At some point, it occurred to me to actually ask the question. After all, we have these wonderful forum tools that include polls!   I went to my favorite gun forum, one I recommend, by the way, Oleg Volk’s Gun Rights Media. On a sub-board called “Ethics...
Is Money and Politics the New Church and State?
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JGVibes 2012-02-10 00:00
Column by new Root Striker JGVibes. Exclusive to STR One of the main battles of the Enlightenment was the fight to separate the church from the state. After centuries of inquisitions and religious wars, people had grown sick and tired of the church and the state conspiring together to create empires. The churches were the newsrooms of the Middle Ages, and these ministries of propaganda...
An Enduring Institution, and Democracy!
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Paul Hein 2012-02-08 00:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   Some might jump to the conclusion that the world’s oldest enduring institution is prostitution, and they wouldn’t be far wrong. But in fact, the holder of the title is not prostitution, but slavery. Not only is it alive and well, but thriving.   We’ve dealt with the subject of slavery before, but what made me think of it...
A Very Short Q&A on Money, Banking and the Great Recession
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Jakub Bozydar W... 2012-02-07 00:00
Column by Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski.   Exclusive to STR   Q: Why do states and their clients in the banking sector demand control of the money supply? A: Because it allows them to: 1. Engage in the inflationary redistribution (taxation without legislation) of the purchasing power of money in their own direction. 2. Monetize (inflate away) their debts. 3. Create credit out of thin air and...
To Govern and Enslave
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Jim Davies 2012-02-07 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR  Given the axiom of self-ownership, there's very little difference between those two verbs. To govern someone is to override his own wishes; he wants to do X, but government commands him to do Y. Likewise, to enslave someone is to override his own plans; he wants to be an Econ Professor and columnist, but the slave-owner commands him to pick cotton, and...
Rule by Children
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Bob Wallace 2012-02-06 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   Of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates, all of them, except for Ron Paul, are whores and puppets for international bankers and international corporations (I call them Cosmodemonic Transnational Megacorporations). And Paul doesn’t stand a chance, because he is an adult. It doesn't matter if Obama is re-elected, or...
Panarchy, Subsidiarity and Me
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Paul Bonneau 2012-02-06 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR  When I first started writing on this subject (see here, here, and here), I was mostly shooting in the dark. Subsequent reading has yet again proven the old saying, from Ecclesiastes, that there is nothing new under the sun; that what I wrote has been thought of before. This article will attempt to collect and connect these themes.   The first...
1492
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Jim Davies 2012-01-30 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR It's a bit difficult to compress a big slice of human history into a few hundred words, so if I omit some of your favorite details, I hope you'll forgive me.   I pick 1492 as being the pivotal year in that immense saga. One could of course choose from other good candidates: 50,000 years ago when mankind migrated out of Africa to populate the rest of the...
I Can Do It; You Can't
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Paul Hein 2012-01-30 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR President Obama was served with a subpoena to appear in an Atlanta court on January 26, to offer proof of his eligibility to be on the ballot in Georgia in the upcoming presidential election. Georgia law, as I understand it, requires that all candidates for federal office be qualified to hold the office to which they aspire.   Of course, Obama did not...
The Parable of the Lions and the Slaves
9.14286
tzo 2011-03-07 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The nature of lions is to kill, and so it is good that they kill because that ensures lion survival. If an individual lion loses his teeth, that is bad because he can no longer fend for himself. If all lions were to lose their teeth, that would be the end of lions.   Humans put some lions in zoos and feed them meat and get them to reproduce....
The God Question
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Jim Davies 2012-03-18 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Why does it matter, to market anarchists, whether or not God exists? Surely all would be able, in a free society, to believe whatever they wish about religion? That was the thrust of Paul Bonneau's recent article here, and he added that it's counterproductive for the libertarian spokesman to ridicule the religious. His point is well taken. In the...
Valor and Discretion
9.1
tzo 2010-02-01 03:00
Exclusive to STR   Once upon a time I worked a second shift job and regularly walked home from the train station during the later hours of the evening. One night as I was making my way home, a police cruiser pulled up alongside me and the officer asked me where I was headed. I said I was going home, and he then asked me where that might be. I gave him the name of my street, and with that he...
Brights Are Keeping Us in the Dark Ages
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strike 2003-07-20 15:00
While reading an article about Brights (the new, more marketable term for atheists) last week, I came across this website for The Brights' Network. I was excited to find it until I read 'The Reason' for the group: 'Currently the naturalistic worldview is insufficiently expressed within most cultures. The purpose of this movement is to form an umbrella Internet constituency of Brights having...
E-Prime and Freedom
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Craig Russell 2003-07-23 15:00
To be or not to be ' that is the question. ~ Shakespeare, Hamlet Let's think for a moment about thought.
Abortion, Coercion and the State
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Anthony Gregory 2005-03-22 16:00
Two of my fellow STR writers and guest editors that I much enjoy to read, weebies and John deLaubenfels, have each come out with a column on the eternally contentious abortion issue. On first glance, one might say that weebies' article is pro-life, while John deLaubenfels' is pro-choice. These two positions might initially appear diametrically opposed and therefore entirely irreconcilable. I do...
Legalize Methamphetamine!
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Marc J. Victor 2006-03-27 03:00
I’m the last guy who ought to argue for the legalization of meth.[1]  As a practicing criminal defense attorney, I make a good income from defending people who are charged with drug crimes.  If the drug war ended, I would lose a substantial portion of my income.  Additionally, some would call me a health...
Creating a Free America
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Kevin Van Horn 2006-11-02 16:00
Exclusive to STR November 3, 2006 I will live as a free man among free Americans. We will pay no taxes. We will submit to no rulers. We will exercise our rights openly and without fear. I've reached a point in my life where I can no longer bear to live on my knees, meekly submitting to whatever outrages and humiliations America 's rulers choose to inflict on us. And so I have made a...
A Machiavellian Matrimony
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Alex R. Knight III 2006-12-13 16:00
Exclusive to STR December 14, 2006 Not for me. Of course, as I close in on 38, I'm still a bachelor which means no matrimony yet of any kind. I doubt it's in the cards. Here's why:
Rationality, Freedom and Subjectivism
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Tony Sampognaro 2006-09-24 15:00
Exclusive to STR September 25, 2006 (Note: This column is a response to Jim Davies' "Libertarians, Both Academic and Real".)
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...