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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.
A Look at the True Collectivist, Socialist and Communist Nature of Today’s Conservatives Recommended
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Scott Lazarowitz 2011-12-06 00:00
Column by Scott Lazarowitz. Exclusive to STR Many of today’s conservatives speak of traditional moral values and free-market capitalism, and say they are “against collectivism, socialism and communism.” But an examination of the actual policies they support and the way they want to implement their “values” shows that many conservatives are really the collectivist,...
Bad News Is Good News
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Paul Hein 2011-12-05 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The pretty TV newsperson was interviewing a doctor about the coming crisis in the funding of health care. It seems that physicians will be taking a 27% cut in reimbursements by Medicare, which will not, however, make a corresponding cut in their expenses. (Thank God I’m retired!) Can a doctor opt out of Medicare? Sure, but then he’s not...
What Would Free Market Justice Look Like?
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Paul Bonneau 2011-12-05 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I was reading a chapter of Jim Corbett’s My India, when I ran into an illuminating clue about the range of possible judicial solutions where freedom exists. Most people seem to imagine free market justice working more or less like our current system, just better and cheaper and more fair. But would it actually look anything like that?   To get...
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...
The Iconography of Evil
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-11-30 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III Exclusive to STR If you ever want an irrefutable indication of what’s wrong with America today, I suggest you have a look at some of the iconography government is putting out there – symbolism, if you will.    It has long been a known psychological principle that symbols and icons are a powerful yet subtle means to instill certain emotions and...
Freedom is Not an Intellectual Pursuit
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Paul Bonneau 2011-11-30 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Every once in a while, I get tired of arguments around here, trying in some way or other to justify freedom and liberty. One can go overboard with this stuff.   After all, does one need a PhD in Philosophy to understand freedom? Of course not. Everybody already understands it. It’s just doing whatever the Hell you want to do. No justification is...
Vermont's Raw Arrogance
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-11-17 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Of course, it’s already common knowledge for the most part that Vermonters have the temerity to carry firearms without any form of government say-so – even neighboring “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire will not suffer such uppitiness from the mere non-governmental hoi polloi. But another freedom – albeit not nearly...
There’s the Law, and Then There’s The Law
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tzo 2011-11-17 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!   If this is true, it is a serious fact...
Lemmings and Pied Pipers
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Paul Hein 2011-11-16 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Suppose, for a minute, that several of your neighbors came to your door and presented you with a paper on which they had written, in quite formal language, their intent to build a playground for neighborhood children, and that this enterprise was to be funded by a “contribution” from you, among others. “No thanks,” you tell them....
No, Society, There Is No Santa Claus
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-11-15 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR  I know that I have likely irked some of you already by writing a Christmas-themed column before we have even gotten to Thanksgiving, but I can at least offer the caveat that it will likely not be near as onerous as the fact that the latest crop of political parasites (with all due respect to Ron Paul) have already ramped up their bids to be...
Malthus' Mistakes
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Jim Davies 2010-10-08 02:00
Column by Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR   The Reverend Thomas Malthus was no dummy. He made a colossal and famous error by predicting at the end of the 18th Century that human population would stop growing for want of food to feed any more people, but he was a serious scholar nonetheless. He was a fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge and as well as being an Anglican clergyman was...
It's Better to Lose an Election, Than to Win
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Paul Bonneau 2010-10-08 02:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   I've read lots of articles about the disutility of voting. It's not like there are a shortage of them! Here's my take on it, perhaps a bit different than most (my title refers to winning or losing from the voter's point of view, not the politician's).   At my age, 60, I've seen a lot of elections. Much of my life was spent in frantically...
Terms of Association Recommended
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Jim Davies 2010-10-15 02:00
Column by Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR    An advocate for the US Constitution recently argued on the Peter Mac Show that any group of people in any locality properly has the right to set up an association and to define its terms. He was correct, of course. The terms agreed would relate to who can belong and who, not--and to how decisions of policy and practice shall be made, as...
Your Sticker Makes a Lot of Sense Recommended
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Per Bylund 2010-11-03 02:00
Column by Per Bylund.   Exclusive to STR   Election Day means there are a lot of people walking around proudly carrying a sticker on their collar or lapel: “I Voted.” It bothered me at first that they would take pride in such ugly, immoral, and destructive behavior and that they so urgently wanted me to see that they had cast a ballot. I do not particularly like that these...
Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Libertarian
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Duane Colyar 2010-11-05 02:00
Column by Duane Colyar.   Exclusive to STR   Over the years I’ve enjoyed introducing my children and grandchildren to the concept of liberty and the freedom-threatening hazards of the welfare-warfare state. This introduction has started when they were as young as three years old. The reader might ask, “How can this be? Children that young can’t...
Political Prisoners in America
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Paul Bonneau 2010-12-13 03:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR One bit of indoctrination I have found it difficult to shake, is the notion that only other countries have political prisoners. Perhaps you have the same mental knee-jerk reaction that I do, when I hear that phrase: people rotting in prisons in Cuba, or some other banana republic run by a military honcho, or Burma, or North Korea. But are such examples...
Violence Begets Violence...and Government Is Violence Recommended
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-01-11 03:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III Exclusive to STR The recent shootings in Tucson, Arizona, involving Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, federal judge John Roll, and others has brought a tidal wave of outrage from the mainstream press, with those on the political left railing against what they perceive as the violence-inducing tirades emanating from everyone, apparently, from Michael Savage to Sarah...
What You Can Do to Detoxify Political Debate
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Robert Kaercher 2011-01-20 03:00
Column by Robert Kaercher. Exclusive to STR Now, about that mass shooting at that Safeway in Tucson, Arizona….Wait, where are you going?   Yes, yes, I know that at this point you’ve probably read and heard about as much as you can stand anymore about all the political fallout that has followed that horrific tragedy. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik decided to do some...
Hey, Got A (Fascio-Socialism) Light?
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Tony Pivetta 2011-02-02 03:00
Column by Tony Pivetta.   Exclusive to STR   Don’t let those anal Austro-libertarians fool you: central planning isn’t all bad. Sure, there’s that nagging economic calculation problem, and the inevitable resource misallocation it entails. And no, State actors don’t stop acting in their own interest just because they claim to act in the public’s. But all is...
Psychology Rules!
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Paul Hein 2011-02-03 03:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   By coincidence, I recently watched two television programs in the same evening that, upon reflection, said a great deal about society. One was a documentary about the President’s airplane, “On Board Air Force One.” I had seen it before, but it seemed worth a second look.   The other was “Downton Abbey,” a sort...
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...