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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."
Funny Non-Money
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Paul Hein 2016-04-01 06:41
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR There is the possibility, as pointed out by writers on subjects financial, that the government, which is in debt up to, and beyond, its ears, might seize the retirement funds of its subjects. By this means, we are told, our Rulers might reduce their debt by paying off at least part of it with the stolen--er, taxed--funds. In truth, in seizing its subjects...
Cash Is King
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Retta Fontana 2016-03-31 06:44
Column by Retta Fontana. Exclusive to STR “What do we want?” “Freedom!” “When are we taking it?” “Now!” After a lengthy sabbatical, it’s great to be back at the keyboard! I’ve been through seven lean years of transition. (Hopefully to be followed by seven fat ones.) During my sabbatical from writing, I pushed a pencil, sold...
A Thought Experiment in Rights
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Paul Bonneau 2016-03-23 07:16
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR A thought experiment is a useful device for getting down to the truth of things. For example, Einstein discovered the Special Theory of Relativity through a series of thought experiments; certainly back in those days, there weren’t many trains actually running near the speed of light! I noticed in another forum, in one of my discussions about rights...
Caterpillars to Butterflies
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Retta Fontana 2016-03-07 08:26
Column by Retta Fontana. Exclusive to STR My brilliant daughter scored 4.0 in her science classes in college! I'm feeling so happy and proud. This, however, is not about grades. It's about transformation. When she was a small child in school, she often seemed anxious. For a long time it was worry over what to be when she grew up. Telling her that she could be anything she wanted...
A Candle in the Darkness
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Paul Hein 2016-03-03 07:32
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Those of us of a certain (old!!) age find it easy to be pessimistic about the future, and depressed by the present obvious disintegration of the America of our youth and young adulthood. Considering that garrulous gaggle of gangsters seeking the presidency is enough to ruin my day. The shrinking of the middle class--the productive class!!--convinces me that...
The Mass Murderers Debate
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Glen Allport 2016-02-29 07:51
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR With popular celebrity-killer Charles Manson having signed on for the second debate, the  People's Socialist Conservative Party debate series was now assured of higher ratings and, finally, a real impact on the nation's voters.   Popular mega-killers defecting from the near-defunct Old Power Parties had participated in the first...
The Return of the Libnappers
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Hogeye Bill 2016-02-22 07:43
Column by Hogeye Bill. Exclusive to STR Pro-closed border arguments are getting predictable. Typically they begin with sound libertarian theory about property - assertions with with all libertarians agree. In short, the only valid borders are property borders, and the use (and passage across) property should be up to the owner, not any government. The open vs. closed border issue would not exist...
The World of My Time: Insults and Infighting
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Alex R. Knight III 2016-02-18 08:15
Column by Alex R. Knight III Exclusive to STR Last time here on STR, I thought I had spoke to all of the reasons why I no longer find active promotion of a free society to be in my own personal best interest, but on subsequent reflection, I find that I neglected to address an area that deserves some attention, if only in brief. Consider this an addendum, if you will. As voluntaryists, we suffer...
The World Beyond My Time
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Alex R. Knight III 2016-02-16 08:46
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Some time ago, I wrote a piece here on STR about some of my experiences as a practicing alcoholic, and how my initial years of substance-abuse denial are directly analogous to the philosophical position of Statists. And I’m about to come out of denial again. In the 22 years now that I’ve been aware of it and involved, the libertarian...
On the Border
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Mark Davis 2016-02-12 08:10
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR Cruisin' down the center of a two way street Wond'rin' who is really in the driver's seat Mindin' my bus'ness along comes big brother Says, "Son, you better get on one side or the other." I'm out on the border, I'm walkin' the line Don't you tell me 'bout your law and order I'm try'n' to...
Blame Wikileaks?
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Patrick Coleman 2010-08-27 02:00
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...
Why People Believe Government Is Here to Help Us Recommended
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Paul Bonneau 2010-08-27 02:00
By Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR     The tenacity of the meme, that government is here to help us and protect us, is hard to understand. All evidence throughout history points in the opposite direction--that government is here to prey on us, and that if there is anything we need protection from, it is our own governments. Why do people cling to this harmful meme?   A...
Declare 9-11 'Government Blowback Day'
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2010-08-31 02:00
By Lawrence M. Ludlow.   Exclusive to STR   This September 11, let’s help to change the “meme” that has been used by the U.S. government to terrorize Americans into submission and to cynically manipulate the grief of those who lost loved ones in the 9-11 attack of 2001. This year in your community, join hands with others who understand the meaning of the event. Carry...
The Fake TV Challenge Recommended
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B.R. Merrick 2010-09-02 02:00
By B.R. Merrick   Exclusive to STR   In spite of my opposition to The War on Certain Kinds of Drugs, I wish to inaugurate a new war against another one. I have good reasons for doing so. This drug is cheap. It is everywhere. It is insidious. Once it is in your bloodstream, it is nearly impossible to extricate. It becomes infused with the cells of your body...
Aristophanes' Law MUST READ
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tzo 2010-09-24 02:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Some 2,400 years ago, the Greek playwright Aristophanes put forth an idea in one of his plays that I would like to codify into a law of human behavior. Here are the pertinent lines from his play "The Frogs":   The course our city runs is the same towards men and money. She has true and worthy sons. She has fine new gold and ancient...
The Census Taker's Gun
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B.R. Merrick 2010-09-24 02:00
Column by B.R. Merrick.   Exclusive to STR   “A Census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” ~ Hannibal Lecter, “The Silence of the Lambs”   Okay, so a while ago, I had to go to a specialist to get something cleared up. Quite mild, all taken care of. It reminded me of how nice it is to have a...
Education for the Individual
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Michael Kleen 2010-10-11 02:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   Previously, in “Education and the Individual,” I discussed how the two competing educational methods in the public education system in the United States both presuppose a State monopoly on education, and how both seek to impose a uniform purpose and set of standards for all children. In this article, I will lay out the...
The Failed Theory of Relativity
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tzo 2010-10-14 02:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Voluntaryism is, primarily, an ethical philosophy applied to the organization of society. Most of the common modern social organization theories (e.g., “democracy”) focus on organizing society based upon what the majority feels is right and always with an eye toward the utilitarian target that is the greatest good for the greatest number....
Our Moral Duty to Pay Taxes
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Guest 2010-10-14 02:00
Column by Jake Roundtree.   Exclusive to STR   The view of the government as the savior of mankind, the organizer of society and the progenitor of morality, is in present times “profoundly integrated into the depths of our consciousness” (Ellul, 216). Keen observers, since Nietzsche, have recognized the overwhelming degree to which citizens of the West are afflicted...
Just Say No!
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Paul Hein 2010-10-19 02:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR   It is interesting to read what St. Augustine had to say about what we now call government: A gang is a group of men under the command of a leader, bound by a compact of association, in which the plunder is divided according to an agreed convention. If this villainy wins so many recruits from the ranks of the demoralized that it acquires...
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...