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Thursday, January 29

Guest Editor

Robert Taylor is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Pai Shih

Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR “There’s no reason it should not go through,” Mr. Jeffrey Gillen had said. Gillen is a judge in the 15th Division of the state of Florida. That man-in-a-magic-robe was about to swing down his papier-mâché gavel and devastate some important considerations for both autonomy and human rights. In May, he ruled in favor of a “contract” that would amputate the foreskin of young Chase Ryan Nebus-Hironimus. The child...
Original article We often take it for granted in the libertarian orbit that it is a slam-dunk intellectually that private individuals in a cooperative sphere absent coercion are the best form of human society. If the twentieth century taught us anything, it is this: certain sociopaths in our midst have a penchant to rule and legions of willing and able followers are waiting for the chance to don the yoke and assume the role of loyal serfs.
Original article The market anarchist order might not lead to a world without constitutions, but with a great diversity of constitutions — the advantage that the “'constitutional choice environment" would be competitive, decentralized, and open one. 
Original article Maybe it’s time for the person who calls themselves Christian to return to their non-compliant roots, and be more like Christ. Maybe it’s time to ask, “How do you reconcile being a warrior with following the Prince of Peace?”
Original article The Sterling case sends a clear message: You won’t get in trouble as long as you do what you’re told (even torture people). But if you talk to a reporter and tell him something we want kept secret, we will spare no effort to destroy you.  
Original article In one short century, we have gone from superpower to supersize me, a plutocrazy, a nation that wasted its most valuable resource: the energy and innovation of its own people.
Original article The best way to combat soil, water and air pollution is to stop subsidizing it!    
Original article An interview with Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, the founder of Bitnation, an organization that is attempting to use the blockchain to circumvent and sidestep state power.
Original article Our daily lives are determined by our choices as individual economic actors. When governments intervene in our personal economics, they intervene in our personal preferences and choices.
Original article Despite government interference, the teens lined up five jobs.  
Original article Americans’ faltering devotion to freedom has made it easy for politicians to corral them with criminal penalties for a vast array of nonviolent offenses.
Original article Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, technological advances in all industries, from farming to electronics, have lowered the cost of producing goods and services, so if money really kept a constant value, prices would continually fall to reflect the fact that it really does cost less to produce things. Even a stable price level means the value of money is falling, because it is not accounting for continually declining costs of production.
Original article It's no mystery why day care is expensive and hard to come by. Regulatory barriers to industry have created cartels and shortages. It's time to deregulate.
Original article What happens when you turn the tables and citizens start to talk about where cops are located? They have a panic attack and describe their campaign to remove the feature “a personal jihad.”
Original article In the right hands, guns save lives. They are the great equalizer.  
Fixing Historical Sabotage
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Lawrence Samuels 2014-05-12 07:20
Column by L.K. Samuels. Exclusive to STR Being something of an amateur historian, I find it reprehensible that there are so-called historians willing to rewrite history to suit their own ideological narrative. But then again, as George Orwell wrote in Nineteen Eighty-Four, he “who controls the past, controls the future” and he “who controls the present controls the past....
An Urgent Plea to Cliven Bundy
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Kevin M. Patten 2014-04-29 07:40
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }Mr. Bundy, You have given the country a rare opportunity, sir. Until very recently, the issue that drew both the ire of statists and the camaraderie of American patriots was your land dispute with the federal government. They were central questions that were asked at the dawn of our Republic, and needed a much...
The National Non-Debt
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Paul Hein 2014-04-28 06:22
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Let’s look at a familiar aphorism: If a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears it, does it make a noise? Now let’s modify it: If an obligation is settled with an IOU, which is never to be paid, is there a debt? In the first instance, we are asked whether there is a sound if no one hears it. In the second, if there is a debt if no one pays it...
A Pleasantly Filled Dungeon in My Backyard: A Police State Update, Part I
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Kevin M. Patten 2014-04-24 07:04
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR In existence, not 30 miles from my place of residence, is a modern day dungeon. For no mistake can be made in saying that the Los Angeles County Jail is an exemplary comparison of such in 21st Century America. On the 2200 floor, where I was recently housed for just over a week, a 24 hour lockdown was in effect; there was no mentionable selection of...
The Rights Stuff
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Tim Hartnett 2014-04-21 07:31
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR One of the few laughs in Michael Shaara’s book, The Killer Angels, comes when a Confederate prisoner tells captors his side was not fighting for slavery. They were defending their “rats.” The dumbfounded Yankees eventually figure out he really meant “rights.” But that still didn’t leave the Union troops much better off...
The Name Game
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Paul Hein 2014-04-14 07:23
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR An interesting phenomenon: You receive a letter, signed by a group of people unknown to you, asking you to send them a large check, and implying that if you don’t, there could be unpleasant consequences. You laugh, and throw it away. Perhaps, if you’re sufficiently annoyed, you could send a copy to the authorities, asking that they put a halt to...
The Urge to 'Do Something'
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Alex R. Knight III 2014-04-10 07:03
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR It’s virtually the mantra of the statist government-believers – those of the Left, Right, and Center – whenever there’s a perceived “crisis.” A mass shooting. Unemployment. A display of racism or gender-bias. A tax-financed school system that fails to actually educate (though why such should baffle anyone is beyond...
Defending the State?
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Alex R. Knight III 2014-04-09 07:13
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR I have to admit I’m rather perplexed by something I’m witnessing of late within the gun ownership community, and I’m going to do my best to try and dissect it. Here in Vermont, we’re fighting some proposed gun control laws, and one of the pillars of support for private gun ownership that is commonly deferred to is Article 16...
Going Unarmed Is an Antisocial Act
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Paul Bonneau 2014-04-08 07:32
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR All States provide protection. That is the primary justification for their existence. The reality can be a bit more complicated, of course. To be sure, there have been times and places where governments have actually provided protection. George Washington’s army actually provided protection against--well, I guess it was against the government that...
The Home Team
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Mark Davis 2014-04-07 07:29
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR Sports provide many benefits to society, not least of which are the many rich metaphors for life.  The understanding of social organization, establishment of rules, the dynamics of competition, individuals sacrificing for the team, learning accountability, commitment to a purpose and developing a work ethic in sports offers a range of wonderful...
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...
Rethinking 'School'
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Michael Kleen 2010-10-20 02:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   Few institutions in the United States create more cognitive dissonance than its public school system. Complaints about the cost and quality of American schools fill newspaper opinion pages, and the rhetoric of “improving education” is a staple of every political campaign. Missing from this debate, however, is the role each and...
'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
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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...
Oh, Stanley MUST READ
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tzo 2011-03-30 02:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Stanley Milgram was an American social psychologist best known for his Milgram Experiment, a study conducted in the 1960s.   Dr. Milgram wanted to research the relationship between obedience and authority, and he was at least partly motivated to do so by the events of the Nazi Holocaust. It greatly troubled him that so many supposedly good people could...