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Monday, May 4

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photo courtesy of Terry Chen

Original article "Libertarians advocate for the privatization of all government “services,” and this includes the prison system. Whenever I mention that “public” utilities and “public” works ought to be done privately, a common retort is to “look at how that has worked in the prison industry.” But how libertarian are private prisons anyways?"
Original article The untold story of the Silk Road.
Original article Assassination, or "targeted killing" didn't work in the drug war and it certainly isn't working in the war on terror.
Original article A lesson in economics for all you Keynesians out there. No, there is no such thing as a "global glut."
Original article "None of them seem to believe that people can be trusted to be in charge of their own affairs. The debate over the “inequality problem” is an excellent case in point. It isn’t as if the knowledge required to understand the problem weren’t readily available. However, most of these people were educated in statist institutions, and have rarely been exposed to any non-statist ideological viewpoints. The possibilities offered by solutions that do not involve the State in...
Original article "It's been a one-party city for at least half a century but Obama still managed to blame Republicans."
Original article "As noted by Sharyl, the reasons for the decline of investigative journalism are complicated. But a big part of it is due to commercial concerns; basically, commercial and corporate influences came into play, and media outlets grew to accept commercialization as part of the news process."
Original article "Economic growth is not the same as economic activity. It’s not about just making more exchanges or producing more stuff. It’s ultimately about getting people the things they want at progressively lower cost, and thereby improving their well-being. That’s what markets have done for the last two centuries. For those of us who understand this point, it’s important not to assume that higher rates of GDP growth or the increased production of physical stuffautomatically...
Original article "I leave you with this thought, if you need to build a fire or light a cigarette, how much would you pay for a BIC lighter?  The same could be asked about “money”, if one needs to put capital somewhere that cannot ever default (which is gold only), what is one ounce of gold worth?  It is crystal clear to me, when this question gets asked, it may take some time for the physical market to clear and give an answer!  The true value of gold...
Original article "When you’re trying to protect your privacy, it’s totally unclear how, exactly, to start using encryption. One obvious place to start, where the privacy benefits are high and the technical learning curve is low, is something called full disk encryption. Full disk encryption not only provides the type of strong encryption Snowden and Obama reference, but it’s built-in to all major operating systems, it’s the only way to protect your data in case your...
Original article "Through a St. Louis-based company, his Tor exit had been whirring away in a German data centre for 18 months. But it appears that wasn’t enough to stop a raid on his house."
Original article "Of course, perhaps it's not so surprising that the committee on "banking and finance" would approve this bill -- considering it gives a free pass to big banks and financial services companies while hindering startups, entrepreneurs and innovators. However, any of the many startups in California that are doing some amazing and interesting things with Bitcoin should speak up now, because California is about to tell them to move out of the state entirely."
Original article "It is looking more and more like Bitcoin, and the advent of the digital currency, couldn’t be at a better place at a perfect time. As states, and the central banks that run, them become more brazen in their economic oppression and deceptions, innovation, freedom, and privacy live on in new and exciting forms that can bring together more people than ever before."
Gadaffi Is Dead, But Tyranny Lives
7.5
Westernerd 2011-10-26 00:00
Column by Robert Taylor. Exclusive to STR  Gadaffi is dead. After 40 years of strongman rule, he was finally found hiding from angry rebels, dragged into the street as a prize, and shot in the back of the head. Libya is finally free, thanks to the benevolent power of the mighty US government, air power, and NATO allies.   The media has jumped all over this story, and one could...
Tools for Tyrants: Fear
10
Paul Bonneau 2011-10-25 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR  It occurred to me that it might be useful to dissect the tools that tyrants use to keep us under their thumbs. Knowing what they are and how they use them can help us defend against them. I don’t know if anyone has systematically gone over this before. If someone knows of such an effort, please comment below.   The first tool (ignoring...
The Great Pretender(s)
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Peter McCandless 2011-10-19 00:00
Column by Peter McCandless. The Platters released their famous song “The Great Pretender”on November 3, 1955. It’s popularity drove it to the number one position on both Rhythm and Blues and pop charts in 1956, according to Wikipedia. The words of the first stanza go like this:               Oh-oh, yes I’m...
What I Saw and Heard at the Anti-War Protest
0
Robert Kaercher 2011-10-18 00:00
Column by Robert Kaercher.   Exclusive to STR   “Obama! Hey, hey! How many kids did you kill today!?”   That was the chant of many among the 200-300 anti-war protesters on October 8th, including myself. This was right in front of President Barack Obama’s national 2012 campaign headquarters, overlooking that most eye-catching of public boondoggles, Millennium Park...
Traffic Laws and Spontaneous Order
9.5
Westernerd 2011-10-18 00:00
Column by Robert Taylor. Exclusive to STR When making the case for a truly free and stateless society built on the principles of the voluntary market order, one of the most common objections is the production and maintenance of roads. Roads, say the statists, are a public good that are essential for transportation and commerce and must be socialized, regulated, and controlled. It is true that...
The Spinnerians
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Leonidas 2011-10-17 00:00
Column by new Root Striker G. Asher. Exclusive to STR   Let’s imagine a group of high minded, socially conscious, wealthy individuals. They form a charitable social group called The Spinnerians.   The Spinnerians energetically do all manner of kind works. They diligently raise money for children’s hospitals. They help the elderly. The feed and house the homeless and get them...
An Open Letter to Hank Williams, Jr.
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Mark Davis 2011-10-17 00:00
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR   Dear Mr. Williams,   You are the man! Standing up to the corporate media like you did was heroic. I know that heroic is a word that gets way overused these days, but I can’t remember the last time an entertainer stood their ground when assailed by the self-appointed politically correct Gestapo that polices the airwaves. ...
Fun and Gun
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Mark Davis 2011-10-13 00:00
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR  I’ve had enough of the emotional handwringing about the evil of guns and the chastising rhetoric about gun owners. Of course, inanimate objects like guns can’t be evil or good; they are just tools that can be used for good or evil. Further, gun owners are no more inherently wicked than people who own knives, hammers, shovels or...
Prohibition and the Birth of the National Security State
0
Michael Kleen 2011-10-11 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR  In his recent column, “Prohibition Did Work, Sort Of,” Bob Wallace raised an interesting point. If not for the National Prohibition Act of 1919, he argued, Joseph Kennedy would never have profited (as much) from liquor importation and thus become a multi-millionaire. Therefore, he would not have bequeathed the political dynasty that gave...
Blurring the Line Between Citizen and Slave
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Westernerd 2011-10-10 00:00
  Column by Robert Taylor.     Exclusive to STR  There has been a substantial amount of discussion concerning President Obama's drone attack in Yemen that killed Muslim Cleric Anwar Al-Awlawki. Awlwaki, who was born in the United States and was therefore an American citizen, was killed without the 5th Amendment provisions guaranteed to him by the US Constitution. The...
The Secret Ballot: A Tool For Tyrants
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Paul Bonneau 2011-05-12 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It’s funny how human beings can become so attached to a meme, that they can’t even imagine life without it. As the Wikipedia article on the secret ballot puts it, “Today the practice of casting secret ballots is so commonplace that most voters would not consider that any other method might be used.” It is somehow imagined to...
Nietzsche on the Origin of the State
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Michael Kleen 2011-05-12 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR   In the mind of 19th Century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, the growth of the State (Staat) was one of the most alarming developments of the modern world. Where others saw the promise of a new democratic age in which “the people” ruled, Nietzsche saw a “cold monster” that was, in reality, destructive of creative and...
The Narcissism of Politics
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Bob Wallace 2011-05-12 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace. Exclusive to STR “Nowhere are prejudices more mistaken for truth, passion for reason, and invective for documentation than in politics.  This is a realm, peopled only by villains or heroes, in which everything is black or white and gray is a forbidden color.”  ~ John Mason Brown, Through These Men (1956)   I sometimes entertain...
Wildcat Inflation Fighters
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George F. Smith 2011-05-16 00:00
Column by George F. Smith Exclusive to STR Summary: Though banking and government have had a corrupt relationship throughout history, the Suffolk Bank and Independent Treasury System, both of which were prominent during the “wildcat banking” era of the 19th Century, represent significant efforts at reform.    In his 1994 book, Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History,...
Against State-Sponsored Gay Marriage Recommended
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R. K. Blacksher 2011-06-29 00:00
Column by R.K. Blacksher. Exclusive to STR In an 1877 essay titled “Against Women’s Suffrage,” Lysander Spooner wrote, “Women are human beings, and consequently have all the natural rights that any human being can have.” These natural rights, Spooner argued, do not include the “right” to use the power of the state to engage in theft and coercion against...
For What It's Worth (Go Thoreau!)
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Mark Davis 2011-07-08 00:00
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR There's somethin' happenin' here. What it is ain't exactly clear. There's a man with a gun over there A-tellin' me I've got to beware. I think it's time we stop. Children, what's that sound? Everybody look what's goin' down. ~ Buffalo Springfield   What to do?   When asked what to do about the predicament that I have described over the...
Could the Non-Aggression Principle Stop the Sixth Great Extinction? Part 2
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Glen Allport 2011-07-15 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR [Part 2 of a five-part series]     How the Idea of Civil Society was Destroyed     In the second half of the 1800s, the nascent civil society in the United States, with its classical liberal worldview – including the understanding that society should embody both liberty and compassion – began giving way to the modern Left...
Jumping the Gun on Egypt
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Michael Kleen 2011-08-08 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   For the 79 million people living in Egypt, the protest movement that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak in early February was an earth-shattering event, and the enthusiasm of the crowds in Cairo’s Tahrir Square was echoed by many here in the United States. Now that the dust has settled on the “Egyptian Revolution...
Not Enough Enemies? Let’s Create More!
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Paul Bonneau 2011-09-08 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau Exclusive to STR  I was just reading how anarcho-syndicalists are so bad, that they are even worse than the state.   Wow, that is something else. We have no idea what things are going to come about at this end of empire, what our true enemies will be; but we are already searching for other dragons to slay. The more obscure, the better!   The article, by...
Government Steve, This Will Not Pass
9
Alex R. Knight III 2011-09-09 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III.   Exclusive to STR   There was a pretty good article back in June published at Slate.com by David Weigel. The title was “Live Free or Move: Hanging Out With the Young Kids Who Want to Turn New Hampshire into a Libertarian Paradise.”    It’s a trite label for what was otherwise, in my opinion, a pretty good write-up. Not...
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
10
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
10
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
0
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
9
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
10
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...