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Tuesday, December 1

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Melinda Secor is the guest editor today.

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Original article "While many in The West had hoped for a 'see, we told you so' strongman military response from Vladimir Putin, it appears the Russian leader has, for now, taken a more practical approach."
Original article "It’s rare to see physics being used as an effective tool to comment on current events, but astrophysicists Tom van Doorsslaere and Giovanni Lapenta of the Belgian KU Leuven used some simple Newtonian mechanics to show that both the Russian and Turkish accounts of what happened with the downed jet can’t be right."
Original article " Just over a week after Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief, Can Dündar, represented the Turkish daily news outlet in receiving a press freedom award, he and another top editor were arrested and jailed on charges of espionage. In question was a controversial article exposing arms shipments from Turkish intelligence to Syrian extremist rebels."
Original article "Late last month in “Russia's Mid-East Takeover Continues As Afghanistan Requests Military Assistance From Moscow,” we noted, with some amusement, that Kabul was set to request a weapons delivery from Russia to aid in the fight against the Taliban."
Original article "ISIS and terrorism in general and how it all began - An entertaining summary"
Original article "Every year Pamplona, Spain hosts the annual Running of the Bulls festival. Thousands join in as either observers of the event or participants, who risk life and limb for a chance to outrun a herd of bulls released onto the streets of the city. People are often hurt, mangled or even killed. Regardless, many come back the following year for more. Here in America we have a similar celebration. Though no Spanish bulls are to be found, hundreds of thousands of sheep are released into the wild...
Original article "Joseph P. Ganim shocked the political establishment after he was elected the next Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Why was his election so shocking? Because he was the mayor from 1991 to 2003—until he was convicted of 16 felonies, including racketeering, extortion, bribery, two counts of filing a false tax return, and eight counts of mail fraud. Ganim spent seven years of his life in federal prison as a result of the convictions."
Original article "San Francisco police are puzzled by the mysterious appearance of dozens of spiked baseball bats all across the city for the third day in a row. Treating it as a 'strange occurrence,' authorities have asked for public help in shedding light on the phenomenon. Wooden or metal baseball bats first graced the streets early Thanksgiving morning, chained to parking meters or poles. The number of improvised and potentially deadly weapons found in the city continues to grow."
Original article "With Thanksgiving upon us once again, we offer a reminder of the economic lesson that made our first Thanksgiving possible:"
Original article "An international team of astrophysicists has for the first time witnessed a star being swallowed by a black hole and ejecting a flare of matter moving at nearly the speed of light."
Original article "A mathematics student has worked out the secrets of how chocolate behaves in a chocolate fountain, answering the age-old question of why the falling 'curtain' of chocolate surprisingly pulls inwards rather than going straight downwards."
Original article "Researchers have created a new type of foam made of real gold. It is the lightest form ever produced of the precious metal: a thousand times lighter than its conventional form and yet it is nearly impossible to tell the difference with the naked eye. There are many possible applications."
Original article "The science of how a spirit gets better over time"
Original article A Photo Blog
Lemmings and Pied Pipers
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
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...
Ron, Reviewed
Jim Davies 2011-11-14 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR  It's been a great pleasure to see media mention every day recently of the man who once said in my hearing that the IRS is "the world's largest terrorist organization." The mere possibility that Ron Paul could actually get elected President is enough to make any liberty lover salivate. That he should already have stacked up some straw-poll...
Ethics and Morals and Law, Oh My!
tzo 2011-11-08 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   "It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words." ~Syme, 1984   Ah, words.   Philosophy is the pursuit of knowledge distinguishable from other methods by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.   When we discuss the organization of society, we are in the realm of political philosophy....
Tools for Tyrants: Hatred, AKA 'Divide and Conquer'
Paul Bonneau 2011-11-03 23:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR   The next tool we are going to examine is the tyrant’s use and encouragement of hatred among those he wishes to govern. This is a part of the “divide and conquer” or “divide and rule” strategy.   Of the elements mentioned in the Wikipedia article, the most important are 1) creating or encouraging divisions among...
Heartless Libertarians Recommended
tzo 2011-11-02 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   The specter of the heartless libertarian arises when it is suggested that society could perhaps be better organized without a coercive government at its core. The proponents of this shocking scheme are dismissed as being either blatantly naïve or else accused of being calculating, soulless monsters who don’t want to be bothered with the less...
To Vote or Not to Vote? I’d Rather Go Fishing
Alex R. Knight III 2011-10-30 23:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III.   Exclusive to STR   There resides here in southern Vermont a radio personality and newspaper columnist who prefers to simply go by the handle of “Fish” (no, it’s not Abe Vigoda living out a retirement fantasy in the Green Mountains), who in the October 26th edition of the Brattleboro Reformer began his column titled “To Vote or...
Gadaffi Is Dead, But Tyranny Lives
Westernerd 2011-10-25 23:00
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
Paul Bonneau 2011-10-24 23:00
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)
Peter McCandless 2011-10-18 23:00
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...
Anarchy in the United States: A Closer Look at the Era of the Wild West
painkilleraz 2012-01-09 00:00
Column by Jesse Mathewson. It is well known that commonly accepted history is not always what actually happened, so much as what has been propagated the most. There is, however, a level of comfort afforded those who may be mistaken regarding our past; after all, what is repeated most often becomes reality. The Wild West gained its colorful reputation through the propagation of dime store novels...
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...
A Very Short Q&A on Money, Banking and the Great Recession
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...
Terrorist Alert: Government Extremists Threaten Americans MUST READ
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 [...
Theft by Any Other Name Is Still Theft!
Paul Hein 2012-05-03 23:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   You encounter an ominous character on the street who stops you, points his finger at you and declares that he wants your money—all of it---and he wants it now, and you’d better give it to him, or face the consequences.   You reach into your pocket, but instead of pulling forth your wallet, pull forth your .38 caliber automatic...
Being Rich--Even a Little Bit
Paul Hein 2012-06-04 23:00
Column by Paul Hein   Exclusive to STR   I’ve said this before, with the usual worldwide repercussions that greet all of my pronouncements. I’m going to say it again, so prepare yourself. I do not want to frighten, alarm, or shock anyone, but there are some things that simply must be said, so here goes: THERE ARE ADVANTAGES TO BEING RICH!! I’ll go even further: There...
Black and White (Are You Experienced?) - Part II
Mark Davis 2012-06-11 23:00
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR   Part II – It’s the Little Things When I was a kid, of about 10 or 11 years old, my younger brother (9 or 10) and I would visit my grandparents’ house. My grandmother sometimes would let us walk to a little store about a mile away to get a soda, candy or snack. There wasn’t a straight road to the store and we had to...
Jim Davies 2012-08-26 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   There's a theory that holds that a government is okay provided that the people in its domain agree for it to exist and rule, and I thank David Eagle for my title, though the reasoning and conclusions are my own.   The theory seems to have two forms: One is the familiar "Constitutionalist" position that says that America was just fine...
A Couple of Fallacies
Paul Hein 2012-09-17 23:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Forgive me for repeating myself, for I have written about these matters before. However, my readership in those days, decades ago, varied between one and two, and today it must be at least ten times as large, and, as the economy crumbles, these ideas seem worth repeating.   First let’s consider the truly absurd statement: “There’s no...
The Curious Species Ordinatio Diutinus
tzo 2012-10-23 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Modern governments are perhaps quite naturally thick-headed and self-destructive, destined to clumsily overreach and greedily overindulge until they inevitably collapse. It’s seemingly encoded into their metaphorical DNA. But this is just the natural life cycle of any individual government—to be born; to consume, develop, and grow; and to die. And yet...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...