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Monday, March 30

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photo courtesy of Tommie Hansen

Original article This article is comprehensive (17,000 words) and covers everything you need to know about why mass surveillance is dangerous (whether you "have nothing to hide" or not), what kinds of surveillance are happening now, and what dystopian surveillance mechanisms we may have in the near future.
Original article "A passphrase is like a password, but longer and more secure. In essence, it’s an encryption key that you memorize. Once you start caring more deeply about your privacy and improving your computer security habits, one of the first roadblocks you’ll run into is having to create a passphrase. You can’t secure much without one."
Original article End the ridiculous War on Some Drugs.
Original article "If you’ve noticed that the national security policies of Pres. Barack Obama’s administration are almost indistinguishable from those of the previous Republican administration and wondered why, Glennon has a “disquieting explanation” for you."
Original article "Google wants to attack independent news media, it seems to me, now, in order to prevent coverage damaging to the Obama government and other major world powers from individuals reporting the truth about war, espionage, and violations of civil liberties.  For what benefit?  Google wants more government influence, government contracts, power, and money, it seems clear, to me, from their actions."
Original article A great summary of the conflict and its geopolitical significance.
Original article "Rumours are flying that the owner of a beachfront mansion in Hawaii, which was once used to film the hit TV series “Magnum PI”, is none other than President Obama – the same President who warns us that global warming, and rising sea levels, are a greater danger to the future of America than Islamic terrorism."
Original article "The overwhelming majority of police brutality cases stem from the war on drugs. When so many people are tasked with finding and prosecuting those in possession of a substance deemed illegal, the interactions become more frequent and less cordial. If we end that, we get the state out of the private lives of most individuals. This will only serve to lessen the scope of police harassment, in turn lessening the instance of brutality and killings."
Original article "They are all welfare ranchers subsidized by US taxpayers, and you know who are the biggest welfare ranchers of all, grazing livestock on the hundreds of millions of acres of public grass and forest land, all assisted by public subsidies paid for by US taxpayers? Billionaires that populate Forbes rich lists."
Original article War is a racket, and bankers are the biggest winners.
Original article "And here we are today, in March 2015, just 3½ years after said “point of no return,” with the world at its low economic point of our lifetimes; debt not only at historic highs, but risingparabolically; the “final currency war” more explosive than ever; and global social discontent at unprecedented levels due to the inflation and wealth disparity caused by such suicidal monetary policies. Clearly, the root cause of this economic hell is the global fiat...
Original article "Former Internal Revenue Service employees have access to your sensitive financial information. So do current employees who aren't authorized to see such data. Even some visitors to IRS facilities may have access to sensitive material. Unless the IRS patches up its information security, warns a Government Accountability Office report, "taxpayers could be exposed to loss of privacy and to financial loss and damages resulting from identity theft or other financial crimes.""
Original article "Without a doubt, the core principles of that “paranoid” libertarian impulse were present to both motivate and justify their selfless defiance of bad laws. That “impulse” led them to actions that exemplify a historic unification of radical libertarianism and civil disobedience as underwritten by natural law, a potentially powerful combination of ideas if it is wielded responsibly and inspires others to follow suit."
Original article And once there is a viable one, it will be very, very difficult to stop.
Original article "Tutanota is Latin for “secure message,” at least if you separate the two words. The company was founded in 2011 and presently serves around 100,000 accounts. It is backed by two German private investors and has ambitions to expand into other areas, such as a secure calendar interface and a file sharing / storage service not unlike Mega."
Clearing the Throne for a New King
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Emmett Harris 2011-07-05 00:00
Column by Emmett Harris. Exclusive to STR July Fourth represents a day off from work, cookouts in the back yard, singed arm hair from the over exuberant use of lighter fluid, the overindulgence of heady quaffs, and the cause of post traumatic stress in canines everywhere. Oh, and like all other holidays in our brave new America, endless paeans to the military, especially emanating from those...
Discovering True Laws
7.75
Bob Wallace 2011-07-01 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace. Exclusive to STR It is unfortunate there has to be a distinction between “true law” and “false law.”  True law is discovered; false law is made up.   No one trained in any hard science believes law can be made up.  None of them will tell you that you can take cyanide without harm, or jump out of an airplane without a parachute.  ...
Desire Is the Mother of Necessity
9.5
B.R. Merrick 2011-06-30 00:00
Column by B.R. Merrick. Exclusive to STR Necessity is the mother of invention. ~ ascribed to Plato   This alleged Platonic nugget may very well be true, but it does not take into account something that I believe is far more important, since it gets closer to the root of why we invent. If necessity is what leads to invention, what, if anything, leads to necessity?   I suppose any...
Reform Sucks. Or Where Do We Go From Here?
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Per Bylund 2011-06-30 00:00
Column by Per Bylund. Exclusive to STR I recently participated in an online discussion on gay marriage, an issue that was stated to be “such a sure thing” that my views could be dismissed at the outset. And, I suspect, laughed at. Why? Because, it was argued, government’s opening up the state-enforced institution of marriage to gay couples “decreases” discrimination...
Extortion/Bribery
6.33333
Paul Hein 2011-06-29 00:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has been convicted on 17 of 20 counts of extortion and other forms of corruption, centering mainly around his attempt to sell the senate seat of Barack Obama to the highest bidder. Shame on him. His behavior was typical of Illinois politicians, or even politicians in general. He should go to jail!  ...
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...
In Defense of Incrementalism
5.83333
Michael Kleen 2011-06-29 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   In any political or social philosophy, there are those who believe that they can achieve everything they want all at once or in a series of large jumps, and those who believe that broad-based change should be (or is most rationally) achieved through incremental changes. The advocate of incremental change, I believe, is the more pragmatic of...
Patriot Pauls and Patriot Acts, Part II of II Recommended
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tzo 2011-06-28 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Part II: Get Real   Reality check: There is little I can do to change society as it is currently configured, and the Constitutionalist must come to grips with the fact that he is in an identical situation. The Voluntaryist is ridiculed for holding a position that hardly anyone understands or is aligned with, but the same may be said of the Ron Paul...
How Can You Hate Hitler?
9.83333
Alex R. Knight III 2011-06-28 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III Exclusive to STR And not just in contrast to other tyrants and butchers of the 20th Century, when modern warfare and weaponry for the first time made the extermination of human beings possible on such a massive scale – I’m referring to Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and a few others who were at least indirectly responsible (after all, it was ultimately the masses...
The Good, the Bad and the Half-Asleep
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Bob Wallace 2011-06-27 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   It was Aristotle who observed there are two kinds of ignorance: when you’re ignorant and know it, and when you’re ignorant and don’t know it. The second kind of ignorance is the dangerous kind, because people who are ignorant and don’t know it usually think they’re smarter and more knowledgeable than everyone else...
How Much Do You Value Government?
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Paul Bonneau 2013-09-16 07:41
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I was reading Mama Liberty’s recent blog post about downsizing government. It occurred to me that it could be determined how much any given individual valued government, by asking them how much they would pay in taxes for it, if taxes really were voluntary. For example, Joe Blow pays a total of $20,000 this year in taxes. If asked what he’d...
MYOB: As Important as NAP?
9
Paul Bonneau 2013-12-27 09:21
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR If you have not yet read Eric Frank Russell’s classic And Then There Were None, it would help understand this article. “MYOB” means “Mind Your Own Business.” Of course, every libertarian and anarchist knows what “NAP” is (although I have always wondered why it has two names, “NAP” and “ZAP,...
I Don't Have Rights; Nor Do I Want Any
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Paul Bonneau 2014-03-26 08:18
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Ever since I can remember, I have questioned. I suppose I am a contrarian. Whenever a herd of people goes off in one direction, that is prima facie evidence that the direction they are going needs to be questioned even more. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect,” as Mark Twain nicely put it....
The Urge to 'Do Something'
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Alex R. Knight III 2014-04-10 08:03
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...
The Name Game
9
Paul Hein 2014-04-14 08:23
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...
Fixing Historical Sabotage
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Lawrence Samuels 2014-05-12 08:20
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....
The Compromise
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Paul Bonneau 2014-05-21 08:12
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Why is it that evil proliferates? What mechanism keeps it going? Who is to blame? Why are there so many wars and occupations? Why such huge amounts of theft (“taxes”, fines, fees and “civil forfeiture”)? Why are so many nonviolent people in jail? What keeps the “War on Some Drugs” going? Why does the police state expand...
Through Thick and Thin: Ahoy!
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Mark Davis 2014-06-25 07:17
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR Mini-statists love to use lifeboat analogies in an effort to reveal a weakness in the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) and/or in respect for property rights (self-ownership).   But what is revealed?  These lifeboat situations are, of course, not even close to being universal experiences.  These analogies are used by statists to make the...
The Advantage of Panarchy
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Paul Bonneau 2014-07-14 06:32
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The crucial advantage of Panarchy is that it converts aggressive violence into defense. Most people on the Internet tend to “stick with their own kind”; for example, liberals read only sites like Daily Kos. However, when they venture out and run into those of different persuasions, you always see a battle of competing arguments, and the...
Malum Prohibitum, Ad Nauseum
9
Paul Hein 2014-08-25 07:40
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR “I’ve got a tremendous idea,” you announce to your colleagues. “Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had health insurance?” “You bet,” they agree--at least most of them. “Well, let’s make everybody buy it. If some can’t afford it, we’ll subsidize it, somehow, and if they refuse, we’ll...
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
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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
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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
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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
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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...