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Monday, January 26

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photo courtesy of Fred Moore

Original article "Life itself is a danger zone.  It’s not possible to live in total safety and security.  So any system that aims to offer that, even for one phenomenon, and then feeds off the very opposite, should be open to question.  Certainly, sacrificing things that have long been considered important to American life for protection from the rare and random chance that you might be injured or die is a decision that should be rethought from time to time.  In this case, however...
Original article Welfare destroys economic growth and is a prime tool of the power elite for maintaining control of the population.
Original article Because freedom of speech is highly valued in the West.
Original article "The NSA's mass surveillance is just the beginning. Documents from Edward Snowden show that the intelligence agency is arming America for future digital wars -- a struggle for control of the Internet that is already well underway."
Original article Video debunking common myths about anarchy. (20 minutes)
Original article Keeping drugs off the streets.
Original article Some more questions about 9/11 from Newsweek.
Original article If history is a guide, then chances are good the latest terror plot was organized by the FBI itself.
Original article "Political-economic systems throughout the world, including ones typically thought to be market-oriented (or "capitalist"), such as in the United States, are in fact built on deeply rooted and long-established systems of privilege. Favors, which the rest of us must pay for one way or another, typically go to the well-connected, and prominent business executives have always been well represented in that group."
Original article "Nobody who lives in Boston actually wants the city to win its bid for the 2024 Olympic games. And yet, in a joinder agreement between the city and the United States Olympic Committee, mayor Marty Walsh has signed a contract that forbids city employees from speaking negatively about the bid, the IOC, or the Olympic games. It's a great day for free speech in the cradle of liberty."
Original article Here's one: "Almost all of the banking systems in Western countries are fundamentally unsound—leveraged to the hilt and backed by the promises of insolvent governments. Worse, most of these banks only keep a tiny fraction of cash on hand to meet customer withdrawal requests. This means that in the event of a financial shock like another Lehman-style event, you could have trouble accessing your money."
Original article "But recently published files from the NSA showed that British agency GCHQ used the phones UDIDs — the unique identifier that each iPhone has — to track users. While there doesn’t seem to be any mention of such spying software in any of the revelations so far, a range of documents are thought to be still unpublished."
Original article "Certain financial transactions are private but not anonymous; for example, the donor wall at the local art museum, which identifies the names of donors but not the amounts donated. Bitcoin, by contrast, is anonymous but not private: identities are nowhere recorded in the bitcoin protocol itself, but every transaction performed with bitcoin is visible on the distributed electronic public ledger known as the block chain."
Original article "'I think it might be good for someone who is enthusiastic about Bitcoin and wants to use it as a way to deepen their knowledge of computer science in general,' he said. 'That's the kind of audience we're targeting here.'"
More Government 'Investment' Means Less Returns All Around
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Harry Goslin 2011-05-18 23:00
Column by Harry Goslin.   Exclusive to STR   Whatever the challenge, you can usually count on Americans to demand more be done even though they're likely to get less returns on their "investment." From bombs to bailouts, disasters to schools, there seems to be no end to the funny-money available to "fix" all the problems facing the world. We can do it...
Wildcat Inflation Fighters
9
George F. Smith 2011-05-15 23:00
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,...
The Secret Ballot: A Tool For Tyrants
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Paul Bonneau 2011-05-11 23:00
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 2011-05-11 23:00
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 2011-05-11 23:00
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...
Never Volunteer
5.5
Paul Hein 2011-05-10 23:00
Column by Paul Hein.  Exclusive to STR  In the spring of 2008, Senator Harry Reid gave an interview on television in which he stated that the income tax was voluntary. His remark caused quite a stir. Google “Harry Reid and voluntary income tax,” and see for yourself. His kindest critics thought him crazy, the less charitable used the word “idiot.” If the Senator...
Big Fat Lies: How Government Fear Campaigns Harm Children’s Health
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Carrie Burdzinski 2011-05-10 23:00
Column by Carrie Burdzinski. Exclusive to STR Yesterday while simultaneously eating lunch, working on a craft project, and solving a Sudoku puzzle, I turned on the TV for additional background stimulation. The program happened to be a children’s sitcom along the lines of “Hannah Montana.” As such, the commercials advertised toys, video games, and junk snacks popular among school...
Zenigma
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tzo 2011-05-08 23:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The Voluntaryist Master was addressing a new class of students.   "As a Voluntaryist, your mission will be to educate others about human freedom. But in order to spread the ideas of freedom, you must first become a free person. And in order to become a truly free person, you will need to learn, unlearn and relearn many things. But acquiring...
The Root Cause of "The King’s Speech" Impediment
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B.R. Merrick 2011-05-04 23:00
Column by B.R. Merrick.  Exclusive to STR  When the Great War came, all our soldiers were returning to Australia from the front, a lot of them shell-shocked, unable to speak. Somebody said, “Lionel, you’re very good at all this speech stuff. Do you think you could possibly help these poor buggers?” I did muscle therapy, exercises, relaxation, but I knew...
Koros to Hubris to Ate to Nemesis
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Bob Wallace 2011-05-03 23:00
Column by Bob Wallace. Exclusive to STR “The fear of humiliation appears to be one of the most powerful motivators in individual and collective human behavior.” ~ Donald Klein There is no light on human nature more pitiless and perceptive and accurate than mythology. Through hundreds if not thousands of years all the dross was burned away, leaving some very acute observations...
Authority: God vs. Man
8.85714
Guest 2011-03-21 02:00
Column by new Root Striker Doug Carkuff. Exclusive to STR One of my guilty pleasures in life was watching the Showtime series “The Tudors.” It is great fun watching King Henry petulantly subjecting his subjects to his whims and hacking off heads and torturing people as it suits him. I have no idea with respect to historical accuracy of any of it except in the broadest sense...
Dehumanizing People is Fun
8.85714
Paul Bonneau 2012-03-12 23:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It is clearly fun to make fun of people. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be such a popular pastime.   One can imagine why we are prone to this kind of behavior. For example, in the old days, if you wanted to slaughter another tribe and steal their women and take all their stuff, dehumanizing them first was eminently sensible. It erases all inhibitions...
Ron, Reviewed
8.83333
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...
How to Know When You Have Liberty
8.83333
Paul Bonneau 2011-12-12 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR There seems to be a lot of confusion on this point. Many people believe they are living in a state of liberty, while others don’t think so. How can you know for sure? I have devised a simple test that, I believe, can be used to determine when you have liberty.   I am here following the distinction that some use, between freedom and liberty:...
Creeping Totalitarianism
8.8
Alex Schroeder 2010-02-01 03:00
  Exclusive to STR   In the past decade, public smoking bans in America have become increasingly commonplace; governmental efforts to institute such bans often prove successful, primarily because the majority of Americans do not smoke. In other words, the majority can only gain from such legislation. Supporters reason that they should not have to inhale second-hand smoke every time they...
Government Securities
8.75
Jim Davies 2010-08-02 02:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR     Those who lend money to the government participate in a fraud, for all of them know that it has only one way ultimately to pay either interest or principal: by stealing it. So if they ever lose it (and they will, as below) there will be no sympathy from this quarter.   They do the lending by purchasing municipal bonds and Treasury Bills,...
Where's the State?
8.75
Jim Davies 2012-01-06 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Any phone book has a long list of government offices. So isn't this a silly question? Not really. All those listed items are departments of government, or representatives of the State, or Town etc. Where and what exactly is the state itself? Like the famous Wendy's ad from 1984, we're interested in the core of the matter: Where's the Beef?   If you...
Time for Civil Disobedience? Recommended
8.75
Jim Davies 2012-06-04 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Underlying approaches to the great problem of how to rid society of government parasites without violence is the insight of Etienne de la Boëtie:   "Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like...
Bellum Sacrum
8.75
tzo 2013-01-02 06:51
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Once upon a time there lived a businessman named Muhammad who, at the age of 40, had a divine revelation. He then proceeded to pick up some followers, united them under the Constitution of Medina, took over Mecca, destroyed the pagan idols, then conquered and converted most of the Arabian Peninsula to Islam. After he died, the succeeding Caliphates expanded the...
Limits of Indoctrination
8.75
Jim Davies 2013-01-07 07:58
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Dr. Gary North is a prolific writer, as shown by his huge archive at LRC; and most of those of his articles I've read are very good. He's particularly perceptive about the future of higher education, as this recent example illustrates. Sometimes he's too long-winded for my taste, and sometimes he seems to me to get it wrong – though the...
'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
9.625
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
10
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
9.5
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...