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Monday, April 27

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photo courtesy of Terry Chen

Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR You are notified by a group of strangers that you must send them a large amount (by ounce? gram?) of money. The request is reasonably polite, although there is, in small print, or hushed, mumbled tones, a promise of unpleasantness should you decline the request. Or perhaps you learn, by TV or newspaper, that henceforth you will be required to do something which you had not previously been required to do: carry certain papers on your person at all times,...
Original article "In a series of articles, Eric Lipton of The New York Times examines the explosion in lobbying of state attorneys general by corporate interests and the millions in campaign donations they now provide."
Original article "American foreign policy has been the instrument of the corporate class since the turn of the last century. This is what empires are all about – and, as imperiums go, ours is in a class of corruption all by itself."
Original article A brief critique of some lesser known selections from Marx.
Original article "Some 900 people from Libya may have died when their boats capsized in the Mediterranean Sea as they fled the barbaric chaos that the Obama administration helped unleash in Libya in 2011. Yet, the mainstream U.S. media has amnesia about the bloody American hand in this tragedy, writes Robert Parry."
Original article "Turse has unearthed a continent’s worth of bad behavior, even as U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) went out of its way to obstruct his reporting and the documents he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act were so heavily redacted that ink companies must be making a fortune."
Original article "The growing 1,200-file record is comprised of 8,900 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the files of various FBI informants and government employees engaged in “domestic intelligence work” since the 1950s."
Original article The real problem is the belief that all our social problems can be solved with force.
Original article "It's a strange demand to make on a political philosophy -- that it instantly fix everything that the opposing philosophy has broken. Moreover, I'm concerned that some libertarians, in their justifiable enthusiasm for "the market," inadvertently lead nonlibertarians to think that this unrealistic expectation is part of their philosophy. Of course, that is not good because nonlibertarians won't believe that the market would make all things right overnight, and so they...
Original article "In a landmark 2009 report, the National Academy of Sciences concluded that, aside from DNA, there was little, if any, meaningful scientific underpinning to many of the forensic disciplines. “With the exception of nuclear DNA analysis … no forensic method has been rigorously shown to have the capacity to consistently, and with a high degree of certainty, demonstrate a connection between evidence and a specific individual or source,” reads the report."
Original article "But in hindsight, there’s a giant, glaring problem with my educational experience: I hardly did any real thinking, and I didn’t really give a damn about learning. At least not for most of that time. For the vast majority of my “education”, I wasn’t asking deep, probing questions; I wasn’t generating original ideas about the topics at hand; I wasn’t engaging in creative problem-solving; I wasn’t imagining multiple perspectives or...
Original article "Why in the world has JP Morgan accumulated more than55 million ounces of physical silver?  Since early 2012, JP Morgan’s stockpile has grown from less than 5 million ounces of physical silver to more than 55 million ounces of physical silver.  Clearly, someone over at JP Morgan is convinced that physical silver is a great investment."
Original article "Reflecting on the diverse ways in which libertarians seek to reduce the states impact in our lives, a general theme emerges. When previous revolutions have been loud, confrontational and very often violent, the libertarian revolution in its myriad forms is all about evading, creating and finding more ways in which we can avoid conflict. It is not about resisting but simply not complying, which may make it the quietest, and best, revolution to date."
Original article Some of the history and business models of various blockchain startups.
Original article Will recent breakthroughs in computer science make truly free markets a reality?  
Original article "Since early in 2013, Darkcoin has been a permanent fixture in the daily digital currency news. From Darkcoin’s initial meteoric rise, quickly reaching a USD value of $15, to the level of security and innovation it provides for privacy seekers, to the failures and triumphs of the “Masternode Network”, Darkoin has been almost as interesting and intriguing as Bitcoin itself. And 2015 is shaping up to be a year of rebirth for Darkcoin, which is now Dash. We discuss...
Original article Learn how to use PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) to protect your communications.
Pay? How?
9.75
Paul Hein 2011-06-06 00:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   I can’t stand it any longer. For days--weeks, even--the chatter on the TV news has dealt, almost exclusively, with the debt “crisis.” Despite the thousands of words uttered about it, none have hit the mark. The problem, as any Monetary Realist could tell you, has little or nothing to do with the way money is spent, or saved, or...
The Triumph of the Bankers
6.33333
George F. Smith 2011-05-25 00:00
Column by George F. Smith. Exclusive to STR   In spite of its success in bestowing wealth on some men while funding an unnecessary war, [1] the National Banking System proved unsatisfactory to financial leaders. Even with laws discouraging or restricting redemption, crises still occurred, and banks had to contract and deflate to survive. They were unable to inflate their way out of...
We Have Nothing to Fear but Government Itself
7.5
Alex R. Knight III 2011-05-24 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III Exclusive to STR The recent conviction of Bernard von NotHaus, founder of the Liberty Dollar, which had provided a gold and silver-based alternative form of currency to U.S. government-sanctioned Federal Reserve Notes (pieces of paper backed by nothing of any value whatsoever; thin air) since 1998 demonstrates quite clearly where Amerika currently is. ...
How Dare You Rob Me of My Time on Earth
8.5
Jim Moore 2011-05-24 00:00
Column by Jim Moore.   Exclusive to STR   Dedicated to the Unknown Soldiers   Most people think of life as precious, a miracle, a fabulous gift. Life is all of these and more. Above all, life is sacred.  Sacred, because each human life is God-given, unique, one-of-a-kind, never duplicated. And once that life is over, THAT life—yours and mine—is gone...
Courts Overturn 4th Amendment
9.66667
Michael Kleen 2011-05-23 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   If there was any lingering doubt as to whether federal or state governments would act against constitutional or common law when it served their interests, that ambiguity has been dispelled. Just days apart, two Supreme Court decisions, one state and one federal, directly attacked the individual right against unreasonable searches and...
Who Paid for the Civil War?
9.6
George F. Smith 2011-05-20 00:00
Column by George F. Smith.   When war broke out in 1861, the federal government was without its own money machine, though that would soon change. As expenses from the war mounted, the U.S. government once again issued Treasury Notes to help finance it. The Act of July 17, 1861 authorized Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase to issue notes at 7.30%, a rate chosen to make...
The Old Farm Shed
9.875
Paul Bonneau 2011-05-20 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   I once owned a small farm that had gone to the weeds. On this farm was a shed, the kind one sees on working farms with one side open and tractors parked inside, or hay bales stacked. For some reason I woke up this morning, thinking about that shed.   When friends came over, we’d be out walking around and they’d invariably say...
More Government 'Investment' Means Less Returns All Around
0
Harry Goslin 2011-05-19 00:00
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 2011-05-16 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,...
The Secret Ballot: A Tool For Tyrants
9
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...
Ron, Reviewed
8.83333
Jim Davies 2011-11-14 01:00
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 01:00
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 04:00
  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 03:00
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 01:00
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 2012-06-05 00:00
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 07:51
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 08:58
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...
What Are You?
8.75
Jim Davies 2013-02-04 09:12
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR We are Root Strikers here, because rather than trying to trim the branches of the evil tree of government, we seek a way to destroy its roots. Some want a smaller or minimal government; we want none at all. It's a powerful analogy, a good name. We are also voluntaryists, for we believe every human action should be uncompelled. That's explicit, and...
Six Misconceptions About the NAP
8.75
kborer 2013-04-16 08:06
Column by new Root Striker Kris Borer. Exclusive to STR The guiding star of libertarianism is the Non-Aggression Principle. Regardless, in his recent article on libertarianism.org, Matt Zwolinski attacks the NAP and Rothbard's deontological approach to ethics. Zwolinski makes many errors, but his major mistake is that he does not know what the NAP is. Small wonder that he cannot navigate the...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
10
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
10
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...