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Friday, May 29

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Ken Kraska is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Terry Chen

Original article Armatix GmbH’s CEO Ernst Mauch is not creating a good many consumers want. He is creating a technology which he hopes people will be FORCED TO PURCHASE, and competitors COMPELLED to license from him, by convincing politicians and bureaucrats to mandate Armatrix’s technology be included in all new firearms. A John M. Browning or Sam Colt he isn’t. More like a rent-seeking shitheel.
Original article The U.S. Gov gives ex-presidents Secret Service protection for themselves and their wives for life, a $200k pension, and a $2 million a year “office budget” for ….? Hard to see why this is the case, given that every single living ex-Pres is a multi-millionaire in their own right already. The Obama’s aren’t, not yet anyway, but with ex-presidential speeches going for $250k apiece, he’ll be as flush as the others in no time at all.
Original article “[The] Ecocapsule, is a new kind of micro-house powered entirely by solar and wind energy. The capsule, made by a Slovakian company called Nice Architects, comes pre-made and ready to house two adults. Its kitchenette spouts running water, the toilet flushes, and the shower flows hot. It is 14.6 feet long and 7.4 feet wide.”
Original article “But the absence of any overt motivation creates a problem: it would be easy to understand why somebody religious would want to be ethical, no matter the hardships, looking forward to rewards in the afterlife.” And everyone else? An essay about ethical philosophy in post-apocalyptic pop culture media.
Original article “Here's another company that just doesn't get security research.” Indeed. It’s almost like they’d rather have their customers be hacked and/or ripped-off rather than suffer any embarrassment for their own security lapses. No good deed goes unpunished does it?
Original article “I was pretty proud of the way I had dealt with this problem until [the] Rangemaster … started his critique. ‘I liked the way you immediately alerted on the water bottle. But I wonder why you didn't just go back inside the house where you had excellent protective cover, extra guns, extra ammunition and a telephone?’ ... Sadly, we occasionally read about this sort of poor judgment in the news.”
Original article “A first-year sanitation worker [makes] more than $100,000 in total comp, including overtime, holiday pay, and benefits. When the Department of Sanitation announced last year that it would offer its employment exam for the first time in seven years, more than 90,000 people signed up to take it.” I’ll bet.
Original article For the reason that political pork, crony capitalism, and local VIP’s status-signaling combined  together seem to be an unstoppable force. And so it looks like SoCal taxpayers are next in line to get fleeced for another one.
Original article “[A] central bank or some sort of coinage monopoly can continually skim and redistribute throughout the financial system. Currency [then] ceases to be a highly accurate unit of account ... and becomes more a measure of how well connected and obedient you are to the system as a whole. Under such a system, price distortions become systemic.” And then you become Zimbabwe.
Original article And just when you think that the War on Drugs™ can’t get any more irrationally brainless…
Original article "The ticket handed out for jaywalking actually only carries with it a $25 base fine. It's when penalties and assessments are added in that the cost begins to skyrocket. So, where does the money go? Of that final $190 bail total, only $22.54 goes to the City of Los Angeles according to data provided by the Los Angeles Superior Court. $28.42 goes to the County of Los Angeles, while the State of California receives $139.04."
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...
Nietzsche on the Origin of the State
9
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
9
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...
Never Volunteer
5.5
Paul Hein 2011-05-11 00:00
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
10
Carrie Burdzinski 2011-05-11 00:00
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
9
tzo 2011-05-09 00:00
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...
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...
The Path Is (The Destination Is the Path) Recommended
8.71429
tzo 2010-08-17 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR     Voluntaryists are by definition in favor of the elimination of the State. This is all well and good, but who will eliminate it, and by what method? It makes sense that the Voluntaryist himself must actively participate in the process, as those who are not with him are against him and are resistant to the idea of a Stateless society. But by what...
Would You Hurt Me If I Said No to Your Politics?
8.66667
Marcel Votlucka 2010-01-04 04:00
  Exclusive to STR   “Put down the gun, then we’ll talk.” This is the core morality of both libertarianism and civilization.” ~ Stefan Molyneux     Would you hurt me if I said "no" to your favored politics or policies?   “Of course not!” you say. “I’d never dream of it, this is a democratic country!” But I...
Kids Teaching Kids
8.66667
Bob Wallace 2010-01-08 04:00
Exclusive to STR   Several years ago I was bamboozled into babysitting one evening for a seven-year-old girl and two boys aged five and three.  Since one of my main purposes in life is to lie on the couch and dream of partially-clad women feeding me grapes (as Bob Hope once said in a movie, "I've had women chase me before, but never when I was awake"), I had to figure out how...
Timing Is Everything
8.66667
Bill Butler 2010-02-01 04:00
Exclusive to STR Time preference is an economic concept that compares time in relation to an individual’s need for material gratification. Time preference is a comparison, not a measurement. Time preference is immeasurable because it is, by definition, subjective. That is, each individual has a different time preference and each individual’s time preference can change...
The State as Machine
8.66667
Bob Wallace 2010-06-14 03:00
Exclusive to STR   "The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies...." ~ Henry David Thoreau   "All machines are amplifiers" ~ Cooper's Law   That's a true saying: Machines are amplifiers, amplifiers of our inherent abilities.  Machines are not moral or immoral; they're amoral.  They can be used for good or...
Monetized Debt
8.66667
Paul Hein 2010-06-14 03:00
Exclusive to STR   The TV anchor--anchorette?--was interviewing her financial guru, who had just pointed out that the rapid growth of debt, if graphed, would be a virtually vertical line. Nothing like it had ever happened before in American history--at least not in living memory.   “How did we get in this mess?” anchorette asked. “How are we ever going to pay this debt...
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...