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Monday, July 16

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Original article "Total U.S. consumer credit has now hit a grand total of 3.9 trillion dollars, but it is the 'revolving credit' numbers that are getting the most attention. Revolving credit alone shot up by 9.8 billion dollars in May, and that was one of the largest monthly increases ever recorded. At this point, total 'revolving credit' has reached a brand new all-time record high of 1.39 trillion dollars, and credit card debt accounts for nearly all of that figure."
Original article "You may well have seen in the news the last couple of days that global debt has reached another all time high. After climbing to astonishing $247 trillion when combining public debt of around $60 trillion and non-financial sector debt of about $186 trillion. This eye watering figure also means that for the first time ever there is now officially 3 times more debt in the world than money."
Original article "As with all the other mini-bubbles out there, if student loans were an isolated problem in a sea of rock-solid financial behavior they’d be easily managed. But they’re just one of many time bombs set to explode shortly. Auto loans, credit cards, underfunded pensions and increasingly mortgages and home equity lines are all heading the same way domestically, while emerging market dollar debt (which dwarfs the US mini-bubbles) is just as precarious internationally."
Original article "With student debt at record levels (and a more aggressive approach to collecting those loans), combined with a diminishing guarantee of employment in their field upon graduation, more people than ever are closely evaluating the financial realities of college in the 21st century. However, even the core aspect of a college education — acquiring the fundamentals of learning and the development of useful real-world skills and creativity — is also worthy of closer scrutiny....
Original article "This you can count on, and there are too few things one can count on in this world. – The bigger the government, the bigger the corruption. That’s just the way it is. The temptation is bigger because there’s a bigger pile of taxpayer booty to spread around. This in turn attracts more cronies who then write crony regs and pass crony laws to further enrich themselves via taxpayer money."
Original article "On Thursday, Peter Strzok finally received his well-deserved congressional grilling, and it was quite a chaotic affair. Over nearly ten hours, there were shouting matches between Strzok and congressional Republicans, there were shouting matches between Republicans and Democrats, and there were quite a few moments that none of us will ever forget. It was a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, and the meeting room was absolutely packed. More than 70 members of the...
Original article "HHS never has given Congress the safety testing records the law and Congress required because HHS never performed them in 32 years!  The 1986 vaccine law mandated HHS to perform safety studies every two years and render the results to Congress. That unconscionable default by HHS/CDC/FDA should be the very reason for rescinding the 1986 vaccine law."
Original article " Despite the growing body of evidence of harm from Gardasil, Merck is seeking fast-track approval to unleash their vaccine on another vulnerable age group of the population. The FDA, ignoring the evidence of Gardasil’s harm to women’s ovaries and fertility, cannot be trusted to evaluate the drug company’s “science.” A moratorium should be issued on all HPV vaccines until there is sufficient evidence to prove the vaccine is no longer causing ovarian failure,...
Original article "Can the entire story of the worst economic disaster in American history really be told from just eight words in a political party’s platform? In this case, yes."
Original article "This is my third year watering gardens from  drip irrigation systems, and I’ve been very pleased with it. It saves water, time, frustration. It stretches a dinky little half inch thunderstorm into two good waterings. Most importantly, it saves food production, and without needing power or city water supply.  In short, it’s a prepper’s friend."  
Original article "Keeping livestock healthy in order to provide meat and dairy for the family table is a top priority for all homesteaders. There won’t always be time to wait for a veterinarian to arrive and treat an injury or deadly illness. Besides, you may not have the extra funds to pay for an expensive home visit and commercial medicine – or you might not want unnatural ingredients pumped into your meat and dairy producers."
Original article “When it comes to preserving vegetables from the garden, most people think instantly of canning. Although canning is a great way to preserve, freezing and drying work well too! Canning is indeed one of the most economical and space-saving ways to store food. But it is certainly not for everyone.”
Original article "While all homegrown crops present health benefits, there are several that tend to be higher in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other goodies that can boost your immune functioning, resistance to cancer, and overall well-being."
Original article A Photo Blog
Assumptions, Assumptions
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Paul Hein 2016-12-16 09:16
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Our trash is picked up on Tuesdays. Well, I should not simply say “trash,” because only one of the containers holds officially defined trash. The others are for recyclables and yard waste. (Ah, the carefree days of my youth, when trash was trash, and not analyzed and segregated.) Recently, while writing out the check for these services, which are...
To Manage and Steer the Peons
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Paul Bonneau 2016-12-02 09:41
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR An alternative news site, Breitbart, had an interesting post today about comments Angela Merkel had made. It’s rare to see such a frank admission of what the ruling class is about: "Digitisation is a disruptive technological force that brings about deep-seated change and transformation in society. Look at the history of the printing press...
Fundamentals
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Paul Hein 2016-11-30 09:47
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR There doesn’t seem to be any debate about the fact that things are seriously wrong in America. The octogenarians among us--present writer included--can recall a vastly different America, with no “checkpoints” or rioting, or SWAT teams, or invasions of foreign countries which had not—and could not--attack us. But why has this happened...
The Life Story of a Simple Old Chair
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Douglas Herman 2016-11-16 08:45
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR The fine craftsmen of High Wycombe, in northern England, who made me in 1880 are no longer of this world but of the next. Their young flesh and strong muscles, sinew and tendons turned the pieces, assembled the shaped elm seat to the chair legs, pressed the beech wood rods and rails to the fine figured armrests you see. And then they took their evenings...
Nuclear Warheads as Hostages
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Paul Bonneau 2016-11-16 08:16
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR In earlier times, victors in a war would take the sons of the vanquished rulers back home, to raise them as their own. This provided incentive for the rulers of the now-vassal states not to raise Hell any more (after all, it is the rulers, not the people, who start wars). I wonder if a modification of this hostage concept could not be applied to...
Clintonism, Unplugged
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Kevin M. Patten 2016-10-30 21:44
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR “Yes, that is what I would have said, and because there is no cosmic point to the life that each of us perceives on this distant bit of dust at galaxy’s edge, all the more reason for us to maintain in proper balance what we have here. Because there is nothing else. Nothing. This is it. And quite enough, all in all.” ~ Gore Vidal,...
Why the Ruling Class Likes Crime
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Paul Bonneau 2016-10-27 07:25
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Back during the American Revolution there were a lot of radical ideas floating around, one of which was “no standing army.” In those days before police existed, the army was what the rulers used to plunder the productive and keep the people under the rulers’ thumbs: “the sharp point of the spear.” The Crown used it that way in...
Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Pussy Control
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2016-10-26 08:26
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR By referencing Prince’s song, Pussy Control, I intentionally draw a link between politics and the intentional trespass of bodily boundaries. And it really does boil down to bodily integrity and respecting boundaries when you closely examine the concept of human rights – something the political process is designed to destroy. On one hand,...
Backing Bunk
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Paul Hein 2016-10-26 08:03
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR A monetary system that has replaced money with non-redeemable notes that can only enter circulation as a loan is doomed to collapse, and many have warned of that fate regarding our own system of ever-growing debt. Our situation is not unique, however. Governments all over the world have realized the advantage--temporary, of course, of issuing IOUs--never to...
Damage Control: The Panacea of Politics and How Voluntaryists Are Falling Prey to It
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Alex R. Knight III 2016-10-14 08:18
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR There’s been a trend of late, among both more and less visible “voluntaryists” in social media, the blogosphere, and elsewhere, to simply backpedal:  To retreat to the conclusion that, since a voluntary society isn’t happening any time soon, it’s best – in the name of what “progress” can “...
The Complication Between State Education and a Young Anarchist: A Short Narrative
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Vaughn Bateman 2010-10-20 03:00
Column by new Root Striker Vaughn Bateman.   Exclusive to STR   If anything can sum together my emotions pertaining to the relationship I share with anarchism, it would be a well-deserved expression of welcome and regret – the two being contradictory when used together. And aside from the thrilling sense of expressing righteous angst against the status quo society (preferably by...
Zionism, Collectivism, and the State
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Scott Lazarowitz 2010-10-22 03:00
Column by new Root Striker Scott Lazarowitz. Exclusive to STR  In their political movement to establish a Jewish national homeland, Zionists asserted a collective claim on the land of Palestine, now called Israel, based on the Biblical scriptures and symbolism of those specific lands. Sadly, collectivist political movements have been a force against individual freedom, and the State has too...
Hail, Ruritania!
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tzo 2010-10-22 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   So a group of 20 people find themselves stranded on a previously uninhabited, lush, and rather large island that could support perhaps ten times as many people.   There is an abundance of fish, birds, fruit and other edible vegetation, rainwater, and plenty of trees and other raw materials for building shelter and making tools.   The 20 go...
Are You Really For Freedom?
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Marc J. Victor 2010-10-25 03:00
Column by Marc Victor.   Exclusive to STR   I know you say you love freedom. Virtually everyone says they love and value freedom. Even such murderous villains as Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein claimed to love or advocate freedom.    "The German people are not a warlike nation. It is a soldierly one, which means it does not want a war, but does not fear it. It...
Taxation: Murder on the Installment Plan
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2010-11-02 03:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow.   Exclusive to STR   Government messages employ lots of slave-speech. For example, we are told that “children are the nation’s most precious resource.” Note the misuse of the possessive. The assumption is that people are the property of the state. In a similar way, we hear about “un-renewable resources.” Usually it’s a...
Millions of Petty Tyrants
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tzo 2010-11-05 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The empirical evidence that power corrupts goes a long way in explaining the inevitable one-way course to tyranny trod by all governments. Having a monopoly on force, corruption within the government monopoly cannot be effectively checked, and growing corruption and its attendant increasing power eventually congeal into absolute power and absolute...
Libertarians and the Environment, Part 1 of 3: Principles Abandoned
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2010-11-15 04:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow.   Exclusive to STR   The Role of “But” Libertarians and “Hyphenated” Libertarians   There is a particular subset of libertarians that champions anti-environmentalism, zeal for maximum fossil-fuel consumption, disregard for pollution, and worship of population growth for its own sake (and all that comes with it). At best, these...
Libertarians and the Environment, Part 2 of 3: Mises Loves Malthus
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2010-11-16 04:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow.   Exclusive to STR   Mises on Malthus   In his chapter entitled “Harmony and the Conflict of Interests,” Mises included a lengthy section (six pages) entitled “The Limitation of Offspring.” In it he raises several key issues. First he identifies the circumstances in which an increase in population can be accommodated.  ...
Libertarians and the Environment, Part 3 of 3: Christian Interpretations
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2010-11-17 04:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow.   Exclusive to STR   Environmentalism and Christian Libertarians   There are some among the anti-environmentalists – libertarians and otherwise – who call themselves Christians. Some of them believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, and they often base their approach to the natural environment on the following verses from Genesis 1...
America’s Sacred Pudenda: They Hate Us for Our Junk!
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2010-11-18 04:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow.   Exclusive to STR   For too many Americans, history “began” on 9/11. Sadly, the same goes for their superficial sense of morality. It begins and ends with their pudenda – what they do with their sexual organs and what they allow others to do with them. Imbued with a Puritanism that has infested their collective psyche since the cold...
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
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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...