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Monday, January 16

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Melinda Secor is the guest editor today.
 

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “This is the true joy in life – being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one: being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” ~ George Bernard Shaw Mike: I’m a fellow Michigander, a fellow filmmaker like yourself, raised with...
Original article "Chief among the common misconceptions about the way official propaganda works is the notion that its goal is to deceive the public into believing things that are not 'the truth' (that Trump is a Russian agent, for example, or that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, or that the terrorists hate us for our freedom, et cetera). However, while official propagandists are definitely pleased if anyone actually believes whatever lies they are selling, deception is not their primary...
Original article "A couple of days ago, Politico published a fascinating piece describing how factions associated with the current Ukrainian government apparently interfered in the U.S. election on behalf of Hillary Clinton. The findings seem pretty damning, and certainly warrant at least some conversation within the American media given the 24/7 obsession with Russia. Nevertheless, most of you have probably never heard of this saga, since when it comes to the corporate media news cycle, some election...
Original article "Do not be fooled by the tears and gushing words of Obama and his supporters as he counts down to his departure from the White House. They are an insult when measured against the tears of the countless Libyans, Syrians, Afghans and others who have suffered as a result of a foreign policy that brought his administration into disrepute."
Original article "As Obama’s days as U.S. President draw to a close, both the Obama administration and the mainstream corporate media are attempting to provoke a greater conflict with nuclear-armed Russia on the basis of something that never actually happened; at least on the basis of something that they have yet to prove has actually happened. Still, the hype and hysteria being piped from the halls of the White House, intelligence community, and the mouthpiece of the establishment, the corporate...
Original article "Having arrived in Germany a few days ago, a mass of over 3,000 US ground troops backed by a large column of American tanks are advancing eastward toward the Russian border today, heading across Poland as part of a major NATO operation called Atlantic Resolve."
Original article "The 'fog of war' erupts in the confusion caused by the chaos of war. And in the media, it’s an intentional phenomenon that makes it difficult to separate fact from fiction. While the battles over war narratives evolve, they all have a common goal: to distort reality on the ground. Such is the case on the crisis in Syria, the new cold war with Russia, and even the buildup for President Bush’s support for Kuwait’s 'humanitarian' war against Iraq....
Original article "Thanks to CNN and BuzzFeed, a war now rages among corporate media outlets, a true study in irony, as the New York Times and Guardian hurl accusations the two outlets are guilty of publishing Fake News — the same Fake News all of the aforementioned have cited in unabashed attempts to discredit legitimate alternative media."
Original article "Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko is once again warning about the long-standing problems of corruption in Afghanistan, and the amount of US 'reconstruction aid' disappearing down black holes over the course of the years. As always, the discussion came around to 'ghost soldiers.' Ghost soldiers are a phenomenon in which Afghan military commanders fill their ranks with fictional names and just keep the salaries, which since the...
Original article "On average, we spend over 50 hours a week away from our homes. Chances are, if a sudden disaster occurs at your workplace and you are forced to shelter in place for a given time, many coworkers (including yourself) could be unprepared."
Original article "Yes, You Need a Vehicle Survival Kit! And here’s why. You jump in the car, fire the ignition, head down the road, and all is well. But then, the unexpected happens. A small error, an unavoidable accident, a rapid change in weather, some black ice, vehicle malfunction, something causes everything to change in an instant."
Original article "Fear your exploding smartphone no more. Scientists have designed a heat-activated molecular fire extinguisher that could make lithium-ion batteries safer."
Original article "Researchers are reporting development of the world’s thinnest electrical wires, made of chalcogenide and diamondoids (the smallest possible bits of diamond)."
Original article "A chemical that is thought to be safe and is, therefore, widely used on crops—such as almonds, wine grapes and tree fruits—to boost the performance of pesticides, makes honey bee larvae significantly more susceptible to a deadly virus, according to researchers at Penn State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture."
There’s the Law, and Then There’s The Law
9.83333
tzo 2011-11-17 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!   If this is true, it is a serious fact...
Lemmings and Pied Pipers
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Paul Hein 2011-11-16 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Suppose, for a minute, that several of your neighbors came to your door and presented you with a paper on which they had written, in quite formal language, their intent to build a playground for neighborhood children, and that this enterprise was to be funded by a “contribution” from you, among others. “No thanks,” you tell them....
No, Society, There Is No Santa Claus
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-11-15 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR  I know that I have likely irked some of you already by writing a Christmas-themed column before we have even gotten to Thanksgiving, but I can at least offer the caveat that it will likely not be near as onerous as the fact that the latest crop of political parasites (with all due respect to Ron Paul) have already ramped up their bids to be...
Ron, Reviewed
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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...
Ethics and Morals and Law, Oh My!
9.25
tzo 2011-11-08 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   "It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words." ~Syme, 1984   Ah, words.   Philosophy is the pursuit of knowledge distinguishable from other methods by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.   When we discuss the organization of society, we are in the realm of political philosophy....
Tools for Tyrants: Hatred, AKA 'Divide and Conquer'
9.2
Paul Bonneau 2011-11-03 23:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR   The next tool we are going to examine is the tyrant’s use and encouragement of hatred among those he wishes to govern. This is a part of the “divide and conquer” or “divide and rule” strategy.   Of the elements mentioned in the Wikipedia article, the most important are 1) creating or encouraging divisions among...
Heartless Libertarians Recommended
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tzo 2011-11-02 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   The specter of the heartless libertarian arises when it is suggested that society could perhaps be better organized without a coercive government at its core. The proponents of this shocking scheme are dismissed as being either blatantly naïve or else accused of being calculating, soulless monsters who don’t want to be bothered with the less...
To Vote or Not to Vote? I’d Rather Go Fishing
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-10-30 23:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III.   Exclusive to STR   There resides here in southern Vermont a radio personality and newspaper columnist who prefers to simply go by the handle of “Fish” (no, it’s not Abe Vigoda living out a retirement fantasy in the Green Mountains), who in the October 26th edition of the Brattleboro Reformer began his column titled “To Vote or...
Gadaffi Is Dead, But Tyranny Lives
7.5
Westernerd 2011-10-25 23:00
Column by Robert Taylor. Exclusive to STR  Gadaffi is dead. After 40 years of strongman rule, he was finally found hiding from angry rebels, dragged into the street as a prize, and shot in the back of the head. Libya is finally free, thanks to the benevolent power of the mighty US government, air power, and NATO allies.   The media has jumped all over this story, and one could...
Tools for Tyrants: Fear
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Paul Bonneau 2011-10-24 23:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR  It occurred to me that it might be useful to dissect the tools that tyrants use to keep us under their thumbs. Knowing what they are and how they use them can help us defend against them. I don’t know if anyone has systematically gone over this before. If someone knows of such an effort, please comment below.   The first tool (ignoring...
Who's On First--And Where Is It?
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Paul Hein 2014-10-03 07:01
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I am bemused at the concern shown about the problem of illegal aliens, but perhaps that can be attributed to the fact that I live hundreds of miles from the border. There seems to be some controversy about the role of the federal vs. state governments. I think this would be an ideal situation to employ the principle of subsidiarity, which states that problems...
Two Modest Suggestions
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Paul Hein 2014-10-15 07:31
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR A long time ago, in a different galaxy, I offered a suggestion for the relief of the financial problems of the airline industry. My advice went unheeded, and today we see the sorry mess that constitutes that industry today. I told you so! My idea, as I’m sure you remember, was to enhance the profitable aspects of airline operation, while reducing the...
The Coercive State Is the Bill Cosby of Global Society
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Glen Allport 2014-11-19 08:25
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR The Internet has been on fire lately with allegations that 77-year old Bill Cosby drugged and raped more than a dozen women over the years. Yikes. Cosby was a popular stand-up comedian in the 1960s and has been a major show-business success ever since. He did an Emmy-winning stint as co-star of the ground-breaking I, Spy series (banned in parts of the...
Just a Bou Bou
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Tim Hartnett 2014-12-09 07:51
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR How would you feel after almost burning a 19 month old baby’s face off? Can we cross heroic off the list of emotions? A Habersham County, Georgia SWAT team tossed a stun grenade into the playpen of sleeping toddler Bou Bou Phonesavanh at 3 A.M. on May 28th. The ordnance exploded inches from his face. So far the child’s medical expenses approach...
Like Magic!
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Mark Davis 2015-02-09 08:23
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR Men have been creating supernatural entities since the first fires were harnessed by the smartest guys in the cave at the dawn of civilization. Conjuring up power into existence (state sovereignty) through the use of magic spells (social contracts, laws) is still used to this day by modern wizards (law makers) and priests (law enforcement). Repeating words...
American Sniper: Hero, Psychopath or Mass Murderer?
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Douglas Herman 2015-02-17 08:04
P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } If Chris Kyle and Clint Eastwood Are Your Heroes, Tip a Toast to Occupiers Everywhere.  Especially That Mexican Guy at the Alamo. Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Chris Kyle is gonna win an Oscar later this month. Or the actor playing his part, Bradley Cooper. More than just a film about a misunderstood warrior, coward, killing machine or patriot...
Us, or U.S.?
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Paul Hein 2015-04-06 06:39
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I was watching a television program recently dealing with the events leading up to World War II, but primarily concerned with the attacks by Japan upon China, and the presidential order establishing the American Volunteer Force to provide American pilots and aircraft to fight for the Chinese. The commentator remarked, “The U.S. realized that it could...
Dear OSPIRG Gal...
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Paul Bonneau 2015-04-17 07:33
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Responding to the door bell, there was a young gal with a vaguely eastern European accent at the door, who immediately started a spiel about how she is a member of Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group, and how they are working on a campaign to stop overuse of antibiotics by farmers. Normally I would enjoy talking with a cute lady, but I was grumpy...
The Pros and the Con
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Paul Hein 2015-04-27 06:48
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...
Jurisdiction
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Paul Hein 2015-05-08 06:52
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR If I correctly remember my high school Latin, the word “jurisdiction” is from two Latin words, “dicere,” to say, and “juris,” of the law. So if you have jurisdiction, you can “speak” the law. What you say is the law. A synonym for jurisdiction is “authority,” referring to a creator, an author. What...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
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D. Saul Weiner 2015-02-13 08:13
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 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
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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
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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
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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
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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...