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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.
The Producers and the Parasites
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Bob Wallace 2011-03-01 04:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   I have expended several thousand brain cells – which now means I am pretty much out of them – trying to figure out who are the producers and who are the parasites.   Are firefighters parasites? They don’t produce anything, but they are necessary. Are the police necessary? They don’t produce anything...
The Purpose of the State is to Turn You Into a Machine
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Bob Wallace 2011-02-28 04:00
Column by Bob Wallace.  Exclusive to STR  A few months before I turned 12, I read H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. I was never the same. Since at that age I was very susceptible to science-fiction, the novel had a profound effect on my 11-year-old sensibilities (you should have seen what Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Fighting Man of Mars did to me – I read it at least...
Reflections on Public Sector Unions
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Alex Schroeder 2011-02-28 04:00
Column by Alex Schroeder.   Exclusive to STR   Let’s say you and your friends are bored one evening, looking for a way to pass the time. You see there is a high school basketball game in which the hometown favorites will be playing their county rivals. You decide to attend and show up along with your friends and much of the town. The game begins. The crowd quickly realizes that...
Rights Are Santa Claus Recommended
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Dabooda 2011-02-24 04:00
Column by new Root Striker Dabooda. I question the usefulness of the idea that people have natural, god-given, inalienable human rights.  It's been given a fair trial over the last several centuries, and it doesn't work. As philosophers have noted, "rights" are a moral concept, without existence outside the human mind.  In the context of a particular moral code, one may...
There's No Better Government Like No Government
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Guest 2011-02-24 04:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim.   Note: Cristian Gherasim plagiarized this column from here.   There is nothing the state can do, and which society needs done, that cannot be done far better by the market. Another point that is just as telling: No state empowered to do what is supposedly necessary will restrain itself to those things. It will expand as much as public opinion will...
Debt Madness
6
Mark Davis 2011-02-22 04:00
Column by Mark Davis.  Exclusive to STR  Finalist #1 in the "Odious Debt" essay contest   It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. ~ Henry Ford   Are you mad yet? Tired of all the odious bulldebt being dumped on your head out of...
Spend More, Print More, Tax Less
9.2
Guest 2011-02-22 04:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim. Note: Cristian Gherasim plagiarized this column from here.   Whether it's a bailout of subprime mortgage holders, large investment banks, or going to war, whether or not the resources exist to do these wonders rarely enters into the equation. Why is it that tax cuts don't curb the government? And why do politicians not feel the need to tax us more when they...
A Silver Lining Shines Within the Odious Debt
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Marcel Votlucka 2011-02-22 04:00
Column by Marcel Votlucka. Exclusive to STR Co-winner (with Mark Davis) of the 2011 Strike the Root "Odious Debt" essay contest   Fourteen trillion, one hundred twenty-three billion, five hundred eighty-nine million, three hundred-seven thousand, one hundred ninety dollars and fifty-three cents.   That’s the total US national debt as of February 17, 2011. I figured I...
The Money Ceiling
5
Paul Hein 2011-02-21 04:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   4th place in the "Odious Debt" essay contest   Coincident with the swearing in of the newly elected Congressmen is the impending end of the present debt ceiling. It is a topic of much discussion, with various pundits weighing in with this or that recommendation. Universally, they deplore the necessity of raising the ceiling, but...
There’s No Such Thing as a Statist
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Paul Bonneau 2011-02-21 04:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   Nor are there any minarchists or anarchists.   In this brouhaha stirred up by Per Bylund, some strange lines of argument have appeared. Here is an example:   ---------------- "There are a huge number who would reject abolishing the state while consenting to leave us alone." [quoted from previous comment] That is redundant...
Strike The Root Can Teach Everybody Something
8.33333
jd-in-georgia 2011-08-12 00:00
Column by John Shelkop.  Exclusive to STR  On its 10th anniversary, it has been both a joy and an education keeping up with the links and commentary on Strike The Root. One month before thousands of Americans were killed on September 11, 2001, a site filled with links to stories and ideas of a classically liberal slant had begun. I will confess that I did not even know this site...
CISPA: Should We Care?
8.33333
Paul Bonneau 2012-06-07 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   Yet again the puppet masters have gotten all the puppets jumping about in a frenzy. It makes me wonder whether there is actually reason to get exercised about this bill.   Certainly, the notion that the U.S. government will protect the Internet from attacks is absurd, given that the source of all the most serious attacks (of which CISPA...
The Trials Recommended
8.33333
tzo 2012-12-11 08:49
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR To anyone who has seen or read The Reader (a synopsis of the relevant part of the story is here), one of the main questions raised in the story is, "What should be done with Hanna?" Was she responsible for her actions even if she was so thoroughly indoctrinated so as to be completely confused by the charges against her? She asked more than once, while...
Libertarian Anarchy: Against the State (Book Review #1)
8.33333
Alex R. Knight III 2012-12-18 09:17
Column by Alex R. Knight III Exclusive to STR I can remember my first exposure to David Bergland’s Libertarianism in One Lesson as a freshman in the movement, and how it blew open any number of doors for me at the time. Enter now Gerard Casey’s Libertarian Anarchy: Against the State – a recently published work that I am willing to estimate has already assumed a rightful place in...
Dear American Minarchist Recommended
8.3
tzo 2011-02-02 04:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Dear American Minarchist,   I share your frustration at the course currently being set by the federal government of this nation. It is expanding its power to ever-more dangerous levels, thereby reducing the freedoms that can safely be enjoyed by all the human beings who find themselves within its purview.   Your contention is that the...
Food Stamps for Fat People
8.25
S.E. Seachman 2010-01-05 04:00
Exclusive to STR    If ever there was a clear example of the welfare state’s self-destructive tendency, this perhaps ranks top on the list: giving food stamps to people no matter how fat.    With two-thirds of Americans overweight, obesity-related health spending at almost $150 billion per year, federal debt growing out of control and no one in Washington able to find...
464 Lost Years Recommended
8.25
Jim Davies 2012-12-10 08:48
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Recently I re-read part of that seminal essay, Discourse on Voluntary Servitude by Etienne de la Boëtie, written in 1548, or 464 years ago. He said that if you want to topple a tyrant, all you need to do is to withdraw support. No violence, no sweat, just stop helping him. Yet 24 years later there was a massacre of Huguenot Protestants, indicating that...
Broken
8.25
tzo 2013-04-24 07:39
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Every day there are people starving to death in many parts of the world as I step out from work and go enjoy my lunch. What am I—some kind of monster? Don’t I realize that: No man is an island,
 Entire of itself.
 Each is a piece of the continent, A part of the main.
 If a clod be washed away by the sea,
 Europe is the less.
 As well as if a promontory...
The Year Ahead: 2010
8.2
Glen Allport 2010-01-08 04:00
 Exclusive to STR "'A lot more people were living on the edge than we ever even anticipated,' Haynes said. 'So many people were just barely making it. It's absolutely shocking.'" ~ Hospitality House spokesman Barry Frost, quoted in Economy Creates Newly Homeless by Kimberly Edds, OC Register, December 11, 2009   "There is no normality and no recovery. You cannot spend...
The Four Cardinal Virtues and Government
8.2
Bob Wallace 2010-06-15 03:00
By Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR     The Four Cardinal Virtues are not what most people think they are. Justice and Courage sound like good things; Prudence and Temperance, don’t, not really, to many people.  The idea that many people have of them, they sound like they take a lot of the fun out of life. But in reality they are good things. It’s just that...
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
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
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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...