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Friday, November 24

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Serenity is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Original article What we call Reality is a hall of mirrors. It reflects itself back and forth and builds up a consensus.
Original article Many Anarchists scorn Statists that distract themselves arguing over politics, presidents, parties, etc. Yet, likely out of unconscious habit, follow in their footsteps in that they argue over what I want to call anarchist politics. And I don’t mean friendly arguments that seek new conclusions.
Original article Oftentimes when government officials insist that a certain freedom needs to be eliminated or a new law enacted in order to advance the cause of “public safety,” it’s merely a smokescreen for some other covert agenda
Original article What does it mean to be “free”? To me, being free or having freedom simply means living one’s life free from threats, demands, orders, coercion, or claimed authority emanating from other individuals or entities. It means that no one has the right to stop you from thinking, saying, or doing whatever you want so long as your actions do not constitute aggression against other people.
Original article Fascist ideology has crawled its way into the mainstream yet again. Amidst this resurgence is a concomitant escalation of paramilitary brownshirts deploying a rhetoric of “free speech” and using it to justify ever increasing violence against perceived enemies. While the ability to freely express oneself is a critical part of a thriving society, there are other freedoms at play as well.
Original article There is one important area of American life where no effective freedom of speech or the press does or can exist under the present system. That is the entire field of radio and television. In this area, the federal government, in the crucially important Radio Act of 1927, nationalized the airwaves.
Original article While political correctness is typically associated with the American Left, modern conservatism has its own sacred totems that dare not be criticized. Like its progressive counterparts, the Right’s choices of sanctification fit together like an elegant jigsaw puzzle to form an internally consistent worldview. Police, Military, Bible, and Flag are all symbols of the Right—each embodying order, tradition, and Americanism to varying degrees.
Original article If ‘society’—whoever that’s supposed to be—were to push for any values, equality shouldn’t be among them. Equality only exists before the law. People are unique, and therefore naturally unequal. We’re not like ants or blades of grass. Equality is not only impossible, it’s not even desirable. A proper goal to strive for is freedom, which is possible and desirable." Doug Casey
Original article Vermont’s use tax is meant to make sure that Vermont citizens don’t shop online or across the border to avoid the state’s sales tax. Currently, only about 10 percent of people pay the 6% use tax according to Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom.
Original article The high-technology revolution is not normally associated with farming. Yet some of the most impressive advances in automation are occurring in agriculture. New breakthroughs in the information and life sciences threaten to end much of outdoor farming by the middle decades of the coming century. The technological changes in the production of food are leading to a world without farmers, with untold consequences for the 2.4 million people who still rely on the land for their survival. (what use...
Original article Unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, commonly known as drones, have become an effective, reliable tool to help commanders gather battlefield intelligence. They have also exploded on the commercial market, flooding toy stores and hobby shops with inexpensive, multi-propeller drones.
Original article GREENVILLE, NC—Aiming to accommodate family members’ preferences and avoid any frustration, local parents Melissa and Ron Walters officially designated the upstairs television for anybody who did not want to watch the Thanksgiving football games on Thursday, sources reported. “You can use the TV in the guest room if you don’t want to watch football,” said Melissa Walters,  (the onion) 
All Men Are Created Equal
9.75
tzo 2011-09-26 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Near the end of "The Failed Theory of Relativity," I wrote:   "There must be universal objective human values and ethics that are inextricably tied to human existence and grounded in empirical fact that apply to us all. Exploring what some of them may be is beyond the scope of this little essay…."   It is now time to...
We Are All Slaves!
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Stephen Nichols 2011-09-15 23:00
Column by Stephen Nichols. Exclusive to STR  This article was partly inspired by a video I recently saw: "The Story of Your Enslavement."  I highly recommend that video to everyone!   slave - a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant (www.dictionary.com)   Modern government is the most ingenious form of...
On Standing Up for Our Rights and Bringing Government Criminals to Justice
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Scott Lazarowitz 2011-09-15 23:00
Column by Scott Lazarowitz. Exclusive to STR Recently an Atlantic article on the history of guns emphasized the 1960s Black Panthers exercising their right to bear arms openly on the California state capitol steps. The article highlights one confrontation between a Panther and an Oakland police officer, who sees guns in the Panthers’ car and asks to see one of the guns. Knowing his rights,...
Remembering 9-11
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Michael Kleen 2011-09-14 23:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR Ten years ago, at around 8:00 a.m. in the Chicago suburbs, I awoke to a phone call. It was my father, calling from work to tell me to turn on the television. He said a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center, and true to his word, there it was live on CNN: a black plume of smoke billowing out of the North Tower. Moments later, I, along with millions...
9/11 and the Prospects for Liberty
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R. K. Blacksher 2011-09-14 23:00
Column by R.K. Blacksher Exclusive to STR State propagandists are predictably marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with vulgar displays of collectivist self-pity and celebrations of the power and glory of the state and its uniformed agents. The evildoers hate us because we are so good and so free, we are told. There are terrorists hiding around every corner, inside every closet and under every...
Chinese Communism and America’s Free Traitors
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gautry 2011-09-13 23:00
Column by new Root Striker Greg Autry. Exclusive to STR  Say it is a dictatorship, but we want to be associated with it. Say it is worthwhile being associated with the devil, as Churchill said, in order to defeat another evil which is Hitler. There might be some good argument made for that. But why pretend that Russia was not what it was? ~ Ayn Rand, testimony to HUAC, 1947   America...
How to Get a Job
9.5
Paul Bonneau 2011-09-11 23:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR  Most of us have grown up in an era of substantial job growth (funded largely by low interest rate-driven malinvestment, but no need go get into that now). Any fool could make a million. Well, the party is over, and mindsets that might have been workable then, have now become harmful to self-preservation. It’s time to examine this point.  ...
Government Steve, This Will Not Pass
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-09-08 23:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III.   Exclusive to STR   There was a pretty good article back in June published at Slate.com by David Weigel. The title was “Live Free or Move: Hanging Out With the Young Kids Who Want to Turn New Hampshire into a Libertarian Paradise.”    It’s a trite label for what was otherwise, in my opinion, a pretty good write-up. Not...
Aquacalypse Now: Some Reflections on Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-09-07 23:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III   Exclusive to STR   Good night, Irene. And good night, as well, to any number of roads, storm drains, bridges, businesses, and homes here in Vermont and some surrounding environs. In a roughly 24-hour period on August 28th, the landscape of the Green Mountains was radically transformed. It will be weeks and months before any semblance of full...
Not Enough Enemies? Let’s Create More!
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Paul Bonneau 2011-09-07 23:00
Column by Paul Bonneau Exclusive to STR  I was just reading how anarcho-syndicalists are so bad, that they are even worse than the state.   Wow, that is something else. We have no idea what things are going to come about at this end of empire, what our true enemies will be; but we are already searching for other dragons to slay. The more obscure, the better!   The article, by...
Would You Hurt Me If I Said No to Your Politics?
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Marcel Votlucka 2010-01-04 03:00
  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
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Bob Wallace 2010-01-08 03:00
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
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Bill Butler 2010-02-01 03:00
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
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Bob Wallace 2010-06-14 02:00
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
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Paul Hein 2010-06-14 02:00
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...
History Repeats Itself: A Trip to Germany
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2010-06-21 02:00
Exclusive to STR    There is nothing like travel to remind us that “this happened before” – especially when it comes to examples of government running amok. I recently spent a few weeks in Germany, and I was reminded that individuals from that region are responsible for a staggering number of cultural contributions – in music, art, philosophy, theology,...
Porcupines
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Jim Davies 2010-07-07 02:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR     In June I had the pleasure of visiting PorcFest 2010, a friendly festival of freedom-seekers held in Northern New Hampshire; so far north that, had one traveled much further, one would have entered Her Majesty's jurisdiction. One of her subjects had in fact come south, from his freedomain somewhere near the North Pole, to enhance the Festival;...
Nietzsche and the State
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Michael Kleen 2010-07-15 02:00
By Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR    “Where the state ends—look there, my brothers! Do you not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the overman?”   Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) is one of the most famous of the modern philosophers. A prolific writer on just about every subject, his views on the modern state have been largely overshadowed by his...
Ten Briefly Described Problems of Egalitarianism
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Jakub Bozydar W... 2010-07-30 02:00
By Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski.   Exclusive to STR   I tend to agree with Isaiah Berlin and Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn that liberty and equality do not naturally go hand in hand. In fact, more often than not the choice between them is an either/or one. Let us make no mistake here – I am not referring to the kind of equality than no libertarian would hesitate to endorse, that is, the...
Corn Starch--The New 'Terrorist' Weapon
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Roger Young 2010-08-13 02:00
Column by Roger Young.   Exclusive to STR   The powers-that-be in Dallas are in a tizzy after several locations around the area received envelopes of white powder determined to be corn starch. The popular cooking ingredient was said to be accompanied by a “chilling note.” A spokesman reported that the note said “something to the effect of 'Al-Qaeda in the USA.’...
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
9.25
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...