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Monday, May 23

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Melinda Secor is the guest editor today.

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Original article "A privilege, a special tax break, a rule, a prohibition, a piece of meat here, a piece of meat there… and soon the foxes are eating high on the hog.  But what’s meat for the foxes is poison for the economy."
Original article "As if the U.S. needed still more laws legislating political correctness, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Commission on Human Rights now claims city businesses and entities which ‘fail to address customers by their preferred gender pronouns,’ such as Mr. or Mrs., could face fines up to $250,000."
Original article "After Sean Davis put out an article on The Federalist about how men can’t get pregnant…Zach Ford, the LGBT editor over at Think Progress, decided to argue that the science on that actually wasn’t settled…Apparently, according to Ford, men do menstruate and can in fact get pregnant."
Original article "As government continues to expand, finding ever more ways to feed itself through taxation, it seeks to justify this burgeoning existence. Enter the Nanny State. New York is a leader in developing laws and regulations to protect us from ourselves, perhaps most famously with the Big Apple’s attempt to ban large-size sugary drinks. The Empire State has the highest cigarette taxes in the nation, which fuels a black market, and it places heavy restrictions on other 'sins.'...
Original article "When looking at this spending in context, the U.S. not only spends more than the next six countries combined, but spends almost triple the amount on military expenses than the second biggest defense spender in the world, China, according to data from the Stockholm International Peach Research Institute. These figures come on top of the recently announced $1 trillion dollar nuclear missile modernization program that has been curiously absent from public discourse, having not even been...
Original article “'Only Donald Trump (among the Presidential candidates) has said anything meaningful and critical of U.S. foreign policy.' No, that is not Reince Priebus, chair of the RNC, speaking up in favor of the presumptive Republican nominee. It is Stephen F. Cohen, Emeritus Professor of Russian History at Princeton and NYU, a contributing editor for The Nation, that most liberal of political journals."
Original article "Traditionally, the best way to keep track of future military deployments – absent unexpected events, of course – has been to follow key procurement contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense of mission critical offensive wartime equipment such as weapons and ammo, or, less followed, core defensive components such as kevlar, body armor and other forms of core personal protective gear. These usually take place shortly prior to major 'events' involving US armed forces...
Original article "Currently, it is believed the unmanned plane has spent the past year orbiting around Earth. The American government has, however, failed to give any tangible reason behind the deployment of X-37B to space, except saying it is for an experiment. As to the actual nature of the experiment, that still remains a mystery."
Original article "The role of government is to redistribute wealth, according to a course at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. A test, administered on April 29 in Professor John Traxler’s Healthcare Economics class, told students that '[o]ne of the main functions of government is income redistribution,' then asked them to explain what the statement meant. The correct answer was C: 'Taxing the wealthy and giving it to those in poverty.'”
Original article "We recently stumbled upon an image in one of the more obscure corners of the intertubes which we felt we had to share with our readers. It provides us with a nice metaphor for the meaningfulness of government activity."
Original article "Yesterday I spoke at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, NECSS, a 'celebration of science and critical thinking' held May 12-15 in New York City. Philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, whom I met recently, got me invited, and he might regret that, because I decided to treat the skeptics skeptically."
Original article "Replacing a common drying method boosts the performance of perovskite photovoltaics."
Original article "In the bird world, the color red has special significance. Many species use red signals to attract mates or deter rivals, adding the color to their beaks, feathers, or bare skin. Generally speaking, as far as many birds are concerned, redder is better."
Original article "Spotting native alligators and crocodiles in Florida is common, but anyone who sees a large reptile may want to take a second look -- human-eaters that can grow to 18 feet long and weigh as much as a small car have been found in the Sunshine State."
Original article "If you're a rattlesnake, you want to bring the right weapon to a squirrel fight. And that venomous weapon varies from place to place, evolutionarily calibrated to overpower the local squirrels' defenses, according to new research from The Ohio State University."
Original article A Photo Blog
Jurisdiction
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Paul Hein 2015-05-08 07:52
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...
No More Turf Wars?
0
James Clayton 2015-05-05 07:21
Column by new Root Striker James Clayton. Exclusive to STR Every plot of land on the planet seems to be claimed by some state, except possibly for Marie Byrd Land in West Antarctica and Bir Tawil along the border between Egypt and Sudan. Different states may have their own political and legal systems, and most states also have their own currencies, but every state generally asserts ownership of...
The Pros and the Con
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Paul Hein 2015-04-27 07:48
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...
Dear OSPIRG Gal...
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Paul Bonneau 2015-04-17 08:33
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...
Us, or U.S.?
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Paul Hein 2015-04-06 07:39
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...
HFT FTW: Rise of the Machines
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GainesvilleCoins 2015-04-01 07:53
Column by Everett Millman. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }We're sorry But you're no longer needed Or wanted Or even cared about here Machines can do a better job than you This is what you get for asking questions We’ve entered into a new frontier, and there’s no going back. High-frequency trading (or HFT for short) is here to stay. Exchanges will never be the...
Throwing Caution to the Wind
0
Douglas Herman 2015-03-23 08:48
Column by Doug Herman. Exclusive to STR How I wrote, directed and produced a low-budget feature film while driving long hours, defying death, diamond mining and a double-stabbing at the age of 60. A true story. A cautionary tale. “Before you realize it, you have succeeded in completing what seemed originally a colossal undertaking; not by one long-sustained effort but rather by a...
What's the Difference?
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Paul Hein 2015-03-04 08:39
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Let’s pretend that something quite momentous and unprecedented will happen in the next election. First, there will be two candidates for president. No surprise there. Now for the incredible part: both candidates will actually take their oath of office seriously! No, really! I know it’s unthinkable, but think about it anyway. We know the...
Everything I Needed to Know About Chris Kyle I Learned From Jesse Ventura
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Travis Irvine 2015-02-19 09:34
Column by Travis Irvine. Exclusive to STR The other week, in addition to the usual celebrations for the ridiculous holiday known as Groundhog Day, the citizens of Texas celebrated another slightly-less-ridiculous holiday on Feb. 2: Chris Kyle Day. I'm not sure what traditions would stem from such a holiday (if you snipe a person and it's a terrorist, do we get 6 more months of war in Iraq...
Chaos Gets a Bad Rap: Importance of Chaology to Liberty Recommended
9.75
Lawrence Samuels 2015-02-18 08:43
Column by L.K. Samuels. Exclusive to STR Chaos gets a bad rap—from the academic and scientific world, even from some uninformed libertarians. Few people realize that without the dynamics of chaos, order would not exist. In fact, nothing would exist. Without chaos there would be no creation, no structure and no existence. After all, order is merely the repetition of patterns; chaos is the...
Hooray for the TSA! Recommended
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Paul Bonneau 2010-11-18 04:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   It’s just funny what a complete cluster-f*ck government can make of something if you simply let them have their way. I suppose that is normal with all parasitic organisms; they could live just fine if they knew when to stop their depredations--but they never do. They literally cannot avoid the self-destructive course.   The latest...
FDR Turned a Blind Eye to the Holocaust
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Robert L. Johnson 2010-11-19 04:00
Column by Robert Johnson. Exclusive to STR November 16, 2010 marked the 77th anniversary of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the United States government turning a blind eye towards the Holocaust of the Ukrainian people. On November 16, 1933, the United States formally recognized the Soviet Union for the first time with an official pact.   The pact was brought about not by Roosevelt negotiating...
Reflections on the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear
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Michael Kleen 2010-11-19 04:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR On a beautiful autumn day at the end of October, an estimated 210,000 people gathered in the National Mall to watch television for four hours. At least, that’s what it felt like from my position behind the sound stage in front of one of two giant flat screen TVs that flanked the main stage at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. As the crowd...
TSA Should Offer Travelers Search Options
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Emiliano Antunez 2010-12-03 04:00
Column by Emiliano Antunez.  Exclusive to STR If you boarded a plane over the holiday weekend, I am sure you weren’t very comfortable exposing your “privates” on a screen or having a “highly trained” TSA employee feel your “junk.” The TSA should explore giving flyers options in order to make these invasive procedures more bearable or constructive....
Laughing Terrorists
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Paul Hein 2010-12-15 04:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   Do terrorists have a sense of humor? If not, perhaps that’s what makes them so terrible. But if they do, how they must be laughing!   Their use of box-cutters on 9/11 resulted in heightened security for anything sharp--even such things as nail clippers and nail files. Not surprising, of course, although slightly ridiculous. It did...
Between Monsters and Gods
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Bob Wallace 2010-12-17 04:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   "Mankind is poised midway between the gods and the beasts," wrote Plotinus. A similar theme runs through most of the older mythologies: Did we come from the beasts or from the gods? Are we merely more evolved animals or fallen angels?   The answer, refined through millennia, is this: We're part beast, but far better...
A Conversation With Vox Day
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Michael Kleen 2010-12-20 04:00
By Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR Vox Day is a Christian libertarian opinion columnist and author of "The Return of the Great Depression." He is a member of the SFWA, Mensa and IGDA, and has been down with Madden since 1992. Visit his blog, Vox Popoli, for daily commentary and spirited discussions open to all. His commentary has appeared on World Net Daily since 2001, and an archive of...
Sneering as a Tactic: The Campaign Against WikiLeaks Recommended
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Glen Allport 2010-12-21 04:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR - 1 -   Be very cautious when hearing any argument against someone that relies on a sneering tone. To put it bluntly, decent people don't use such tactics.   On the web are blog posts and columns that attempt to link Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks organization to Israel, or to the Rothschilds, or to the CIA. WikiLeaks, these pieces insist, is a...
The Welfare Binge: Lessons from Europe
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Guest 2010-12-22 04:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim. Exclusive to STR It is often said that keeping a strong European welfare system is mandatory for retaining stability and social cohesion. Is there any backing to this statement? The Gini coefficient, the one measuring income dispersion, jumped in the US from 32% in 1980 to 40% in 2000. The same goes for the UK, where inequality has risen from 29% in 1980 to 34% in...
Some Christmas Reflections for Our Rulers
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Paul Hein 2010-12-23 04:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   Dear Missouri Legislators, Administrators, Adjudicators, and various other employees:   Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! At this time of year, one’s thoughts turn toward giving, and it occurs to me that I have been remiss in expressing to you, my rulers, my appreciation of what you have given me, over these many years of my long...
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
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
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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...