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Friday, February 27

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Ken Kraska is the guest editor today.

WANTED: A new guest editor for Saturdays.  If you're interested, please email me.

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photo courtesy of Pai Shih

Original article "[With] very rare exceptions, there is no reason to believe that actors, directors, rock stars, and other such celebrities have any more insight into public policy than the average person on the street. ... [Although] Patricia Arquette might well be a good actress, it is unlikely that she has any special insight into the wage gap between men and women, or how best to deal with it."
Original article "We’re told that radar traps and so on exist not to extract dollars from our wallets but for 'safety.' If so, why do the cops squeal so loudly about Waze? After all, people slow down for the trap up ahead. Isn’t that the desired object? Obviously, not. The squealing erupts not because people are slowing down but because they slow down in time to avoid being hit with a fine for not slowing down. As they used to teach in journalism school: Follow the money. It is always about the money."
Original article "You know who else thought he was a sheepdog? George Zimmerman. How’d that work out? Sure, he was legally justified, but he ended up killing a guy who probably didn’t need killing, and has now had his life completely ruined. All because he was a 'sheepdog.' ”
Original article "For the most part, the portable computer is a dream machine for the few. The limitations come from what people actually do with computers, as opposed to what the marketers expect them to do. On the whole, people don’t want to lug a computer with them to the beach or on a train to while away hours they would rather spend reading the sports or business section of the newspaper. Somehow, the microcomputer industry has assumed that everyone would love to have a keyboard grafted on as an extension...
Original article The feds are seeking to contract for medical personnel at JFK airport to administer enemas and then dig through the resultant poo, looking for ingested dope.
Original article I find these polls to be of dubious reliability, given the failed Scottish independence referendum last year, but at least English succession from the mega-state is still being discussed.
Original article "The power to require permits is the power to prevent something from ever existing. This lovely movement would've never begun or spread if everyone who wanted to build a Little Free Library recognized a need to apply and pay for a permit. Instead they did good and asked permission never."
Original article "The many ways that corporations, special interests and political interests of all stripes exploit media and the Internet to perpetuate astro-turf [political movements] is ever-expanding. Surreptitious astro-turf methods are now more important to these interests than traditional lobbying of Congress." On this list most are funded by leftist billionaires.
Original article "Even though a DNA test proved Carnell Alexander is not the father of a child a woman claimed was his on a welfare benefits form, the state of Michigan [i.e., a judge] says he must pay $30,000 to settle the case – or go to prison." Go figure?
Original article "When speculating wildly about the source of these white freckles, we thought they could be evidence of cyrovolcanism or even icy geysers, but were confused how such an isolated, small world could be thermodynamically active enough to generate either of them."
Liberty: Rooted in Rights
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Jim Davies 2014-03-31 07:57
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Everyone wants to be free, to make his own decisions without interference. That's a no-brainer; if there are any exceptions beyond those unhappily born without the ability to manage for themselves, they are very few. I never met anyone who said “Rule me, please!” Libertarians, however, add one crucial and distinguishing feature to that: We...
I Don't Have Rights; Nor Do I Want Any
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Paul Bonneau 2014-03-26 07:18
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Ever since I can remember, I have questioned. I suppose I am a contrarian. Whenever a herd of people goes off in one direction, that is prima facie evidence that the direction they are going needs to be questioned even more. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect,” as Mark Twain nicely put it....
Vlad's Oscar
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Jim Davies 2014-03-24 07:12
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Everything they say, these Pols, is scripted and rehearsed. I find it really, really difficult to tell whether their endless stream of dicta is serious, or just theater. It's always theater, of course, but sometimes it's also truly meant, and that usually means big trouble, but how does one know when they're kidding and when, not? Clearly,...
A Review of Becky Akers' Novel 'Halestorm'
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2014-03-20 06:58
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR Becky Aker’s novel Halestorm is a perfect companion to her other work of historical fiction, Abducting Arnold, and it takes the reader on a wild ride of suspense—girded about by a powerful sexual prohibition that threatens to crumble under the pressure of an even deeper passion shared by the two main characters, Nathan Hale and his half...
Favorite Local Boondoggles
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Paul Bonneau 2014-03-19 07:20
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The town government just got done patting themselves on the back for a renovated library. I notice in the “key numbers” sidebar, they left out “Money stolen from taxpayers.” In the story, though, it’s explained that it cost $9.5 million dollars; but if I am not mistaken, this bought not a single book. This sort of thing is...
On the Institution of Marriage
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PSYCHOTICNUT 2014-03-19 07:05
Column by new Root Striker Steven Holman. Exclusive to STR Intro This has been a long time coming. Recently, many of my friends and family have been getting engaged and married, so I thought I would report my understanding of the institution. First, I’d like to say that I love my friends and family and support them in their life choices, and wish nothing but happiness for them. I don’...
What's Mine Is Yours--If You Say So
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Paul Hein 2014-03-17 23:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Reading the newspaper this morning, I got the impression that the purpose of the paper is to obscure, rather than present, the news. The front page headline, for instance, was a piece about a local hockey player, and his rise to fame. Succeeding pages concerned local school board problems, and other such trivia. Not until page seven was there any information...
A Critique of 'Against Libertarian Brutalism'
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Paul Bonneau 2014-03-16 22:18
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Jeffrey Tucker writes a thoughtful (if not concise) article in his Against Libertarian Brutalism, but at the end, one is left unsatisfied. It has the flavor of one big straw man argument, as well as looking like a bit of “divide and conquer,” splitting libertarians unnecessarily into two distinct camps (as if we did not have enough camps...
Home of the Slave, Land of the Fee
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Paul Hein 2014-03-06 08:10
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR My Fourth Edition of Black’s Law dictionary defines “slave” thusly: “a person who is wholly subject to the will of another.” The phrase “will of another” sounded familiar. I checked the same dictionary for “statute,” and found it defined as the “written will of the legislature.” You might come...
Fun With Freedom: Keeping Your Dignity With the TSA (Thousands of Sexual Assailants)
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2014-03-03 00:00
By Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR Ever since the blowback retaliation of 9/11, the government has subjected people trapped in the United States with a constant stream of propaganda, war-making tax-theft, police-state spying, and outright physical and sexual molestation at airports. Although oodles of self-deceived parrots (my apologies to that noble bird) dutifully repeat the doxology...
Hooray for the TSA! Recommended
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Paul Bonneau 2010-11-18 03:00
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 03:00
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 03:00
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 03:00
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 03:00
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 03:00
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 03:00
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 03:00
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 03:00
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 03:00
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 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
9.625
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
9.5
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...