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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.
Nietzsche and Ortega Juxtaposed
9.5
Michael Kleen 2010-08-18 03:00
By Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR     In “Nietzsche and the State” and “Ortega and the State,” I examined critiques of Statism by two prominent modern European philosophers. Because Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) witnessed the rise of the modern State in central Europe, and José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955) experienced Statism’s maturity and...
The Path Is (The Destination Is the Path) Recommended
8.71429
tzo 2010-08-17 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR     Voluntaryists are by definition in favor of the elimination of the State. This is all well and good, but who will eliminate it, and by what method? It makes sense that the Voluntaryist himself must actively participate in the process, as those who are not with him are against him and are resistant to the idea of a Stateless society. But by what...
Booing the Goose
8.5
Jim Davies 2010-08-17 03:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR   Chapter 8 of my Transition to Liberty shows that I foresee the time--in the mid-2020s, for reasons it explains--when widespread civil disobedience will play a valuable part in hastening the end of the government era. It will be a period when around one in four of the population has learned what liberty means (and what government means) and so is eager...
Corn Starch--The New 'Terrorist' Weapon
8.66667
Roger Young 2010-08-13 03:00
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.’...
Bumper Stickers
8.85714
tzo 2010-08-10 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR     If there is one message that must continually be broadcast to people in order to improve the quality of life on this planet, it is this: Politics is aggression. Until this simple understanding becomes widespread, we will all continue to bog down in the mud.   Politics is aggression.   Recently while driving I noticed that the car...
Bankers on Trial
9.25
Jim Davies 2010-08-10 03:00
Column by Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR     Several of my friends insert the two letters "st" in the middle of the word, to express the view that bankers make up a large, organized criminal class. Here, I'll follow the principle that people are innocent until proven guilty, and check some of the evidence, but meanwhile leave those letters out.   At root, a bank...
Government Securities
8.75
Jim Davies 2010-08-02 03:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR     Those who lend money to the government participate in a fraud, for all of them know that it has only one way ultimately to pay either interest or principal: by stealing it. So if they ever lose it (and they will, as below) there will be no sympathy from this quarter.   They do the lending by purchasing municipal bonds and Treasury Bills,...
Ortega and the State
9.66667
Michael Kleen 2010-08-02 03:00
By Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR    José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955) was the preeminent Spanish philosopher of the first half of the 20th Century. A complex figure, he was at the same time an elitist, a classical liberal, and a republican. He was born into a wealthy bourgeois family, became the Chair in Metaphysics at Complutense University in Madrid in 1910, and he was...
Ten Briefly Described Problems of Egalitarianism
8.66667
Jakub Bozydar W... 2010-07-30 03:00
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...
The Philosophy of Authority
9
tzo 2010-07-30 03:00
By tzo.   Exclusive to STR   “Authority” is one of those words that is commonly used but less commonly understood. It may be claimed that a person has the authority to decide what to do with his own life and property, and it may also be claimed that a police officer has the authority to arrest a person who has broken the law. How does the concept of authority properly apply...
Just Call Me a Capitalist
6.5
Westernerd 2011-08-23 00:00
Column by Robert Taylor   Exclusive to STR   In the current media climate of talking heads, sound bites, and bumper sticker slogans from politicians, debate--both in public and in private--is severely hampered by a lack of proper definitions of the terms and ideas being discussed. One could definitely make the cynical argument that this process of dumbing down the language is done...
A Quick Response to Per Bylund
6.4
John deLaubenfels 2011-02-17 04:00
Column by John deLaubenfels.   Exclusive to STR   Per Bylund's most recent column on STR is titled Why Minarchists Are the Enemy. That's a pretty strong statement, especially as it identifies minarchists not as AN enemy, but THE enemy, and the text of his column reinforces rather than softens the message. We read, for example, that (in some sense at least) "minarchist...
The Triumph of the Bankers
6.33333
George F. Smith 2011-05-25 00:00
Column by George F. Smith. Exclusive to STR   In spite of its success in bestowing wealth on some men while funding an unnecessary war, [1] the National Banking System proved unsatisfactory to financial leaders. Even with laws discouraging or restricting redemption, crises still occurred, and banks had to contract and deflate to survive. They were unable to inflate their way out of...
Extortion/Bribery
6.33333
Paul Hein 2011-06-29 00:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has been convicted on 17 of 20 counts of extortion and other forms of corruption, centering mainly around his attempt to sell the senate seat of Barack Obama to the highest bidder. Shame on him. His behavior was typical of Illinois politicians, or even politicians in general. He should go to jail!  ...
Voting Is Even More Worthless Than You Think
6.25
Paul Bonneau 2010-11-01 03:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   I wonder how many of our readers ever participated in an election, in which their vote was the decisive one? The chances are pretty small, mathematically. But they are actually even smaller than the math predicts!   Let’s imagine a race between Statist Candidate A and Statist Candidate B, and in the vote count, they differ by only...
Was Ayn Rand a Proto-Fascist?
6.14286
Bob Wallace 2011-04-26 03:00
Column by Bob Wallce.   Exclusive to STR   What a philosophy claims and what it delivers are often two different things. Marxism was supposed to create a heaven on earth but instead created a hell. I think Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, would also create a hell on earth.   Rand divided people into two groups: her perfect John Galtian heroes, and everyone else...
Handouts
6
Jim Davies 2009-11-15 17:00
Exclusive to STR  One of the debates among liberty seekers is about the extent to which it's morally right to accept or reject government handouts. In my opinion, it's one of a rather small number of issues still open to valid debate, and for sure there are good, sincere people on both sides of it and I respect all of them. Although these remarks come down clearly on one side, that respect...
Quake
6
Jim Davies 2010-03-15 03:00
Exclusive to STR Among the welter of news reports about the recent tragedy in Haiti, I noticed a couple that were quite perceptive. As it happens, they both broke surface on the PBS News Hour.   One came a few days after January 12th from David Brooks, the Hour's token conservative. He observed that a slightly more severe earthquake had hit San Francisco and Oakland in 1989, which brought...
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...
The Good, the Bad and the Half-Asleep
6
Bob Wallace 2011-06-27 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   It was Aristotle who observed there are two kinds of ignorance: when you’re ignorant and know it, and when you’re ignorant and don’t know it. The second kind of ignorance is the dangerous kind, because people who are ignorant and don’t know it usually think they’re smarter and more knowledgeable than everyone else...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
10
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
10
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
10
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
10
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
10
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...