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Wednesday, March 4

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photo courtesy of Pai Shih

Original article The “evidence based” reform campaign presumes that politics is essentially a noble business in which public servants love nothing more than serving the public. But for politicians, programs are fiefdoms. How many kings have abdicated their thrones after becoming convinced that monarchy did not truly serve the downtrodden masses? Will politicians cede power after social scientists document how their favorite programs do more harm than good?
Original article As we engage in peer-to-peer civil disobedience, we are making choices that are leading to the emergence of new law, however slowly and clumsily it follows on.  
Original article Each time we try to understand some individual market exchange, what we are viewing reveals only traces or hints of the individual acts of valuation engaged in by the actors, and even less so about such acts when we attempt to forensically examine any group of market exchanges. But this is more or less exactly what most economists do. It is why, in fact, economists are so blazingly wrong most of the time.
Original article If you crave war like Netanyahu, it is peace that is an existential threat.
Original article We can live without the fear of terrorism — but only if the U.S. government stops antagonizing foreign populations that have never threatened us.  
Original article Fear is a powerful tool. This is not only well-known by those in positions of power, but exploited. Just like a child makes a parent check under his bed for the monster, U.S. citizens, out of fear, have called upon their elected leaders to be “proactive” against monsters like “drugs” and “terrorism.” 
Original article Innocent Americans are vulnerable to petty harassment by officious officials who demand blind obedience as the price for letting us go about our lives.
Original article The following story should send shivers down the spines of all decent, law-abiding American citizens. It’s also a great reminder of the primary reason it’s so wise to videotape interactions with police. Many of them turn out to be egregious liars.    
Original article They’re less expensive, better at crime prevention, they do not target citizens for revenue, and, best of all, each officer is personally accountable for his or her actions.
Original article All prisons should be scrapped, scorched, and relegated to the past along with the lash and the hangman. There is no substitute for abolition and there is no prison undeserving of a riot.  
Original article Those on the inside of the military/industrial/surveillance supercomplex -- who leak under the name of "anonymous official" to aid filmmakers, deploy talking points or steer narratives -- will never see this side of the two-faced administration. Their leaks are more equal than others.  
Original article It's not surprising that the Status Quo craves pseudo-solutions, for real solutions necessarily disrupt the corrupt, sclerotic, wasteful, inefficient, fraud-ridden and cronyist-paradise of vested interests..."faster, better, cheaper" destroys the friction of vested interests.
Original article “Sovereignty” is a claim of ownership. If individuals cannot be “sovereign,” their only choice is servility. There was once a thoroughly imperfect but in many ways commendable country on the North American landmass that was created by people who understood that principle, and shed blood in righteous defense of individual liberty. That country has been supplanted by a soyuz in which even speaking of such things is often treated as a crime.
What Libertarians Can Learn From Dexter
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Steve 2014-01-28 08:33
Exclusive to STR   At this stage of libertarian evolution, we have less a need to refine the theory than to evangelize it, but libertarian propaganda efforts seem overwhelmingly aimed at waking "sleeping libertarians” (if not preaching to the choir) rather than convincing our ideological adversaries. Increasingly often, one hears libertarians dismissing even the possibility of...
A Foul Smell
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Mark Davis 2014-01-27 08:22
Column by Mark Davis. "[W]e are living in a sick society filled with people who would not directly steal from their neighbors but who are willing to demand that the government do it for them." ~ William Comer "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."  ~ William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet) Theft by any other name smells just as foul.  The concept of people...
Representative Government
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Paul Hein 2014-01-24 08:02
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR There are six million people living in the section of North America designated “Missouri.” They know that because they’ve been told they live in Missouri, not because they’ve seen lines on the ground saying, for example, Missouri on this side, and Oklahoma on the other. People are encouraged to think of the portion of the earth they...
The Meat of the Matter
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Alex R. Knight III 2014-01-22 08:10
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR I can recall a story that circulated widely throughout the field of work I was in during the early 1990s, involving the owner of a meat processing plant in Nebraska. It seems that this businessman (with help from his paid employees, of course) had produced a load of beef that he then wished to bring to market. In order to do this, however, the meat...
Downton Fever
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Jim Davies 2014-01-21 08:21
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR It has struck again; Season Four is upon us, descending like a British influenza. More than six million were infected with Season Two, more than eight million by Season Three; and early reports say the present visitation will lay low over ten million Americans on the next several Sunday evenings. I myself am running a temperature. For the few whose...
Government: Indicted (Book Review #6)
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Alex R. Knight III 2014-01-15 08:14
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR It’s now been almost 11 years since the publication and release of Marc Stevens’ first book, Adventures in Legal Land, a volume which has heretofore – along with Marc’s radio show – served as a primary point of reference for Voluntaryists and others seeking to stop bureaucratic attacks by The Man in his own government...
Statuses: Who Assigns Them?
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Paul Hein 2014-01-14 08:25
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR We all acquire numerous statuses as we move through life. Some of them are natural, like the status of white male, or mother. They simply reflect who we are by our nature; they are built-ins, so to speak. Others are the result of choices. I may acquire the status of pilot, for example, or Kiwanian. These statuses are chosen, and can be abandoned, renounced,...
A Brief Introduction to Speciesism
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Don Stacy 2014-01-14 08:13
Column by Don Stacy. Exclusive to STR Libertarianism, in its current state of development, does not present a definitive theory concerning the alleged rights of animals. However, the null hypothesis — the default viewpoint — is that animals do not have rights. The purpose of this essay is to briefly investigate the principal libertarian argument against animal rights, termed the...
The Law
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Paul Bonneau 2014-01-13 08:26
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR What are laws? They are the malodorous droppings left behind by the gang of self-serving, power-mad busybodies who populate our legislatures, meddling lowlifes who presume to know better how to run our lives than we do, ne’er-do-wells with whom decent people wouldn’t normally stoop to associate. There, I got it out of my system. The above is...
Money to Burn
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Jim Davies 2014-01-09 08:22
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR In December, the death occurred of one of Britain's most colorful characters: Ronnie Biggs. He was 84 and had suffered several debilitating strokes. He came to fame in 1963 as a member of a group of 17 professional crooks who held up the transport of used government money, being trained from Glasgow to London for incineration. I've not been able to...
Trade Unions and Bad Economics
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Guest 2011-01-21 03:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim. We are all familiar with the power gained by trade unions in present-day Europe. Lately, it seems that they have also gained the privilege to turn to violence each time their demands aren't met. It's safe to say that a union's decision has become as important as a governmental decree.   Trade unions set wages, working time, retirement age, and social benefits;...
Ah, Sweet Mystery of...Taxation
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Paul Hein 2011-01-24 03:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   Does anyone really understand taxation? For that matter, does anyone really understand anything?   Well, of course, there are many people who understand--really know the truth about--many things. Still, it seems that, regarding taxes, there is a degree of ignorance that surpasses that of the general level of ignorance!   If, for...
Where's the Beef?
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Michael Kleen 2011-01-28 03:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   By all accounts, Taco Bell is a story of success. Since Glen Bell opened the first Taco Bell in Downey, California in 1962, the franchise has expanded to 6,446 restaurants with over 175,000 employees worldwide. In 2009, the company (which is currently owned by Yum! Brands) brought in $1.9 billion in revenue. It is no secret why this...
The Profit Mechanism in a Free Market
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Guest 2011-02-02 03:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim.   Note: Cristian Gherasim plagiarized this column from here.   When a firm's revenue is greater than its costs, that firm earns a profit. When a firm's costs are greater than its revenue, that firm suffers a loss. Fair enough. But what do profits and losses mean? Are they the product of blind chance? What useful information can possibly be contained in...
Privatizing Airport Security
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Guest 2011-02-04 03:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim.   It may seem kind of odd associating an invasive, property denying measure like frisking with the principles of a free market. In fact, there’s little room for individual sovereignty when it comes to national security. At least that’s how the government thinks and acts: we are guilty until proven innocent; individuals aren’t rational enough to...
The Free Market Never Happened
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Guest 2011-02-08 03:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim.   Note: Cristian Gherasim plagiarized this column from here.   The argument goes like this:   Until now we've lived in a world of laissez-faire capitalism, with government and policy intellectuals convinced that the market should rule no matter what. Recent events, however, have underscored the limitations of this dog-eat-dog system, and reveal that...
The Pathocracy Unmasked MUST READ
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Glen Allport 2011-02-11 03:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR - 1 - Exposed as Criminals and Psychopaths, the Coercive Elite are Desperate to Stop the Flow of Honest Information     "When Bush cancelled his trip to avoid prosecution, the human rights groups who prepared the complaints made it public and announced that the Bush Torture Indictment would be waiting wherever he travels next." CCR...
Become Dangerous (Part 2)
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Paul Bonneau 2011-02-14 03:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I thought I’d update the previous article I wrote on this subject. This was prompted by, among other things, an article about “Shooting on a Shoestring" also posted at lewrockwell.com.   The author likes the SKS for a defense carbine. They certainly qualify for shooting on a shoestring, and there is an undeniable utility in a semi-...
The Moral Hazard of Central Banking
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Guest 2011-02-15 03:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim.   Note: Cristian Gherasim plagiarized this column from here.   Virtually all economists agree on the proximate cause of the current financial world crisis: institutionalized moral hazard in the financial industries. Banks and other firms operating as financial intermediaries have a tendency to behave irresponsibly. They display an exuberant bias in their...
Where’s my Flying Car and Disintegrator Ray Gun?
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Bob Wallace 2011-02-16 03:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   I’ve been a little miffed since I was 12 years old because I didn’t have a flying car, and most especially, a disintegrator ray gun.  They existed in the movies, books, and on TV, but as for real life, forget it.   I can’t remember the first time I encountered both of them.  I do remember a TV program about...
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...