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Thursday, July 30

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photo courtesy of Theophilos Papadopoulos

Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR All taxation is theft, but the most egregious of these thefts must surely be the property tax. Other taxes/thefts can be avoided or minimized, but if you own a house or other tangible real estate, you will be taxed forever, and after you are gone, your heirs will continue to pay tribute to the property tax collector. A number of years ago I asked the local collector how my property could be evaluated in terms of “dollars,” when no value is...
Original article The tools we use every day, the technologies we love, the way we engage each other, the means by which our lives are improving are a consequences of innovation, markets, community, and globalization — that is, by the interactions of free people. Not by politics. And not by the systems politics creates.  
Original article When do we get to exercise democracy and fire every factotum, apparatchik, toady and lackey in the state who has abused his/her authority?    
Original article Trying to predict the outcome of any encounter with the police is a bit like playing Russian roulette: most of the time you will emerge relatively unscathed, although decidedly poorer and less secure about your rights, but there’s always the chance that an encounter will turn deadly.
Original article  President Obama’s upcoming Africa tour is just one more piece in a long puzzle of misguided American involvement in the affairs of the continent.
Original article Full-on anti-capitalism is again fashionable. The supporters of the latest surge in socialist sympathy relies on the idea that socialism can better deliver a decent standard of living. But without functioning markets, such a goal will prove impossible.  
Original article A Wisconsin clothing store owner opened fire on a group of attempted robbers last week and successfully defended both his business and his life.  
Original article In little more than a decade, the Pentagon and the intelligence community and their legions of contractors have mutated into a shadow government that is the antithesis of what the United States...But these wolves don’t dress themselves up as sheep, but as shepherds protecting the American people from the predators that would devour them if their vigilance ever faltered.
Original article The formation of private associations allowed local residents to solve their own problems, rather than turn to the state and federal governments. The prevalence of voluntary associations allowed early Americans to retain liberties while effectively solving local problems.
Original article Libertarians pay taxes for the same reason you would hand over your wallet to someone who pointed a gun in your face and said: "Give me your money or else."
Original article Why should voters have a say in consensual relations between people?  
Original article Corporatism is the result of a system of power that promotes certain institutional arrangements, because those arrangements serve the interests of those who control the system.
Original article The primary purpose of the DHS, and well as the other intelligence-industrial complex agencies, is to keep the unwashed masses in line when they wake up to the incredible criminality and theft perpetrated by the status quo.
Original article If somebody purports to have a higher claim on your body then they have become your master and you their slave. Never allow any man or institution to make such a false claim.
Original article Three Supreme Court justices didn’t recuse themselves from cases in which they held stock in companies interested in the outcomes. Nearly 90 percent of the time, they sided with these businesses that filed ‘friend of the court’ briefs, a new report said.
Corruption Abounds!
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Paul Hein 2015-07-30 07:34
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR All taxation is theft, but the most egregious of these thefts must surely be the property tax. Other taxes/thefts can be avoided or minimized, but if you own a house or other tangible real estate, you will be taxed forever, and after you are gone, your heirs will continue to pay tribute to the property tax collector. A number of years ago I asked the local...
Libertarians Need Not Support Centralized Power
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Paul Bonneau 2015-07-29 08:08
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } The title of this piece will no doubt strike libertarians as absurd, but after reading Randal John Meyer’s Libertarians Need Not Support the Confederacy, the reason for my title will become clear. Meyer critiques Phillip Magness’ piece, “What Should Libertarians Think About the Civil War?” Magness...
Was American Slavery a Bad Thing?
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pc 2015-07-28 07:37
Column by new Root Striker Patrick Chkoreff. Exclusive to STR I saw that question on a message board, asked honestly and with good intention, and I decided to answer not only the original question, but some related ones as well. Here is what I put together. Slavery was very bad, both in America and Brazil. The question was what to do about it. As I see it, the South should have been allowed to...
Please Don't Apologize, Mr. President (For Things You Didn't Do)
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David M. Brown 2015-07-27 08:06
Column by new Root Striker David M. Brown. Exclusive to STR Persons sometimes treat others very badly. This treatment may be institutionally encouraged, and continue for a long time. For example, officials of the Catholic Church once sanctioned torture as a means of extracting confessions from heretics and, with luck, curing them of their heresy. In his account in The Age of Faith of the...
How I Got a Job
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Paul Bonneau 2015-07-23 07:47
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR A while back, I wrote a little article with some tips on how to get a job. I thought I would write a follow-up, giving a concrete example, and perhaps showing somewhat how I came to that opinion about it. As an idiot 18-year old, I joined the Marine Corps, in 1968. They tested me along with all the other new recruits, and as a result put me into an MOS of...
How to Make the Confederate Flag Respectable
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Paul Bonneau 2015-07-22 07:21
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It used to be that the Confederate flag (correctly known as the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia) was not respectable. It was found on dirty pickup trucks, hanging in bars, and painted on the roof of that orange car in “The Dukes of Hazzard,” which was about as silly a show as one could find. The intelligentsia and the chattering...
Pilfering for Pluto
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Alex R. Knight III 2015-07-20 07:22
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR It is unquestionably a scientific achievement of no small measure, the recent flyby made by NASA’s New Horizons space probe of the binary dwarf planets Pluto and Charon – and associated moons – at a near constant velocity of 30,000 miles per hour: the fastest object yet sent into motion from the Earth! The amount of data collected...
How Americans Are Exceptional
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Paul Bonneau 2015-07-16 08:10
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR No doubt many here have noticed the back-and-forth about “American exceptionalism.” On one side are the ruling class and oafish neocons generally; there is no point wasting our time examining their viewpoint on it. On the other are e.g. Lew Rockwell and his writers, who seem to take the phrase “American exceptionalism” as only a...
Congress Shall Make No Law
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Tim Hartnett 2015-07-14 07:38
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR Supposedly, support for the 1st Amendment is up 18% over last year at this time. That’s according to a Newseum Institute poll of 1002 Americans contacted by telephone. The Institute offers no explanation of what brought on the sudden outbreak of broadmindedness. This time around 75% reportedly disagree with the statement: “The First Amendment...
Sooner Or Later
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Paul Hein 2015-07-10 07:49
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }We are living in a world in which the absurd is accepted, the foolish is ignored, and just plain evil is tolerated. Eventually, I expect, things will get so bad that what is accepted, ignored, or tolerated will no longer enjoy that status. Enough will be enough. These thoughts were triggered by an article in a newspaper detailing...
Taoism and Anarchy
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Mark Gillespie 2003-10-21 16:00
I have studied many religions in my search for truth. In my searches, I embraced a few. I was a nominal Christian for many years and converted to Islam about six years ago. Of course, I have left all of those religions behind, in my never-ending quest for truth. However, there is one "religion" that I studied that seemed to contain more truth than any other. That way is Taoism.
An Open Letter to the Peace Movement
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Roderick Long 2003-03-10 17:00
Dear Peace Activists:All honour to you. In your opposition to the United States' impending war on Iraq, you represent a welcome voice for sanity and civilisation, lifted up against the incessant baying of the dogs of war.But I want to urge you to follow the logic of your position just a bit further.Much has been said, and eloquently so, about the need, in dealings between nation and nation, to...
How I Said No to the Automatic Social Security Number
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Scarmig 2003-12-11 17:00
This is the story of how I successfully refused to accept a Social Security Number for my child. I simply said 'no.' Really. That's how easy it was. I just said no, again, and again. On the Texas Application for Birth Certificate, which I was unable to get a copy of for this article, there is a check box down at the bottom of the page. It says, and I'm paraphrasing, 'Check here to have your...
Supreme Court Lets Dogs Go Fishing...for Drugs
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Rex Curry 2005-01-25 17:00
A new Supreme Court case states that cops can take dogs fishing. Dogs can go fishing for drugs in Illinois vs. Caballes. As an attorney, I am often consulted by people victimized in searches by dogs trained to smell drugs. A drug dog's skills are often overestimated because people anthropomorphize dogs. A humanlike quality that dogs have is that they are natural libertarians with no interest in...
Radical Solidarity and Moderate Anarchism
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Anthony Gregory 2005-01-27 17:00
Libertarians, and especially anarchistic libertarians, are known for their principles and strong ideology. This has often been, but does not have to be, a double-edged sword in the fight for freedom. To be a libertarian, one must embrace the Non-aggression Principle, or at least come to the same policy conclusions as one would based on the principle. Some libertarians say they don't like the...
The Suppression of Dissent
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Jim Davies 2005-10-25 16:00
Exclusive to STR The jury is still out, as I write these words. Its verdict may be in by the time you read them, and there's a blog with the latest news--but that's okay because the point of this article is not to comment on the trial's outcome but to show what government had to do, in order try to silence an influential advocate of freedom. Its conclusion will be that government is wholly unfit...
The Power of One
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Jim Davies 2005-11-21 17:00
Exclusive to STR Nobody is better qualified than my friend Per Bylund to propose, as he did in a recent STR article, that we who yearn for liberty "save the world through saving [our]selves." Per is not only a brilliant thinker and prolific author (in two languages!) he founded an anarchist website before many of us got our brains in gear and has engaged in debate there all comers from...
Be Free
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Mark Davis 2005-07-10 16:00
The state has grown too big and powerful and conversely the individual appears small and powerless. Libertarians of all stripes can debate endlessly on why this has come about and where we should ideally be instead. When the question of what to do about it comes up, there is typically a moment of silence and perhaps a chuckle or two coupled with some frustrated cynicism. After this moment of...
Utopia vs. Liberty
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Richard Rieben 2005-07-18 16:00
In his insightful analysis of the Dark Side, STR writer Jonathan David Morris notes that, "The Dark Side of the Force is not evil for evil's sake. It's evil because it believes the ends always justify the means . . . .
The Preamble Reconsidered
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Jim Davies 2006-05-17 16:00
Exclusive to STR The Preamble to the United States Constitution is surely one of the most sublime paragraphs ever written. Before this dissection begins, let's prop it up and admire it in all its glory: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure...
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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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...