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Monday, May 25

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Melinda Secor and Government Denies Knowledge are the guest editors today.

WANTED: New guest editors for Mondays and Saturdays.  If you're interested, please email me.

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photo courtesy of Terry Chen

Beyond the count of years I walked the world, and my children built their shrines to me.  Decades and centuries and millennia pass, and still the shrines are built. Temples insubstantial to men, clear to my eyes.  No foundations or walls or roofs, but shrines nonetheless. Holy ground, consecrated  Today, every day, somewhere in the world, the earth is prepared for my coming.  My hallowed grounds are everywhere. In valleys and on mountains, on broad plains and deep in hidden...
Original article "Within weeks of the program finally launching Americans saw an immediate jump in their monthly health insurance premiums – up to a quadrupling for some families. As it turns out, insurance providers aren’t done yet."
Original article "At least one small slice of the American public looks forward to the non-stop, sleazy political advertisements set to inundate viewers during the 2016 elections: media executives and their investors."
Original article "A  special investigation by Reuters revealed that a senior member of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Inspector General team had colluded with an independent auditing company, Grant Thornton LLP, to falsely keep the US Marine Corps books clean."
Original article "The 'Government Travel Charge Transactions' audit, conducted by the Office of the Inspector General, found that civilian and military employees have been using their cards at casinos and for escorts in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, Politico reported, citing a Pentagon official."
Original article "From the first sudden, and quite dramatic, appearance of the fanatical Islamic group known as ISIS which was largely unheard of until a year ago, on the world's stage and which promptly replaced the worn out and tired al Qaeda as the world's terrorist bogeyman, we suggested that the "straight to beheading YouTube clip" purpose behind the Saudi Arabia-funded Islamic State was a simple one: use the Jihadists as the vehicle of choice to achieve a political goal: depose of...
Original article "FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating."
Original article "We begin our conversation with Jeff Nielson of Bullion Bulls Canada discussing the cashless society the criminal banking cabal is attempting to foist upon the world. Will they be successful?"
Original article "We have officially entered the final phase of every market bubble; it is called denial. Wall Street refuses to admit that despite 7 years of QE and ZIRP; the economy is simply not growing, the wealth gap between the lower and upper classes has surged and the middle class is going extinct. They are also trying to deceive themselves, and you, into believing stocks at these levels are fairly valued."
Original article "It shocks many people to learn that our debt is far larger than the total amount of money in existence.  So let’s take a few moments and go through some of the numbers."
Original article "On April 26 Russia’s main national TV station, Rossiya 1, featured President Vladimir Putin in a documentary to the Russian people on the events of the recent period including the annexation of Crimea, the US coup d’etat in Ukraine, and the general state of relations with the United States and the EU. His words were frank. And in the middle of his remarks the Russian former KGB chief dropped a political bombshell that was known by Russian intelligence two decades ago."
Original article "Scientists working in the desert badlands of northwestern Kenya have found stone tools dating back 3.3 million years, long before the advent of modern humans, and by far the oldest such artifacts yet discovered. The tools, whose makers may or may not have been some sort of human ancestor, push the known date of such tools back by 700,000 years; they also may challenge the notion that our own most direct ancestors were the first to bang two rocks together to create a new technology."
Original article "Stem cell scientists can now directly convert adult human blood cells to both central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) neurons as well as neurons in the peripheral nervous system (rest of the body) that are responsible for pain, temperature and itch perception. This means that how a person's nervous system cells react and respond to stimuli, can be determined from his blood."
Original article "A new class of magnets that expand their volume when placed in a magnetic field and generate negligible amounts of wasteful heat during energy harvesting, has been discovered by researchers at Temple University and the University of Maryland."
Original article A Photo Blog
Original article "Despite rhetoric to the contrary, the US has a well-documented history of supporting Islamic fundamentalist terrorists when it suits her geopolitical aims. Not only that, but the specific behaviors and tactical responses to terrorism have created legions of new America-hating, violent terrorists."
Original article "But the CIA was not simply going to acquiesce to a congressional probe into the single darkest and most controversial program in the organization’s history. Since it could not openly do battle with its congressional overseers, the agency turned to a series of tactics that it had honed over the difficult decades following the Church Committee inquiries of the mid-1970s. Throughout the subsequent decades, the CIA complained loudly about the burdens of oversight and accountability...
Original article "So, with an emphasis on the U.S. national security state and its follies, here are my top nine American repeat headlines, each a surefire news story guaranteed to appear sometime, possibly many times, between June 2015 and the unknown future."
Original article "When called to account for an apparent inaccuracy in a broadcast pinning the MH-17 shoot-down on Russian President Putin, Australia’s “60 Minutes” responded with insults and dissembling. But that behavior has been typical of the propaganda wars around the Ukraine crisis, writes Australian Greg Maybury."
Original article "And herein lies the problem — in attempting to solve pressing and important social issues, millennial social justice advocates are violently sabotaging genuine opportunities for progress by infecting a liberal political narrative with, ironically, hate."
Original article "It’s a little disturbing to see the unions blandly assert that police have “rights” to free military aircraft, grenade launchers, and turret-mounted .50-caliber machine guns. Some of those weapons can send rounds through a city block — how’s that for “community policing”?"
Original article "Ignorance of the law is an excuse only for the members of Congress who voted for the law. And the thicker a legislative bill becomes, the more recklessly the members behave."
Original article At least they're fair and balanced.
Original article Brave New World is dystopian, but for many people, it doesn't seem all that bad because everyone is happy all the time. What is it that makes it truly disturbing and evil?
Original article "For all of the ridiculous claims by Comey and others that we need to "have a conversation" on this, we do not. A conversation is counterproductive. All of these people can andshould be working on systems to make us all more safe and secure. But if they have to keep explaining to ignorant folks like Comey why this is a bad idea, then they are taken away from making us safer. You can have a discussion over things that are hard. But there is no point in...
Original article "In late October of 1971 a group of academics and technologists gathered at a conference at Georgetown. They were given the task of devising the most comprehensive (yet invisible) surveillance program imaginable. What they came up with sounds an awful lot like our current debit card system."
Original article "“Eavesdropping on the population has revealed many saying ‘I’m not doing anything wrong so who cares if the NSA tracks what I say and do?’ Citizens don’t seem to mind this monitoring, so we’re hiding recorders in public places in hopes of gathering information to help win the war on terror,” reads a message on the project’s website. "
Original article "The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) reports that there have been 527 bank failures in the U.S since the invention of Bitcoin in late 2008. While billions of dollars have been lost due to bank failures and hackings, the Bitcoin protocol itself has never been hacked."
Original article Bitcoin is not anonymous by default, but you can make it that way if you use it properly. Here's how.
How to Define 'Pro-Choice'?
8
Douglas Young 2015-05-22 08:38
Column by Douglas Young. Exclusive to STR The defining feature of a free society is every individual enjoying the freedom to make choices, good and bad, within the law. Enjoying the liberty to make your own choices is highly valued. So political groups market themselves as supporting Americans’ autonomy of choice. Yet it is ironic that most leftists proudly proclaim themselves "pro-...
'Jupiter Ascending' Versus the Power Elite and the Rise of Automated AI Trolling Attacks, and More
10
Glen Allport 2015-05-20 09:07
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR (Spoilers throughout) "The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy," they write, "while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence." ~ Princeton...
Jurisdiction
9
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
9
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...
9
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.?
9
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
0
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?
7
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...
Taoism and Anarchy
10
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
10
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
10
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
10
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
10
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
10
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
10
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
10
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
10
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
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...