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Thursday, October 8

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Serenity is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Luis Medina

Original article Even people who are inclined to believe in a universal, objective foundation for morality are sometimes prone to the impression that in certain situations invoking “moral” arguments is rather insincere. For example, moral arguments in favor of (income) equality are often dismissed by libertarian-leaning individuals as just a sanitized expression of resentment and envy by “losers.” But can this argument be generalized? Is moral rhetoric simply a way of pulling someone...
Original article What we miss, according to Graeber, is this simple fact: “Police are bureaucrats with weapons.” Rather than protecting us from genuine threats, though sometimes they do, “they spend most of their time enforcing all those endless rules and regulations about who can buy or smoke or sell or build or eat or drink what where.” This is something that rings tragically true over the last year or so.
Original article Here's a clue: When someone points out the silliness of your position or otherwise disagrees with your absurd claim, it isn't necessarily a sign they are angry. You may be projecting.
Original article Andrea Heath, a former police officer in Desert Hot Springs, California, died three years ago at forty-four years of age. Her untimely death was indisputably the result of trauma she suffered in the line of duty.  Yet she was not the subject of an elaborate state funeral, nor was her name inscribed on the Officer Down Memorial Page. She was an authentic victim of what can legitimately be called a war on cops – specifically, the unending war waged within law enforcement...
Original article John McCain has called for sending the Free Syrian Army surface-to-air missiles to bring down Russian planes. Not only could this lead to a U.S.-Russia clash, but U.S.-backed Syrian rebels have a record of transferring weapons to the al-Qaida affiliate.
Original article The Mises Institute recently spoke with Nicolás Cachanosky, an Argentina-born economist, now at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, who is familiar with sovereign debt issues. We asked him about a recent UN resolution that seeks to make it easier for governments to default on their debts.
Original article This past weekend, I saw Pawn Sacrifice, the new movie about Bobby Fischer, the world-renowned American chess player who defeated Russian Boris Spassky to become the first American ever to win the world championship in chess. It was an interesting and entertaining account of Fischer’s life up until the time he won the championship in 1972 in Reykjavik, Iceland. I’ll leave reviews of the movie to the pros, but I’ll recommend one entitled '' Bobby Fischer Won...
Original article In complete reversal of course from the stated position of her predecessor, Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the federal government shouldn’t mandate police departments to report lethal shootings of civilians.
Original article Tomas Lindahl of the Francis Crick Institute in Hertfordshire, UK, Paul Modrich of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and Aziz Sancar of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, shared the prize for each finding different ways our DNA is repaired.
Original article THE HEAVENS—Killing four and critically wounding several others, armed guards dispatched from the Right Hand of God reportedly opened fire early Monday morning on a group of angels attempting to escape from heaven. (the onion)
Original article photos
Defending the State?
Alex R. Knight III 2014-04-09 08:13
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR I have to admit I’m rather perplexed by something I’m witnessing of late within the gun ownership community, and I’m going to do my best to try and dissect it. Here in Vermont, we’re fighting some proposed gun control laws, and one of the pillars of support for private gun ownership that is commonly deferred to is Article 16...
Going Unarmed Is an Antisocial Act
Paul Bonneau 2014-04-08 08:32
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR All States provide protection. That is the primary justification for their existence. The reality can be a bit more complicated, of course. To be sure, there have been times and places where governments have actually provided protection. George Washington’s army actually provided protection against--well, I guess it was against the government that...
The Home Team
Mark Davis 2014-04-07 08:29
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR Sports provide many benefits to society, not least of which are the many rich metaphors for life.  The understanding of social organization, establishment of rules, the dynamics of competition, individuals sacrificing for the team, learning accountability, commitment to a purpose and developing a work ethic in sports offers a range of wonderful...
Der Uber-Americans
Tim Hartnett 2014-04-03 08:14
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR Things always look a lot clearer from behind the beltway curtain. It’s nothing like the haze your average American rube sees trying to watch developments along the Potomac. So Washington keeps a crew spinning round the clock to set the story straight, narrow and well off the course of the blogosphere. We call them lawyers, lobbyists, bureaucrats, PR...
A Remarkable Document
Paul Hein 2014-04-02 08:45
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR From time to time, we hear our rulers refer to the Constitution, in such solemn tones and with such serious demeanor that we might think they took it seriously. For example, some of them have expressed outrage that the NSA should violate the people’s right to privacy. Good for them; it IS an outrage. Some of the rulers are indignant that the...
Liberty: Rooted in Rights
Jim Davies 2014-03-31 08:57
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
Paul Bonneau 2014-03-26 08:18
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
Jim Davies 2014-03-24 08:12
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'
Lawrence M. Ludlow 2014-03-20 07:58
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
Paul Bonneau 2014-03-19 08:20
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...
There's No Better Government Like No Government
Guest 2011-02-24 04:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim.   Note: Cristian Gherasim plagiarized this column from here.   There is nothing the state can do, and which society needs done, that cannot be done far better by the market. Another point that is just as telling: No state empowered to do what is supposedly necessary will restrain itself to those things. It will expand as much as public opinion will...
The Purpose of the State is to Turn You Into a Machine
Bob Wallace 2011-02-28 04:00
Column by Bob Wallace.  Exclusive to STR  A few months before I turned 12, I read H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. I was never the same. Since at that age I was very susceptible to science-fiction, the novel had a profound effect on my 11-year-old sensibilities (you should have seen what Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Fighting Man of Mars did to me – I read it at least...
Reflections on Public Sector Unions
Alex Schroeder 2011-02-28 04:00
Column by Alex Schroeder.   Exclusive to STR   Let’s say you and your friends are bored one evening, looking for a way to pass the time. You see there is a high school basketball game in which the hometown favorites will be playing their county rivals. You decide to attend and show up along with your friends and much of the town. The game begins. The crowd quickly realizes that...
More on Minarchism as Evil
Per Bylund 2011-03-03 04:00
Column by Per Bylund. Exclusive to STR My previous two articles on minarchism versus anarchism [1, 2], and why minarchism is “evil,” have stirred up quite a debate online.[1] This was expected, since minarchists desperately want to see themselves as radical (whereas compared to anarchists they clearly are not) and anarchists almost as desperately seek alliances and ideological kindred...
Why Is Social Security Going Broke? Recommended
Glen Allport 2011-03-08 04:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR - 1 -   In plain language, there is no good reason for the unfolding Social Security nightmare. Yes, the Baby Boomers are retiring, but so what? It's a big group, but this same big group has been paying into Social Security their whole adult lives. It's not like the money hasn't been set aside or anything.   Right?   - 2 -   Of course,...
The State, Hubris and Obscenity
Bob Wallace 2011-03-10 04:00
Column by Bob Wallce. Exclusive to STR Richard Weaver once pointed out that the original sense of the word “obscenity” meant something that “should be enacted off-stage, because it is unfit for public exhibition.”   He wrote, “they included intense suffering and humiliation, which the Greeks, with habitual perspicacity and humanity, banned from the theater....
Politically Incorrect Authoritarianism
R. K. Blacksher 2011-03-16 03:00
Column by R.K. Blacksher. Exclusive to STR In a recent column for the Center for a Stateless Society about Peter King's hearings on radicalization among American Muslims, Darian Worden writes:   "King says that backing down would mean giving in to that nebulous boogeyman called 'political correctness.'"   This is a perfect illustration of something that has become a very...
NonEntity 2011-03-29 03:00
Column by NonEntity. Exclusive to STR The definition of a citizen is a member of the body politic who grants an allegiance thereto in exchange for a guarantee of protection. As various Supreme Court decisions have made clear, however, there is no obligation on the part of the government to do anything. Much is made of the claimed "social contract." Often it seems that the...
Oh, Stanley MUST READ
tzo 2011-03-30 03:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Stanley Milgram was an American social psychologist best known for his Milgram Experiment, a study conducted in the 1960s.   Dr. Milgram wanted to research the relationship between obedience and authority, and he was at least partly motivated to do so by the events of the Nazi Holocaust. It greatly troubled him that so many supposedly good people could...
'Anarchy or Minarchy' Is Only Half the Question Recommended
Glen Allport 2011-04-05 03:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR Hello Wesley,     I loved your Libertarian Dilemma: Anarchy or Minarchy? in today’s Humble Libertarian (March 22, 2011). Since founding the site, you’ve shown a knack for asking interesting questions and a willingness to consider views outside your comfort zone. In this new column, you say, among other things, that “I am...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...