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Thursday, October 27

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Back during the American Revolution there were a lot of radical ideas floating around, one of which was “no standing army.” In those days before police existed, the army was what the rulers used to plunder the productive and keep the people under the rulers’ thumbs: “the sharp point of the spear.” The Crown used it that way in Boston. So naturally, the people were having none of that. Of course one of the first things the...
Original article To understand the marketplace, it is not necessary to believe in the existence of a selfish, profit-maximizing human.    
Original article War, what is it good for? In America, the answer is that, much of the time, you’ll probably never know what it’s good for – or, in some cases, even notice that we’re at war. 
Original article Unaffected by elections. Unaltered by populist movements. Beyond the reach of the law. Say hello to America’s shadow government. A corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country, this shadow government represents the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry.  
Original article Not unlike the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—where private military contractors fed, trained, equipped, and protected U.S. military forces “on the ground” in unprecedented numbers—an escalation of hired security forces in a hot spot like Syria would likely boost the presence of U.S. “boots” without causing the political heartburn of putting more actual soldiers and Marines in harm’s way.
Original article If this election season does not cure you of voting at any level in a statists enterprise, you have been paralyzed from the neck up in a skiing accident. When you pull that lever, it is a declaration of war on your neighbor. Use this time to tend to your preps.
Original article In the middle and later decades of the eighteenth century arguments began to be made questioning the Mercantilist conception of society and the economy. Two leading centers for this change in ideas were France and Scotland. These ideas undermined the rationales for government regulation and control of economic activities in society. In its place there arose a conception and vision of a free society based on individual liberty, free trade, and market-based and directed prosperity. 
Original article Financial systems, like economies generally, are organic entities. They must be allowed to flourish in a natural way.  Financial innovations will, no doubt, lead to occasional troubles even absent government interference. But those troubles will in turn sponsor further innovations aimed at correcting them. Over time, a stable and highly efficient system tends to develop. 
Original article People imagine that they own themselves and that they are free. But don’t tell that tale to the tax men. They know who really owns you.    
Original article The government’s decision to centralize doesn’t imply a solution to the infinite information problem. It only reveals the state’s presumptuousness.
Original article Social network loosening community standards for newsworthy events instead.  
Original article A recent Wikileaks dump reveals, for the first time, the precise financial flows between the Clinton Foundation, Doug Band’s firm Teneo Consulting, and the Clinton family’s private business endeavors.  
Original article Thanks to Wikileaks, we now have the smoking gun email irrefutably proving not only did President Barack Obama know about Hillary Clinton’s non-government-issued email account, he used it in correspondence with her.    
Original article Snowden tweeted this week, saying that "no matter your opinion" of the site or the founder, "censorship is never the answer."   
Original article Officially, of course, the national bird of the United States is that half-a-peace-sign that Philadelphia sports fans like to hold up at opposing teams. But unofficially, the film "National Bird" has it right: the national bird is a killer drone.  
State of Civilization
Paul Hein 2015-01-28 08:47
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I didn’t watch the president’s State of the Union address, and I haven’t read it. Even so, I can state confidently that Union is strong! We need only to consider what happened to the 13 sovereign states that tried to extricate themselves from it to see just how strong it is: almost 800,000 people dead! Today we hear tantalizing talk of...
Xenophobes Bore Me
Paul Bonneau 2015-01-27 09:18
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Sometimes I think people of a certain mindset (*cough* “conservatives” *cough*) would feel lost without someone to fear. Pick any forum with a good crop of ‘em, utter the word “Muslim,” and watch the whole lot turn into instant collectivists, the very people they claim to oppose. Like Pavlov’s dogs, the ruling class...
Proud to Be a Benighted American
Paul Bonneau 2015-01-20 09:51
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I ran into this piece by Ann Jones, someone evidently ashamed of being American. One can only sigh. Her first error is the collectivist mindset. She seems to find no distinction between the American ruling class and the American peons. No, we are all at fault for the follies of empire, even if we are just a lowly working-class stiff trying to keep...
God Save the Police and America With Honest Criminal Prosecutions
Tim Hartnett 2015-01-16 09:50
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, two NYPD officers killed by maniac Ismaaiyl Brinsley on December 20, didn’t stand much of a chance against a random attack on their uniforms. Likewise, the two of them couldn’t even reach room temperature before being honed into weapons in the battle to stir public rage. Patrolman’s Benevolent Association...
'Tis Folly to Be Wise
Paul Hein 2015-01-13 09:52
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The old saw doesn’t say it’s blissful to be ignorant, or even that it’s folly to be wise, but rather, that IF ignorance is bliss, then wisdom becomes folly. That makes a lot more sense. We saw this axiom in action in a recent presidential campaign. The only candidate whose opinions reflected wisdom was Ron Paul, and the establishment—...
The Source
Paul Hein 2015-01-09 01:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The figure quoted for the first bailout was three trillion. That’s three trillion dollars, which could be more meaningful if we knew what “dollars” were. But whatever they are, three trillion of them is a number so large that one simply cannot comprehend it. It might even be thought to be meaningless, because one doesn’t experience...
Progressives, Libertarians and Selfishness
Mark Davis 2014-12-12 09:22
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR "Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live." ~ Oscar Wilde The constant promotion of the elite meme condemning those people promoting liberty as being “selfish” has reached a feverous pitch of late. This label is typically attached as a pejorative by progressives (i.e....
Don’t Trust the Childrenry With Guns
Shaquille Brisset 2014-12-10 09:33
Column by new Root Striker Shaquille Brisset. Exclusive to STR “You are incompetent. You are a tall, naive child, and you do not possess the wherewithal to be granted full autonomy. If not properly supervised, you may get hurt or hurt the other children. As loving guardians, we will be implementing a few measures to ensure your safety. From here on out, you are not to run with scissors,...
Just a Bou Bou
Tim Hartnett 2014-12-09 08:51
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR How would you feel after almost burning a 19 month old baby’s face off? Can we cross heroic off the list of emotions? A Habersham County, Georgia SWAT team tossed a stun grenade into the playpen of sleeping toddler Bou Bou Phonesavanh at 3 A.M. on May 28th. The ordnance exploded inches from his face. So far the child’s medical expenses approach...
The Coercive State Is the Bill Cosby of Global Society
Glen Allport 2014-11-19 09:25
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR The Internet has been on fire lately with allegations that 77-year old Bill Cosby drugged and raped more than a dozen women over the years. Yikes. Cosby was a popular stand-up comedian in the 1960s and has been a major show-business success ever since. He did an Emmy-winning stint as co-star of the ground-breaking I, Spy series (banned in parts of the...
'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...
How to Hurt the Poor
B.R. Merrick 2011-04-06 03:00
Column by B.R. Merrick. Exclusive to STR It didn’t spark this column; it merely stoked the flames: Arthur Silber is sick. Arthur is also poor. Arthur, who is a fantastic and observant writer, is reduced to begging. Chris Floyd, another fantastic writer and Silber admirer, has urged his readers to give something to Arthur to help. One of Floyd’s readers commented,...
Protecting Ourselves From the State
Scott Lazarowitz 2011-04-11 03:00
Column by Scott Lazarowitz. Exclusive to STR Every now and then, I learn of yet another new aspect of the State’s institutionalization of violence throughout what used to be a much more peaceful society in America. But thanks to the government-run schools, whose sole purpose is to indoctrinate the children to love and be subservient to the State, and thanks to a culture dependent on staring...
The Demoralizing Nature of the State
Michael Kleen 2011-04-11 03:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   The problem of being both opposed to the modern state and being forced to live within the context of it is a vexing one, and one that has plagued libertarians, anarchists, and other like-minded individuals for quite some time. As previously mentioned in “A Pragmatic Approach to Anti-Statism,” there are two possible responses to...
The Atlases at Home: The Children
Lawrence M. Ludlow 2011-04-20 03:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow Exclusive to STR   NOTE: The following story first appeared in the spring 1989 edition of the magazine Nomos: Studies in Spontaneous Order, where it was illustrated by James W. Judson. With the release of the movie “Atlas Shrugged,” perhaps it is time for a re-release of this bit of fun from an admirer of Ayn Rand....
Adventures in Silver and Gold, Part 1: Seeking Precious Metal in The Melting Pot of Life
Douglas Herman 2011-04-25 03:00
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Metal, heavy metal is much in the news these days. While heavy radioactive metals are melting down in Japan, the twin precious metals of gold and silver are melting upwards. We are always surrounded by precious metal. It is inside us. Sometimes we sacrifice our more precious mettle inside of us to sweat and sacrifice and finally extract the less valuable...
Why Experience Libertopia? An Interview with Sky Conway – Paraphrased Recommended
Lawrence M. Ludlow 2011-04-27 03:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR In February, Sky Conway introduced Libertopia to the anarchists who gather regularly at Café Libertalia in San Diego. I decided to interview him again to explore his concept for the Libertopia weekend (October 21 to 23) a bit further. I gave up on writing a formal interview article, but the following paraphrase is an accurate depiction of what...
The Wheeler Street Riot and the Abuse of Police Power
Michael Kleen 2011-05-04 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR   This past Saturday, police in full riot gear, armed with chemical irritants, pepper spray, batons, and a sound cannon, confronted over a thousand students at a block party on Wheeler Street near Western Illinois University. Gathered near their large, white van, officers from several different police forces around the state (who were formed into the...
Big Fat Lies: How Government Fear Campaigns Harm Children’s Health
Carrie Burdzinski 2011-05-11 00:00
Column by Carrie Burdzinski. Exclusive to STR Yesterday while simultaneously eating lunch, working on a craft project, and solving a Sudoku puzzle, I turned on the TV for additional background stimulation. The program happened to be a children’s sitcom along the lines of “Hannah Montana.” As such, the commercials advertised toys, video games, and junk snacks popular among school...
Patriot Pauls and Patriot Acts, Part II of II Recommended
tzo 2011-06-28 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Part II: Get Real   Reality check: There is little I can do to change society as it is currently configured, and the Constitutionalist must come to grips with the fact that he is in an identical situation. The Voluntaryist is ridiculed for holding a position that hardly anyone understands or is aligned with, but the same may be said of the Ron Paul...
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...