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Thursday, May 25

Guest Editor

Robert Taylor is the guest editor today.

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

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Original article Where would Communism and National Socialism be on the world stage if it weren’t for the Great War?
Original article Our inflationary economy is sending the prices of luxury goods soaring — while prices on products for regular people are often flat.  
Original article The roots of this disaster are in the presidency of George W. Bush: he and his neoconservative advisors launched a war that was supposed to transform the Middle East into a laboratory of “democracy” – exported by force of arms. The idea, as expressed by neoconservative ideologues, was to “drain the swamp” of the Middle East, so altering the environment in which the “mosquitoes” of terrorism lived and flourished that they would be unable to produce a...
Original article This country is becoming a total joke and it’s not merely because of Donald Trump. While he’s certainly becoming a key player in our national embarrassment, this country’s decent into a reckless Banana Republic has been a long time coming.  
Original article While the chattering classes spend all their time rehashing Donald Trump’s alleged — there’s a word you don’t much see in the media anymore — coordination with Russians over their alleged — there it is again — hacking of the Democrats’ email, a story with far more ominous implications is being ignored: Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Original article From Clinton to Bush, then Obama and now Trump, it’s as if we’ve been caught in a time loop, forced to re-live the same thing over and over again: the same assaults on our freedoms, the same disregard for the rule of law, the same subservience to the Deep State, and the same corrupt, self-serving government that exists only to amass power, enrich its shareholders and ensure its continued domination. The republic has fallen to fascism with a smile.
Original article The close U.S. association with Saudi Arabia has long been a stain on America’s honor. Trump and Tillerson have deepened that stain.  
Original article While Trump was acquiescing to Saudi cajolery, Iran was doing something the Saudis never have: holding a presidential election. And the message that emerged once the counting was done is clear: Iranians are ready for moderation, for openness, for their country’s relations with the West—locked in deep freeze since the Islamic Revolution in 1979—to at last begin to thaw.
Original article The explosive growth of occupational licensing is yet another example of how government regulation can benefit the few and the powerful. When government plays favorites, society as a whole suffers, with our most vulnerable citizens often bearing the burden. Freed of restraint that benefits the politically powerful, our markets best serve consumers by reducing prices, fostering innovation and creating new job opportunities.
Original article One can never tell exactly when a bubble will burst or which corner of the financial system will be the epicenter of the earthquake. But if and when these looming bubbles explode, the main culprit will be the irresponsible policies that were supposed to prevent future bubbles and that created the perfect storm of moral hazard, easy money, and cheap credit one again.    
Original article Like in Colorado, New York, and Vermont, California is learning that a single-payer plan would be prohibitively expensive.
Original article While it may have only been for a few moments, Offerman shows that even celebrities have at least one issue where their views are, often unknowingly, libertarian. And for this Parks and Recreation star, the government better keep their hands off his whiskey.  
Change? You'll Have to Do Better, Becca
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Alex R. Knight III 2015-06-03 08:16
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Becca Balint, a state senator here in Vermont who is an ardent supporter of gun control and also publishes a fairly regular column in a local newspaper, quoted Heidi Halverson – a psychologist at Columbia University – in a recent write-up. The quote itself is in reference to the fact that people fear change, but that this is also not the...
Defiant, She Advanced: Legends of Future Resistance
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Alex R. Knight III 2015-06-01 07:39
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Let’s begin by forgetting about libertarianism altogether for a few moments and focus only on the primary aspect of this anthology: science-fiction. There are a total of ten tales in this little micro-collection, edited by George Donnelly, and I found every one of them to be a singular gem. Some appealed to my sensibilities a tad more than...
Volunteer--Or Else!
9.66667
Paul Hein 2015-05-27 08:07
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The waiter informs you that there is a special, off-menu item available. “Today we have a special: blackened snapper with a mango chutney, served on a bed of wild rice.” It sounds good, but you have your heart set on a meat entree. So you tell him, “Sounds good all right, but I think I’ll have the one-inch thick pork chops, with green...
How to Define 'Pro-Choice'?
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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
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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
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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?
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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
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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...
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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.?
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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...
Oh, Stanley MUST READ
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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...
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
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
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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
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...