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Friday, November 24

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Serenity is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Original article What we call Reality is a hall of mirrors. It reflects itself back and forth and builds up a consensus.
Original article Many Anarchists scorn Statists that distract themselves arguing over politics, presidents, parties, etc. Yet, likely out of unconscious habit, follow in their footsteps in that they argue over what I want to call anarchist politics. And I don’t mean friendly arguments that seek new conclusions.
Original article Oftentimes when government officials insist that a certain freedom needs to be eliminated or a new law enacted in order to advance the cause of “public safety,” it’s merely a smokescreen for some other covert agenda
Original article What does it mean to be “free”? To me, being free or having freedom simply means living one’s life free from threats, demands, orders, coercion, or claimed authority emanating from other individuals or entities. It means that no one has the right to stop you from thinking, saying, or doing whatever you want so long as your actions do not constitute aggression against other people.
Original article Fascist ideology has crawled its way into the mainstream yet again. Amidst this resurgence is a concomitant escalation of paramilitary brownshirts deploying a rhetoric of “free speech” and using it to justify ever increasing violence against perceived enemies. While the ability to freely express oneself is a critical part of a thriving society, there are other freedoms at play as well.
Original article There is one important area of American life where no effective freedom of speech or the press does or can exist under the present system. That is the entire field of radio and television. In this area, the federal government, in the crucially important Radio Act of 1927, nationalized the airwaves.
Original article While political correctness is typically associated with the American Left, modern conservatism has its own sacred totems that dare not be criticized. Like its progressive counterparts, the Right’s choices of sanctification fit together like an elegant jigsaw puzzle to form an internally consistent worldview. Police, Military, Bible, and Flag are all symbols of the Right—each embodying order, tradition, and Americanism to varying degrees.
Original article If ‘society’—whoever that’s supposed to be—were to push for any values, equality shouldn’t be among them. Equality only exists before the law. People are unique, and therefore naturally unequal. We’re not like ants or blades of grass. Equality is not only impossible, it’s not even desirable. A proper goal to strive for is freedom, which is possible and desirable." Doug Casey
Original article Vermont’s use tax is meant to make sure that Vermont citizens don’t shop online or across the border to avoid the state’s sales tax. Currently, only about 10 percent of people pay the 6% use tax according to Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom.
Original article The high-technology revolution is not normally associated with farming. Yet some of the most impressive advances in automation are occurring in agriculture. New breakthroughs in the information and life sciences threaten to end much of outdoor farming by the middle decades of the coming century. The technological changes in the production of food are leading to a world without farmers, with untold consequences for the 2.4 million people who still rely on the land for their survival. (what use...
Original article Unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, commonly known as drones, have become an effective, reliable tool to help commanders gather battlefield intelligence. They have also exploded on the commercial market, flooding toy stores and hobby shops with inexpensive, multi-propeller drones.
Original article GREENVILLE, NC—Aiming to accommodate family members’ preferences and avoid any frustration, local parents Melissa and Ron Walters officially designated the upstairs television for anybody who did not want to watch the Thanksgiving football games on Thursday, sources reported. “You can use the TV in the guest room if you don’t want to watch football,” said Melissa Walters,  (the onion) 
Corruption Abounds!
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Paul Hein 2015-07-30 06:34
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 07:08
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 06:37
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 07:06
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 06:47
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 06:21
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 06:22
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 07:10
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 06:38
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 06:49
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...
'Anarchy or Minarchy' Is Only Half the Question Recommended
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Glen Allport 2011-04-05 02:00
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 02:00
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 02:00
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 02:00
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 02:00
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 02:00
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 02:00
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 2011-05-03 23:00
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 2011-05-10 23:00
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
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tzo 2011-06-27 23:00
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
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D. Saul Weiner 2015-02-13 08:13
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 07:02
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 05:52
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 07:12
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 07:44
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 2012-05-13 23:00
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 2012-03-25 23:00
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 00:00
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 00:00
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 02:00
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...