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Monday, October 12

Guest Editor

Melinda Secor 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 Mr. Brendel

Original article "The U.S. would be severely mistaken if it believes the sending of a warship through what China perceives as sovereign territory will be perceived as anything other than offensive aggression by an imperialist power. The U.S. is already engaged in proxy wars with Russia in Ukraine and Syria, which have the potential to devolve into an open conflict between the superpowers. Attempting to intimidate the Chinese in their own backyard seems like an extremely ill conceived move at this time....
Original article "A rationale for opposing Russia’s bombing of ISIS has been manufactured, and is now escalating – with a chorus of criticism citing the reported errors of Putin’s 'unprofessional' campaign, as Secretary Carter termed it....The world need not be convinced of these arguments, only enough Americans to show support in polls for U.S. forces operating directly in Syria, and meeting Russia on the battle lines as an enemy."
Original article "Here's something you probably never saw or heard about in the west. This is Putin answering questions regarding ISIS from a US journalist at the Valdai International Discussion Club in late 2014."
Original article "The old adage, 'desperate times call for desperate measures' appears to be the theme of U.S. officials these days. With Russia entering the fray in Syria, the United States’ ultimate goal of ousting President Bashar al-Assad is becoming much more elusive. So is that why U.S. officials and analysts essentially applauded this weekend when ISIS killed a top Iranian military commander in Syria?"
Original article "The US Treasury has recently opened an inquiry about the so-called 'Islamic State’s' (ISIS/ISIL) use of large numbers of brand-new Toyota trucks. The issue has arisen in the wake of Russia’s air operations over Syria and growing global suspicion that the US itself has played a key role in arming, funding, and intentionally perpetuating the terrorist army across Syria and Iraq."
Original article "Last year’s National Defense Authorization Act allocated half a billion dollars to train 'vetted,' 'moderate' rebels to attack ISIS in Syria and also to overthrow the country’s sovereign government. This schizophrenic policy goal not surprisingly produced a total (after the others were killed, captured, or willingly gave their weapons to ISIS) of four or five fighters. Even this micro force of five ultimately found itself in the depths of embarrassment as it...
Original article "As US attempts to extort a settlement in Syria built on regime-change, US senators and generals conspire to arm and back a new terrorist army aimed at Iran."
Original article "Fighting toxic spills is serious business."
Original article "According to an emergency plan recently distributed by St. Louis County officials, a fire at the Bridgeton Landfill is now within 1,000 feet of a nuclear waste dump. The landfill fire has actually been burning for over 5 years, and they have been unable to contain it thus far."
Original article "And just in case anyone wants to feel superior about China's decision to grade its entire populace on a mandatory curve, let's not forget that employers and loan providers are using applicants' social media interactions to determine their worthiness -- including who they're friends with and what those friends are posting to Twitter, Facebook, etc. The US government may not be calling for a 'citizen score,' but there have been pushes for a national ID, and...
Original article "The U.N. will be considering norms related to cyberspace security this month. A committee comprised of 20 nations published a proposal over the summer for the General Assembly to consider."
Original article "In recent weeks, the organization’s members have embarked on creative protests that encourage  current intelligence employees to follow their conscience and quit. Their latest stunt, over an NSA facility in Germany, involved a drone and fliers."
Original article "The New York Police Department is out of control, and the New York City prosecutors are right there with them. In a case of unbelievable police and prosecutorial abuse of power, the NYPD broke an NBA player’s leg last April for 'contempt of cop,' and prosecutors decided to ignore the evidence and slap Thabo Sefolosha with three criminal charges anyway."
Original article "Cigarette smoking and heavy alcohol use cause epigenetic changes to DNA that reflect accelerated biological aging in distinct, measurable ways, according to research. The researchers estimated biological age using a previously validated epigenetic 'clock' , calculated the difference between biological age and chronological age, and assessed the relationship between tobacco and alcohol use and premature aging."
Original article "The first ancient human genome from Africa to be sequenced has revealed that a wave of migration back into Africa from Western Eurasia around 3,000 years ago was up to twice as significant as previously thought, and affected the genetic make-up of populations across the entire African continent."
Original article A Photo Blog
Progress in 'The Capitalist Tool'
Jim Davies 2013-12-24 09:18
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Last week Forbes magazine ran an article by one Peter Reilly, to assess the merits of Irwin Schiff's stand against the alleged income tax, and drawing extensively on remarks made by his son Peter Schiff, the investment advisor. To call the article “fair” would over-rate it, but it did bring that debate to the attention of some highly...
'The Lone Ranger' as Horror Film
Glen Allport 2013-12-24 08:58
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR I bought “The Lone Ranger” on Blu-Ray this week and enjoyed it even more than I had in the theater – it's a fun, big-budget summer action movie. Then as the credits rolled, I sat and cried for about 15 minutes.   “The Lone Ranger” has been a financial disaster for Disney, despite the fabulous Johnny Depp performance...
Public Education Works After All: A Nation of Double-Thinking Sheep
Lawrence M. Ludlow 2013-12-24 08:37
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR So finally, even the White House admits that the NSA’s wide-ranging program of pervy-voyeurism and spying and prying and snooping and sniffing has had no significant impact on the so-called War on the Word, otherwise known as the War on Terror. According to Geoffrey Stone, a University of Chicago law professor who was one-fifth of the five-...
Why We Need Libertarian Journalists
Don Stacy 2013-12-23 09:08
Column by Don Stacy. Exclusive to STR A December 15, 2012 article in The ASCO Post entitled "The Ethics of Rationing Cancer Care" is a distressing illustration of a healthcare journalist missing several opportunities to deliver not only interesting information to readers, but also genuine knowledge. I shall not name the offending columnist in this critique, for the mistakes of this...
The Assaults on Freedom in Government Schools
Douglas Young 2013-12-23 08:54
Column by Dr. Douglas Young. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }Today some of America’s least free places are many government schools where students enjoy less free speech than prisoners since “zero tolerance” and “social justice” trump liberty. In October, a Pennsylvania school’s zero tolerance for violence policy dictated that a 5th grader be...
Jim Davies 2013-12-19 09:18
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR It's very sad, to see so much of it around STR. Several whose fingers fly over the keyboard to make comments seem to think that government is a fixture, here to stay. This is not limited to STR, mind; I enjoy much of the work of Fred Reed on another site, and noticed a fine recent example called Your Papers, Citizen which expertly compared the...
What It Feels Like to Be an Anarcholibertarian
Don Stacy 2013-12-16 09:17
Column by Don Stacy. Exclusive to STR One of my favorite libertarian articles is a January 2009 blog post by Professor John Hasnas entitled "What It Feels Like To Be a Libertarian." Hasnas is an Associate Professor of Business at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business, a visiting Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, and Director of the Georgetown...
Has Government Legalized Fraud?
Lawrence Samuels 2013-12-12 09:33
Column by L.K. Samuels. Exclusive to STR The federal government must have made fraud a legal practice. What else could one conclude in light of Obamacare? When President Obama, his administration and his Democratic cohorts promoted the Affordable Health Care Act, they advertised it with a slew of silver-tongued falsehoods, eloquent misstatements and outright lies. In other words, Obamacare was...
Lawmaking Lunacy
Jim Davies 2013-12-12 09:19
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR I'd be very scared if confronted by someone armed, and evidently mad or malevolent. The first type might well do me harm, fatally maybe, because he or she wouldn't understand or be responsible for the actions about to be taken. A young child, perhaps, slashing a kitchen knife while playing some martial-arts fantasy he has dreamed up. Or an adult in...
Where's the Dignity?
Tim Hartnett 2013-12-10 08:58
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR “Where’s the contempt for the common man?” ~ Montgomery Burns As emotional trends go, hate has seen better days, in theory, anyway. The feeling is so far out of fashion they’ve made a crime out of it, which is a first for an emotion, I believe. Always make sure you are being objective before beating the be-Jesus out of anybody,...
Stupidity Reigns
Paul Hein 2012-01-10 01:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   Perhaps you saw the video clip of Bridget Brown, who is a “markets reporter” declaring that gold is not backed by anything, whereas the U.S. dollar is backed by the American government. She apparently considered this a shortcoming of the precious metal. The mind boggles.   The late Merrill Jenkins, the original Monetary Realist...
They Built the Roads, Bringing Genocide to Millions
painkilleraz 2012-01-11 01:00
Column by Jesse Mathewson. Exclusive to STR Manifest destiny: these two words were used to promote genocide, the expansion of the state and War with Mexico. This term was coined and subsequently popularized in 1845 by John Sullivan in an article titled “Annexation” written for the United States Magazine and Democratic Review. There was and remains, an overwhelming belief, among...
The Bureaucratization of Airport Security
Alex Schroeder 2012-01-18 01:00
Column by Alex Schroeder. Exclusive to STR A recent flight to a sunny Caribbean island unfortunately required interaction with our friends at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). While having my privacy invaded by these inconsiderate bureaucratic underlings, I began to contemplate precisely why airport security is so unpleasant and why it becomes more so subsequent to new security...
Rule by Children
Bob Wallace 2012-02-06 01:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   Of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates, all of them, except for Ron Paul, are whores and puppets for international bankers and international corporations (I call them Cosmodemonic Transnational Megacorporations). And Paul doesn’t stand a chance, because he is an adult. It doesn't matter if Obama is re-elected, or...
Panarchy, Subsidiarity and Me
Paul Bonneau 2012-02-06 01:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR  When I first started writing on this subject (see here, here, and here), I was mostly shooting in the dark. Subsequent reading has yet again proven the old saying, from Ecclesiastes, that there is nothing new under the sun; that what I wrote has been thought of before. This article will attempt to collect and connect these themes.   The first...
To Govern and Enslave
Jim Davies 2012-02-07 01:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR  Given the axiom of self-ownership, there's very little difference between those two verbs. To govern someone is to override his own wishes; he wants to do X, but government commands him to do Y. Likewise, to enslave someone is to override his own plans; he wants to be an Econ Professor and columnist, but the slave-owner commands him to pick cotton, and...
Government Protection and the Drug Problem
painkilleraz 2012-02-16 01:00
Column by Jesse Matthewson. Exclusive to STR From 1920 to 1933, a strong prohibition was in effect in the United States. Alcohol, illicit drugs and mind-altering substances were banned and violence and crime had reached epic proportions. It had been a struggle for the religious right of the late 1800s and early 1900s to remove all of these evil products. They succeeded in 1920 with the complete...
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...
A Modest Proposal
Paul Hein 2012-02-23 01:00
Column by Paul Hein.  Exclusive to STR  Once again the earth’s alignment with the sun is becoming such that assorted natural—and some quite unnatural--phenomena can be expected.   In the unnatural group is the appearance, like dandelions in the lawn, of assorted individuals and firms offering expert income tax preparation. This is so predictable, and has been happening...
The Difference Between a Leader and a Master
JGVibes 2012-03-09 01:00
Column by JGVibes. What is the difference between a leader and master? These are two different terms which imply two different types of relationships that exist between human beings. The key element that separates these two types of people is the element of force; masters will use force and intimidation on others so their commands will be obeyed, while leaders will naturally gain admiration...
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...