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Monday, January 16

Guest Editor

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Melinda Secor is the guest editor today.
 

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “This is the true joy in life – being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one: being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” ~ George Bernard Shaw Mike: I’m a fellow Michigander, a fellow filmmaker like yourself, raised with...
Original article "Chief among the common misconceptions about the way official propaganda works is the notion that its goal is to deceive the public into believing things that are not 'the truth' (that Trump is a Russian agent, for example, or that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, or that the terrorists hate us for our freedom, et cetera). However, while official propagandists are definitely pleased if anyone actually believes whatever lies they are selling, deception is not their primary...
Original article "A couple of days ago, Politico published a fascinating piece describing how factions associated with the current Ukrainian government apparently interfered in the U.S. election on behalf of Hillary Clinton. The findings seem pretty damning, and certainly warrant at least some conversation within the American media given the 24/7 obsession with Russia. Nevertheless, most of you have probably never heard of this saga, since when it comes to the corporate media news cycle, some election...
Original article "Do not be fooled by the tears and gushing words of Obama and his supporters as he counts down to his departure from the White House. They are an insult when measured against the tears of the countless Libyans, Syrians, Afghans and others who have suffered as a result of a foreign policy that brought his administration into disrepute."
Original article "As Obama’s days as U.S. President draw to a close, both the Obama administration and the mainstream corporate media are attempting to provoke a greater conflict with nuclear-armed Russia on the basis of something that never actually happened; at least on the basis of something that they have yet to prove has actually happened. Still, the hype and hysteria being piped from the halls of the White House, intelligence community, and the mouthpiece of the establishment, the corporate...
Original article "Having arrived in Germany a few days ago, a mass of over 3,000 US ground troops backed by a large column of American tanks are advancing eastward toward the Russian border today, heading across Poland as part of a major NATO operation called Atlantic Resolve."
Original article "The 'fog of war' erupts in the confusion caused by the chaos of war. And in the media, it’s an intentional phenomenon that makes it difficult to separate fact from fiction. While the battles over war narratives evolve, they all have a common goal: to distort reality on the ground. Such is the case on the crisis in Syria, the new cold war with Russia, and even the buildup for President Bush’s support for Kuwait’s 'humanitarian' war against Iraq....
Original article "Thanks to CNN and BuzzFeed, a war now rages among corporate media outlets, a true study in irony, as the New York Times and Guardian hurl accusations the two outlets are guilty of publishing Fake News — the same Fake News all of the aforementioned have cited in unabashed attempts to discredit legitimate alternative media."
Original article "Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko is once again warning about the long-standing problems of corruption in Afghanistan, and the amount of US 'reconstruction aid' disappearing down black holes over the course of the years. As always, the discussion came around to 'ghost soldiers.' Ghost soldiers are a phenomenon in which Afghan military commanders fill their ranks with fictional names and just keep the salaries, which since the...
Original article "On average, we spend over 50 hours a week away from our homes. Chances are, if a sudden disaster occurs at your workplace and you are forced to shelter in place for a given time, many coworkers (including yourself) could be unprepared."
Original article "Yes, You Need a Vehicle Survival Kit! And here’s why. You jump in the car, fire the ignition, head down the road, and all is well. But then, the unexpected happens. A small error, an unavoidable accident, a rapid change in weather, some black ice, vehicle malfunction, something causes everything to change in an instant."
Original article "Fear your exploding smartphone no more. Scientists have designed a heat-activated molecular fire extinguisher that could make lithium-ion batteries safer."
Original article "Researchers are reporting development of the world’s thinnest electrical wires, made of chalcogenide and diamondoids (the smallest possible bits of diamond)."
Original article "A chemical that is thought to be safe and is, therefore, widely used on crops—such as almonds, wine grapes and tree fruits—to boost the performance of pesticides, makes honey bee larvae significantly more susceptible to a deadly virus, according to researchers at Penn State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture."
Superintelligence
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Glen Allport 2014-08-12 07:06
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR The dangers inherent in superintelligent machines have inspired any number of science fiction books, films, and short stories. From Asimov's I, Robot series (and the 2004 movie of the same name starring Will Smith) to James Cameron's Terminator and its sequels, from Johnny Depp's recent Transcendence to the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey,...
Assumptions
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Paul Hein 2014-08-11 06:31
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Our lives are, to a large extent, based upon assumptions. Many of them are obvious: the assumption that the sun will rise in the morning, or that the car will start when you turn the key. The validity of these assumptions has been shown hundreds of thousands—millions—of times. They have become less assumptions and more statements of fact. Other...
Economics for Dummies
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Paul Hein 2014-07-31 07:06
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I don’t want to deceive you: I am not going to present a sort of Economics 101 for the benefit of the economically illiterate. In fact, I am myself among that number, never having studied economics. What I am suggesting is that, in the current financial crisis, economics may be, in my opinion, somewhat irrelevant. It may be foolish to think that there...
Who Owes What?
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Paul Hein 2014-07-22 07:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I recently came across some old news reports from 2009, when, in the early days of July, the media concerned itself with the really significant news: the death of Michael Jackson. However, we were also given a glimpse of other matters, admittedly less important, such as the nation’s perilous finances. What I most vividly remember was the report that...
The Advantage of Panarchy
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Paul Bonneau 2014-07-14 05:32
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The crucial advantage of Panarchy is that it converts aggressive violence into defense. Most people on the Internet tend to “stick with their own kind”; for example, liberals read only sites like Daily Kos. However, when they venture out and run into those of different persuasions, you always see a battle of competing arguments, and the...
Small Things
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Paul Hein 2014-07-08 07:14
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The small things in life are sometimes enclosed in ritual. There’s nothing wrong with this per se; it often adds an appropriate appreciation to the simple thing being done--as, for instance, being married. The accompanying ceremony may give the couple an awareness of the importance and significance of what they are doing. Sometimes it can be amusing....
Dick Cheney and the Dead Pool
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Douglas Herman 2014-07-07 06:41
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “It is a universal trend for peoples to unite in a national emergency.” ~ Uri Avnery Dick Cheney rarely reads my columns here at STR. Certainly I’m glad that millions of Winston Smiths over at NSA read my stuff. I want them to read my stuff. I want young and impressionable minds, like Edward Snowden, to read STR and have ideas implanted...
A Pleasantly Filled Dungeon in My Back Yard
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Kevin M. Patten 2014-07-03 06:52
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }“This ain't no place for no hero. This ain't no place for no better man. This ain't no place for no hero To call "home." ~ The Heavy, Short Change Hero It’s been now, for me, more than five years of freedom; and eight years since I first experienced the Los Angeles county jail...
Logical Fallacies?
8.5
Paul Bonneau 2014-06-30 07:23
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I vaguely remember when I first discovered logical fallacies (hint: it was not in a government school); I recall being thrilled that there were some boundaries for argumentation that could be used to reject some poor arguments and help find the truth of things. I have long used Stephen Downes’ site as a particularly good exposition of them, since it...
Cancerfornia: A Letter to the Golden State
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Kevin M. Patten 2014-06-27 06:33
Column by Kevin Patten. Published in late 2009 There is a cancer growing inside the State of California. It is crushing the social stability of our counties and destroying the lives of thousands. The mass media has lied to you, saying it is in your best interest. But do not be deceived by this creature, for it is our own prison system – The California Department of Corrections and...
A Modest Proposal
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Paul Hein 2012-02-23 00:00
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
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JGVibes 2012-03-09 00:00
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...
The Free Lunch
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Paul Hein 2012-03-20 23:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR  If you watch political commentators on television, you won’t have to watch very long before the subject of the national debt is introduced. That, in itself, is interesting, because the national debt has been around for a very long time indeed. Evidently it has reached such proportions today that it cannot be ignored, and the pundits are wringing...
Finding the Divine
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Glen Allport 2012-03-21 23:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR   Scientific consensus is emerging that people are fundamentally empathic, kind, fair-minded, and cooperative. Yet these characteristics are being undermined by widespread emotional damage and a corrupt system of coercive governance.      - 1 - Why So Much Darkness Staining the Light?     "The divine within me...
Star-Crossed Super Ships: Titanic, Enterprise, America
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Douglas Herman 2012-03-22 23:00
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR The whole world looked different one hundred years ago.   In 1912, the automobile and the airplane were curiosities. England enjoyed an enormous empire in 1912, served by freighters, tankers, liners and warships. As immigration flooded across the Atlantic Ocean, hundreds of those ships ferried passengers across to America. Shipyards launched bigger...
Help Wanted
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Jim Davies 2012-03-29 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR  The power-crazed psychopaths running government need one thing above all: a supply of employees to do their grunt work. With that, they can survive any crisis, any criticism, any revenue shortfall, any desertion by voters; but without it, they are powerless. Therefore, those wishing to enjoy life without government in practice as well as in theory need...
Shadow Boxing
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Paul Hein 2012-04-16 23:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR It takes two to tango. Who could deny it? Have you ever seen anyone dancing the tango, or the fox trot, or the waltz, by himself?   Would you buy a ticket to a fight if the fighter entered the ring and boxed or wrestled with himself?   And yet there are instances of fights against nobody: the War on Poverty is an excellent example. Poverty seems to...
The Ballad of Cullen Mutrie
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Alex R. Knight III 2012-04-19 23:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR It’s made national news by now, and so the information I’m getting is from the Washington Post: Apparently, around 6 p.m. on April 12th, members of the New Hampshire Drug Task Force went to serve a search warrant on Cullen Mutrie of Greenland. They were ostensibly searching for steroids, and if they found any in Mutrie’s...
Breivik's Defense
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Jim Davies 2012-04-22 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Is Anders Breivik bad, or mad? If his Norwegian judges find him insane, they will lock him up at the King's pleasure with crazies until he proves he loves Big Brother, and that may be forever; but if they find him criminally liable for murdering 77 people last July, he will spend about 20 years in the company of others, about half of whom are probably...
Neocons and Progressives: One Big Family of Aggressors and Central Planners, with Delusions of Grandeur Recommended
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Scott Lazarowitz 2012-04-25 23:00
Column by Scott Lazarowitz. Exclusive to STR Regarding the traditional left-right scheme and modern uses of the terms “conservative” and “liberal,” the neoconservatives are hardly conservative and the liberals and progressives are hardly liberal or progressive. Rather than viewing “left” as liberal or progressive, and “right” as conservative or...
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
9.5
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...