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Tuesday, September 2

Guest Editor

Emmett Harris is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Kansas Poetry

Original article “Nashville police don't want to be compared to the authorities in Ferguson, Mo., … [b]ut they do have similar firepower. That's thanks in part to a program that sends surplus U.S. military gear to local agencies for free — armored vehicles and assault rifles included.”
Original article “Randall Jordan-Aparo died weeping and gasping for breath on the concrete floor of his prison isolation cell, naked except for his white boxer shorts.”
Original article “'We do have some concerns regarding the level of aggression' of two officers involved in the arrest, said the Rev. Charles Gill, president of the Ministerial Alliance.”
Original article “Davis [the man stopped for suspicion of drunk driving] allegedly tried to grab Jackson’s gun while threatening the officer’s life, and [Officer] Jackson drew his weapon and fired multiple times, hitting the suspect.” Cops should wear body cams, since the justification in this case is going to come down to the officer's word against Davis's.
Original article “The Pentagon is preparing to open a drone base in one of the remotest places on Earth: an ancient caravan crossroads in the middle of the Sahara.” The reach of the war machine expands yet again.
Original article “[A]gents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration were involved in the operation.” The senseless war on drugs continues.
Original article Why not get rid of the ban and let the market decide the movement of oil?
Original article “China is targeting foreign companies with opaque laws and rules, according to a group representing U.S. businesses there.” China must feel like home.
Original article Loose monetary policies putting lipstick on a pig.
Original article “Welcoming armed customers can attract Second Amendment rights activists, deter crime.”
Original article “If the forms are delayed past their Jan. 31 deadline, some people may have to wait to file tax returns – and collect their refunds.” And the government will get to keep the interest-free loans a bit longer.
Original article “The current Congress is on track to be the worst ever at passing laws since modern record-keeping began, with three of its lawmakers failing to introduce a single bill.” This is a bad thing?
Original article Tesla Motors has five states bidding to attract a $5 billion factory ... The winner is expected to offer publicly financed incentives exceeding a half-billion dollars.” The losers will be the taxpayers.
Original article “[T]he attorney general’s office has turned to the U.S. Supreme Court to help block the flag logo and other unwanted images on government-issued plates.” States make car owners pay for the rectangular scraps of metal, but state officials still think they own the plates.
Original article The mayor of Los Angeles shows a penchant for demagoguery and a complete disregard for economics.
Original article “AB 1522, passed by the state Legislature over the weekend, requires employers to provide both full-time and part-time employees with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.” And why not? It's not as if employers judge the total cost of an employee against his or her productivity.  
Original article “'I support a modest property tax increase to fund those things,' [Councilor] Marz said. 'The reason I support that is because we have a city we need to be proud of, and we have a city we need to maintain.'” They always need just a bit extra, no matter how much they manage to extract from the oft-suffering taxpayers.
Original article “What powerful force could be moving them? Researchers have investigated this question since the 1940s, but no one has seen the process in action -- until now.”
Original article “Participants in … [a] study of deadly force were more likely to feel threatened in scenarios involving black people. But when it came time to shoot, participants were biased in favor of black suspects, taking longer to pull the trigger against them than against armed white or Hispanic suspects.” And yet, there is a “disproportionate number of ethnic and racial minorities shot by police.”
Original article “In a chicken and egg conundrum, raising terror threat levels due to our previous inept interventions raises the question – why do we keep invading Iraq?”
Original article Wildlife photography.
The Violent Libertarian, Part 2
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Alex R. Knight III 2013-06-12 08:50
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR In the first part of this train of thought, I focused on my own past personal travails in order to shine a light on what I perceive as an unrealistic and undue degree of self-ascribed perfectionism in libertarian circles. Perhaps as a result, perhaps for other reasons, that essay has to date generated very little comment or controversy. However that...
The 'Case' Against Thomas Paine
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George F. Smith 2013-06-12 08:20
Column by George F. Smith. Exclusive to STR Thomas Paine died on the overcast morning of June 8, 1809, in New York City.  Libertarians have long savored his unabashed attacks on government and the many evils of paper money, and the fact that he not only ignited the drive for American independence but kept it alive during its darkest moments.  He played an important role in history, both...
Government Chaos
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Jim Davies 2013-06-10 08:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Yet another overture is being played, for the magnum opus of Armageddon, the long-predicted final battle between good and evil (i.e., us vs. them) somewhere not far from Israel. Others have been played before, in 1967, for example, but this one centered on Syria is shaping up to be quite a doozie. Nearly all players in the region are tuning up their...
Ten Reasons Why Libertarianism Is the Way of the Future
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Jakub Bozydar W... 2013-06-06 09:04
Column by Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski. Exclusive to STR 1. It is the only social philosophy that places the highest value on the only common characteristic of all thinking beings--individual liberty. 2. It is the only social philosophy that takes individual rights seriously, consistently refusing to sacrifice them in the name of collective moral and legal fictions. 3. It is the only social...
Swarm Intelligence and Dynamics
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Lawrence Samuels 2013-06-05 08:27
The article below contains excerpts from L.K. Samuels’ new book, In Defense of Chaos: The Chaology of Politics, Economics and Human Action. Column by L.K. Samuels. Exclusive to STR Intelligences take many forms, but the particular ways in which social animals—ants, bees, wasps, termites, birds, fish, and so forth—network into highly coordinated units without supervision has...
The Pope Joins the Chorus in Blaming Free Markets
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George F. Smith 2013-06-03 08:39
Column by George F. Smith. Exclusive to STR On Thursday, May 16 Pope Francis delivered a short speech on economics and finance, blaming the “cult of money” for the millions of people suffering in poverty.  He addressed the New Non-Resident Ambassadors to the Holy See, calling for “financial reform along ethical lines.” He describes the problem thusly: "While...
The Neocon Yawp
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Emmett Harris 2013-05-30 08:05
Column by Emmett Harris. Exclusive to STR The neocon hawks are squawking again. But perhaps that's a mischaracterization. The word “again” implies there had been a cessation in their lustful exhortations for ever-increasing levels of death and destruction to be wrought by United States government military power. There hasn't been. Instead, their latest screed cable news...
Your Citizenship Is a Ticket to Serfdom
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nomadcapitalist 2013-05-29 08:36
Column by new Root Striker Andrew Henderson. Exclusive to STR Most people wouldn’t give a second thought to the idea that citizenship is anything other than a birthright. In particular, those “lucky” enough to have been born in the United States--or as I call it, “The Land of the Free”--should thank their lucky stars for winning a genetic lottery. In reality,...
The Bubble
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Jim Davies 2013-05-29 07:54
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR It's the name given to a chart of price movement that shows a very large rise, followed by a very large fall; its shape is more or less symmetrical, like the one shown here representing the price of shares in the South Sea Company around 1720 and denominated in pounds. As it shows, the price rose briefly by a factor of nine. This South Sea Bubble is the...
Where Zero Tolerance Is Overdue
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Tim Hartnett 2013-05-24 07:05
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR The perpetual battle being waged against people who feel entitled to speak their own mind didn’t end when James Madison wrote the First Amendment. If the guarantees on paper in the Bill of Rights could have settled that much, the Ten Commandments would have eradicated sin. Those 45 words that describe where the fight against oppression should draw...
Help Wanted
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Jim Davies 2012-03-30 00:00
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 2012-04-17 00:00
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 2012-04-20 00:00
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 2012-04-23 00:00
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 2012-04-26 00:00
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...
What a Time to Be Alive!
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Jim Davies 2012-05-08 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   For ten thousand years, governments have polluted the human race by stealing and squandering the products of our labor, repeatedly creating war and destruction, and choking off initiative and invention. Yet now, in this present era, there is serious hope that these parasites will cease to leech. The root of the problem is, at long last, being...
The Clothes Make the G-Man
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antiox 2012-05-11 00:00
Column by new Root Striker antiox. Exclusive to STR  Who knew that Janet Napolitano was a fashionista? What other conclusion can we come to after finding out that in addition to the war on Islamic fascism, her department is now waging another in favor of idiotic faddism? That’s right, the Department of Homeland Security has taken to setting up surreptitiously in local flea markets and...
Amendment Done
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dubhub9 2012-05-14 00:00
Column by new Root Striker William Hubbard.   Exclusive to STR   I have sullied myself this day, and for no profitable reason. I have stained my soul and made a lopsided deal with the devil. I entered the voting booth this afternoon, for the last time, against my principle, in order that I may fight for other principles. I have not voted in years. This is not out of apathy but out of...
So You Work as an Elections Clerk?
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Jim Davies 2012-05-18 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR [Author's Note: Readers who know someone who helps operate elections might usefully refer him or her to this article. Should it become widely read before November, it could have an interesting effect. It's adapted from one of a series at the new web site TinyURL.com/QuitGov, which aims to help government employees lead honest lives....
The Armored Cars
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Paul Hein 2012-05-21 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Decades ago, seated at my desk, writing checks, the thought came, unbidden and unexpected, into my mind: Where are all the armored cars?   I was, at that moment, probably only one of thousands—perhaps hundreds of thousands—of individuals writing checks. By means of those written instruments, money was being transferred from one bank to...
'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
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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...
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...