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Monday, May 4

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Government Denies Knowledge is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Terry Chen

Original article "Libertarians advocate for the privatization of all government “services,” and this includes the prison system. Whenever I mention that “public” utilities and “public” works ought to be done privately, a common retort is to “look at how that has worked in the prison industry.” But how libertarian are private prisons anyways?"
Original article The untold story of the Silk Road.
Original article Assassination, or "targeted killing" didn't work in the drug war and it certainly isn't working in the war on terror.
Original article A lesson in economics for all you Keynesians out there. No, there is no such thing as a "global glut."
Original article "None of them seem to believe that people can be trusted to be in charge of their own affairs. The debate over the “inequality problem” is an excellent case in point. It isn’t as if the knowledge required to understand the problem weren’t readily available. However, most of these people were educated in statist institutions, and have rarely been exposed to any non-statist ideological viewpoints. The possibilities offered by solutions that do not involve the State in...
Original article "It's been a one-party city for at least half a century but Obama still managed to blame Republicans."
Original article "As noted by Sharyl, the reasons for the decline of investigative journalism are complicated. But a big part of it is due to commercial concerns; basically, commercial and corporate influences came into play, and media outlets grew to accept commercialization as part of the news process."
Original article "Economic growth is not the same as economic activity. It’s not about just making more exchanges or producing more stuff. It’s ultimately about getting people the things they want at progressively lower cost, and thereby improving their well-being. That’s what markets have done for the last two centuries. For those of us who understand this point, it’s important not to assume that higher rates of GDP growth or the increased production of physical stuffautomatically...
Original article "I leave you with this thought, if you need to build a fire or light a cigarette, how much would you pay for a BIC lighter?  The same could be asked about “money”, if one needs to put capital somewhere that cannot ever default (which is gold only), what is one ounce of gold worth?  It is crystal clear to me, when this question gets asked, it may take some time for the physical market to clear and give an answer!  The true value of gold...
Original article "When you’re trying to protect your privacy, it’s totally unclear how, exactly, to start using encryption. One obvious place to start, where the privacy benefits are high and the technical learning curve is low, is something called full disk encryption. Full disk encryption not only provides the type of strong encryption Snowden and Obama reference, but it’s built-in to all major operating systems, it’s the only way to protect your data in case your...
Original article "Through a St. Louis-based company, his Tor exit had been whirring away in a German data centre for 18 months. But it appears that wasn’t enough to stop a raid on his house."
Original article "Of course, perhaps it's not so surprising that the committee on "banking and finance" would approve this bill -- considering it gives a free pass to big banks and financial services companies while hindering startups, entrepreneurs and innovators. However, any of the many startups in California that are doing some amazing and interesting things with Bitcoin should speak up now, because California is about to tell them to move out of the state entirely."
Original article "It is looking more and more like Bitcoin, and the advent of the digital currency, couldn’t be at a better place at a perfect time. As states, and the central banks that run, them become more brazen in their economic oppression and deceptions, innovation, freedom, and privacy live on in new and exciting forms that can bring together more people than ever before."
RE: To Those Watching Piers Morgan
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Kevin M. Patten 2013-07-31 08:12
Column by Kevin M. Patten. “The same persons who tell us one breath, that the power of the federal government will be despotic and unlimited, inform us in the next, that it has not authority sufficient even to call out the POSSE COMITATUS. The latter, unfortunately, is as much short of the truth as the former exceeds it.” ~ Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist #29 The massacres in...
Punishment
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Jim Davies 2013-07-30 08:16
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR In September 1971 there was a serious riot in the state prison in Attica, NY, which left 39 dead, and drew much comment. One of the comments was as follows. See whether you can guess by whom it was made: “Any mutiny by the prisoners is going to be put down and put down hard.” The State Governor, maybe? Or some law-n-order Conservative? Probably...
There Will Be No Victorious State
9.5
Alex R. Knight III 2013-07-26 07:54
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR One of the most absurd characteristics of democracy to me is the unspoken yet obviously present belief on the part of all active participants that ultimately, one day, through enough intellectual persuasion – or even underhanded political tactics so often openly engaged in – a single ideology will prevail, trouncing in some final imagined...
The Optimum Level of Violence
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Paul Bonneau 2013-07-25 07:45
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR A while back, lots of conservatives got excited about something called the Laffer Curve. It’s the notion that stolen government loot will be zero at tax rates of both 0% and 100%, therefore looting is maximized at some rate in between. Not the most earth-shattering realization, I admit, but still, if you read about it, you come off with a strange...
Universal One Size Fits All Policy
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Tim Hartnett 2013-07-19 08:01
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR It probably sounds odd to make a connection between the dilemma of US aid to Egypt and a federal lawsuit filed by the Mitchell family against the city of Henderson, Nevada on July 1st. In the one case, the foreign policy establishment is disappointed by Cairo’s struggle to reach a satisfactorily democratic solution to its governing woes. In the other...
Race Hucksters Bore Me
9.33333
Paul Bonneau 2013-07-18 06:55
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It’s a wonder how worked up people can get themselves over a little melanin in skin. Most often it is just a joke, but it can become tedious at times. Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are not the only race hucksters, although they come immediately to mind when you hear the term. There are armies of race hucksters in government, the folks who have...
Chaology and Market-Based Economics
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Lawrence Samuels 2013-07-17 07:31
Column by L.K. Samuels. Exclusive to STR The article below contains excerpts from L.K. Samuels’ new book, In Defense of Chaos: The Chaology of Politics, Economics and Human Action. Market chaologists and complexity economists recognize Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” metaphor as the earliest reference to how economic systems spontaneously emerge within society. In this way...
Whose Side Is History On?
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Tim Hartnett 2013-07-16 07:34
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR Quiz: The phrase “one step forward and two steps back” is? a. The title of a book by Vladimir Lenin. b. A generous assessment of 20th Century American diplomacy. c. A rate of progress that gets “experts” promoted and keeps “think-tanks” well-funded. d. All of the above. When Morsi was toppled by a military coup in Egypt...
The Zimmerman Spectacle Showcases a Racist System and a Hypocritical Support Base for Trayvon Martin
5.5
Kevin M. Patten 2013-07-15 08:45
Column by new Root Striker Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR Now that the inevitable and unsurprising acquittal of George Zimmerman has been handed down, scores of angry citizens will be asking, “What’s next?” It should at some point cross the minds of those rioting in Oakland and those currently “taking the freeway” in Los Angeles – the same activists who are...
Words and Deeds
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Douglas Young 2013-07-15 08:26
Column by Douglas Young. Exclusive to STR Celebrity chef Paula Deen was professionally lynched for having once used a racist epithet at home 30 years ago when referring to the black man who robbed her at gunpoint. This came in a legal deposition prompted by an extortionist $1.25 million discrimination lawsuit filed by a white female former employee who admitted she hadn’t heard Ms. Deen use...
Writing 'The Troy Standard'
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AGFredericks 2012-06-28 00:00
Column by new Root Striker A.G. Fredericks. Exclusive to STR   “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down in front of a typewriter and bleed.” ~ Ernest Hemingway   It may be written in black and white, but if you search between the lines of The Troy Standard, you are sure to find the red stains of which Mr. Hemingway spoke: my blood.   I always wanted to...
A Heartening Discovery
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Paul Hein 2012-07-06 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Decades ago I heard a speaker say that, in any dispute with authorities about an alleged violation of a law, the important thing was to read the law, word for word. The implication was that those citing the law might not know what the law actually said.   I put that theory to the test years ago when the local city rulers cited me for having “weeds...
Let Us Prove That Anarchy Can't Work
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Paul Bonneau 2012-07-10 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau Exclusive to STR In my recent Facebook escapades, this challenge came up: “My longstanding challenge to create a society larger than a commune or a small town that functions well without any government is still open. Create one, and you'll shut me up quick. Until then, I'm going to refer to your notions as ‘unproven theories’ at best, and ‘utter...
The Boston Tea Party: An Attack on Property Rights?
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Paul Bonneau 2012-07-17 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Here and there I have noticed some strange treatment of the Boston Tea Party among libertarians, a sort of shame that such an event has normally been celebrated in our culture. Were the participants bad people? Should we be ashamed of them?   One example of such treatment is Charles Adams' exposition of early American taxation:   Recently...
A Dual-Currency Community
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Paul Bonneau 2012-07-31 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR When a fiat currency goes into heavy inflation, the tendency of users of that currency is to convert it into something else that has a more stable value, so their holdings don’t evaporate into thin air. People will either buy gold or silver, or convert to another more stable fiat currency, or if those options aren’t available, will simply buy...
Trade Deficit: Hooray!
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Paul Hein 2012-07-31 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR With an election looming, our politicians are wailing and bemoaning the economic crisis, which, given their policies and legislation during the past century, was inevitable and predictable. They express grave concern over the balance of payments and trade deficits, among other things.   If you do any research at all on those subjects, you will be...
Compassion in a Free Society
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Jim Davies 2012-08-09 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. One of the ugliest things said about freedom advocates is that in a society without government, large numbers of poor people would be trampled underfoot. Critics say that if all were free selfishly to pursue our own ends, many would be left behind, to suffer and starve. That such a society would be harsh, uncaring, divisive, mean. That it's necessary to have a government, to...
Maximum Salary
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Eric Field 2012-08-13 00:00
Column by Eric Field. Exclusive to STR Hamilton Nolan of gawker.com likes taxes. Or at least he has fantasies about forcing taxes on those he perceives as undeserving of wealth. In his August 8th column, Nolan endorses French president Francois Hollande’s proposed 75% on all incomes over $1.2 million per year. Nolan identifies one problem with Hollande’s tax proposal; that many of...
Magic 'Money'
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tzo 2012-08-14 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Where does U.S. “money” come from? If you’re not sure, the answer that follows may surprise you a bit.   The process begins with the Treasury Department creating a bond. Treasury bonds represent the Federal government asking for loans. When a Treasury bond is “bought,” what is really happening is that the “buyer” is...
Muddy Waters
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Paul Hein 2012-08-14 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The Supreme Court’s ruling in the Obamacare matter stirred up interest in the subject of federal taxation, and just what the government can, or cannot, tax. This, I gather, was because of the expectation--not to be realized--that the Court, if it ruled Obamacare constitutional at all, would do so on the basis of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution....
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...