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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR Lest I be accused of throwing every problematic drinker under the bus, let’s get the boringly obvious out of the way: There’s no doubt that the institution of Alcoholics Anonymous has helped a few people overcome their addiction. But I find it refreshing that after decades of monopolistic influence on the courts and rehabs, AA is finally facing the opprobrium that it very rightly deserves. Jack Trimpey, founder of Rational Recovery, and...
The Chinese Water Torture, Sort Of
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Paul Hein 2014-05-27 07:19
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Years ago I gave speeches to any group that wanted to hear me, about the nature of our money and the illegality and immorality of the monetary system. I gave one such talk to a group of students at a tony private school in St. Louis, and had a pleasant meeting with the headmaster prior to my speech. I noted a plaque on his desk bearing the words: “...
The Compromise
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Paul Bonneau 2014-05-21 07:12
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Why is it that evil proliferates? What mechanism keeps it going? Who is to blame? Why are there so many wars and occupations? Why such huge amounts of theft (“taxes”, fines, fees and “civil forfeiture”)? Why are so many nonviolent people in jail? What keeps the “War on Some Drugs” going? Why does the police state expand...
The Irrelevance of Government
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Paul Hein 2014-05-13 07:17
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Today has been, so far, like many others. My wife and I rose early and had breakfast. We went to Mass at 8:30--we’re old-fashioned Catholics--and then came home to a few chores around the house: unloading the dishwasher, changing the bed, vacuuming, sweeping leaves out of the garage, and other such mundane chores. We’ll have lunch in another hour...
Fixing Historical Sabotage
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Lawrence Samuels 2014-05-12 07:20
Column by L.K. Samuels. Exclusive to STR Being something of an amateur historian, I find it reprehensible that there are so-called historians willing to rewrite history to suit their own ideological narrative. But then again, as George Orwell wrote in Nineteen Eighty-Four, he “who controls the past, controls the future” and he “who controls the present controls the past....
An Urgent Plea to Cliven Bundy
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Kevin M. Patten 2014-04-29 07:40
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }Mr. Bundy, You have given the country a rare opportunity, sir. Until very recently, the issue that drew both the ire of statists and the camaraderie of American patriots was your land dispute with the federal government. They were central questions that were asked at the dawn of our Republic, and needed a much...
The National Non-Debt
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Paul Hein 2014-04-28 06:22
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Let’s look at a familiar aphorism: If a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears it, does it make a noise? Now let’s modify it: If an obligation is settled with an IOU, which is never to be paid, is there a debt? In the first instance, we are asked whether there is a sound if no one hears it. In the second, if there is a debt if no one pays it...
A Pleasantly Filled Dungeon in My Backyard: A Police State Update, Part I
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Kevin M. Patten 2014-04-24 07:04
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR In existence, not 30 miles from my place of residence, is a modern day dungeon. For no mistake can be made in saying that the Los Angeles County Jail is an exemplary comparison of such in 21st Century America. On the 2200 floor, where I was recently housed for just over a week, a 24 hour lockdown was in effect; there was no mentionable selection of...
The Rights Stuff
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Tim Hartnett 2014-04-21 07:31
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR One of the few laughs in Michael Shaara’s book, The Killer Angels, comes when a Confederate prisoner tells captors his side was not fighting for slavery. They were defending their “rats.” The dumbfounded Yankees eventually figure out he really meant “rights.” But that still didn’t leave the Union troops much better off...
The Name Game
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Paul Hein 2014-04-14 07:23
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR An interesting phenomenon: You receive a letter, signed by a group of people unknown to you, asking you to send them a large check, and implying that if you don’t, there could be unpleasant consequences. You laugh, and throw it away. Perhaps, if you’re sufficiently annoyed, you could send a copy to the authorities, asking that they put a halt to...
The Urge to 'Do Something'
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Alex R. Knight III 2014-04-10 07:03
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR It’s virtually the mantra of the statist government-believers – those of the Left, Right, and Center – whenever there’s a perceived “crisis.” A mass shooting. Unemployment. A display of racism or gender-bias. A tax-financed school system that fails to actually educate (though why such should baffle anyone is beyond...
Robbing Peter to Pay Pablo
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Paul Hein 2012-06-24 23:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I like to go out to eat. Three or four times a month my wife and I--usually on the spur of the moment--will decide to go out to lunch at a neighborhood restaurant. We are lucky to have several quite close to home that serve excellent food.   It’s not only the food that I enjoy. I marvel at the snippets of conversation I overhear from other diners....
Writing 'The Troy Standard'
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AGFredericks 2012-06-27 23:00
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 2012-07-05 23:00
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 2012-07-09 23:00
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 2012-07-16 23:00
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 2012-07-30 23:00
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 2012-07-30 23:00
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 2012-08-08 23:00
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 2012-08-12 23:00
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 2012-08-13 23:00
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...
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
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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
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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...