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Wednesday, December 13

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A. Magnus is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Original article "A bounty of three million Turkish lira, or nearly $800,000, was placed on the heads of former Pentagon official Michael Rubin and former top CIA official Graham Fuller for what Erdogan's allies claim is their role in a 2016 failed coup that nearly toppled Erdogan's ruling government."
Original article "The National Rifle Association (NRA), which fancies itself a champion of the Second Amendment and gun rights, is nowhere to be found as state governments are moving to confiscate firearms from medical marijuana patients."
Original article "I wouldn’t invite the Amazon Echo or the Google Home into my home. These smart speakers listen to everything that happens around them. Ostensibly this is to make shopping, playing music, and finding information easy. But the internet of things presents way too many risks to our privacy."
Original article "Google is escalating its campaign of internet censorship, announcing that it will expand its workforce of human censors to over 10,000, the internet giant announced on December 4. The censors’ primary focus will be videos and other content on YouTube, its video-sharing platform, but will work across Google to censor content and train its automated systems, which remove videos at a rate four times faster than its human employees.
Original article "British Airways, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Porsche are among five large companies that have been identified as having paid corporate intelligence firms to monitor political groups that challenged their businesses, leaked documents reveal. The surveillance included the use of infiltrators to spy on campaigners."
Original article "A group of local investors who failed in their bid to secure a state license to grow medical marijuana on Monday announced plans for a statewide ballot issue that would fully legalize marijuana. Jimmy Gould, chairman of Cincinnati-based Green Light Acquisitions, has proposed an Ohio constitutional amendment that would allow anyone 21 or older to grow marijuana in their homes for personal use or commercial cultivation."
A Review of Randy England's Book 'Free Is Beautiful: Why Catholics Should Be Libertarian'
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2014-09-10 07:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR Like the latter adjective in its title, Free Is Beautiful, this book—insofar as it is a clear and well-argued introduction not only to libertarian theory itself but also to the close correspondence of libertarianism with true Catholic teaching—is also beautiful. Consequently, Randy England was able to harmonize libertarianism with...
Crime and Punishment
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Paul Hein 2014-09-03 07:05
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }About three decades ago, I was visiting a friend at the penitentiary in Jefferson City, where he was about at the end of his sentence for the ghastly “crime” of buying cigarettes cheap in a neighboring state, and selling them to his clients in Missouri. It was the practice at the time to allow soon-to-be-released...
The Good and the Bad of Constitutionalism
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Paul Bonneau 2014-08-28 07:31
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR There are many, including myself who, having examined how and by whom and for what purpose the Constitution was used to overthrow the clearly superior Articles of Confederation, tend to throw up our hands at any notion of restoring it. Why bother? Our current police state can be traced directly way back to the 1787 Convention, it seems. However, it might...
Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto (Book Review #7)
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Alex R. Knight III 2014-08-26 06:08
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR While he has long since come out candidly as a free market anarchist, Lew Rockwell, through his ever-popular LRC site, has provided a forum for freedom-oriented thinkers ranging from Voluntaryist to minarchist. Indeed, among Rockwell’s other accomplishments and titles are serving as editorial assistant to small government Austrian-economist...
Malum Prohibitum, Ad Nauseum
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Paul Hein 2014-08-25 06:40
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR “I’ve got a tremendous idea,” you announce to your colleagues. “Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had health insurance?” “You bet,” they agree--at least most of them. “Well, let’s make everybody buy it. If some can’t afford it, we’ll subsidize it, somehow, and if they refuse, we’ll...
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...
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...
Muddy Waters
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Paul Hein 2012-08-13 23:00
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 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...