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Wednesday, July 9

Guest Editor

A. Magnus is the guest editor today.

WANTED: A new guest editor for Saturdays.  A guest editor selects the external links for that day and then uploads them to STR.  If you're interested, please email me.

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photo courtesy of Moyan Brenn

Original article "As sequestration takes toll on the Pentagon’s budget, Defense officials must decide how to maintain superior military capabilities. A new study suggests that the Pentagon should focus more on a “great power conflict,” reflective of a newly aggressive Russia and rapidly modernizing China."
Original article "There may be more fiber in your food than you realized. Burger King, McDonald’s and other fast food companies list in the ingredients of several of their foods, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) or “powdered cellulose” as components of their menu items. Or, in plain English, wood pulp."
Original article "It seems not even The Pope's private bank can make money when its only allowed to do it the legal way. As The FT reports, profits at the Vatican bank plunged last year after thousands of accounts were closed as part of an overhaul of the scandal-ridden institution. The Vatican bank, officially known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), now has 17,419 customers, down from 18,900 in 2012 and net profit fell from EUR86.6m in 2012 to EUR2.9m last year. So - in sum - accounts fell 8% and...
Original article "On Saturday morning, the Greek government issued civil mobilisation orders to striking Public Power Corporation (PPC) workers, ordering them back to work by placing them under martial law. The order was issued after a ruling by the Athens Court of First Instance on Friday evening, which declared the strike illegal."
Original article "Want to hear the worst idea in the history of horrible ideas? How about we take the industry responsible for destroying the U.S. economy and wrecking the lives of tens of millions of people, and then allow it to create a “government-industry cyber war council.”"
Original article "The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee is refusing to cooperate with an insider trading investigation, saying its employees are “absolutely immune” from having to comply with subpoenas from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)."
Original article "In lieu of Weinstein’s promised anti-Second Amendment epic, “Cloverfield” director Matt Reeves produced a film with a distinctly anti-gun subtext. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is now in theaters and it has some Second Amendment advocates crying foul."
Original article "Thirty-eight journalism and open government groups today called on President Obama to stop practices in federal agencies that prevent important information from getting to the public. The national organizations sent a letter to Obama today urging changes to policies that constrict information flow to the public, including prohibiting journalists from communicating with staff without going through public information offices, requiring government PIOs to vet interview questions and monitoring...
Original article "The unspecified threat the DHS is reacting to has added a new requirement for passengers taking direct flights to the United States. In short, you’d better make sure all your electronics are charged before you reach the security checkpoint or you quite possibly won’t be going anywhere."
Original article "Marijuana dispensaries in Washington state began legally selling recreational weed on Tuesday morning, joining Colorado by officially becoming the second state in the country where adults can lawfully purchase pot. Customers formed lines outside retailers in the Evergreen State early Tuesday as select shops prepared to open their doors for the first time ever."
Original article "In recent days an estimated 30,000 Internet users have received emails containing copyright warnings and demands for cash settlements. The emails, which detail alleged infringements on content from EMI, Sony, DreamWorks and Paramount, are not only fake but also have a sting in the tail - a nasty trojan just waiting to be installed."
Original article "The Russian Government signed a draft agreement on the creation of a $100 billion pool of currency reserves that the BRICS countries are forming to guard against financial shocks. According to the document, the countries’ dollar reserves will remain on the balance sheets of their central banks. However, these reserves can be made available at the request of one of the parties."
Original article "A 'painful' restructuring of the Vatican’s scandal-ridden bank in order to weed out suspicious activity has resulted in a massive fall in profits and the closure of hundreds of customer accounts."  (Editor's pick)
Original article Song by Smoke Fairies.  (Editor's pick)
Original article For all our brothers and sisters withering and wilting in the heat...
A Pleasantly Filled Dungeon in My Backyard: A Police State Update, Part I
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Kevin M. Patten 2014-04-24 08:04
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 08:31
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
9
Paul Hein 2014-04-14 08:23
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 08:03
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...
Defending the State?
0
Alex R. Knight III 2014-04-09 08:13
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR I have to admit I’m rather perplexed by something I’m witnessing of late within the gun ownership community, and I’m going to do my best to try and dissect it. Here in Vermont, we’re fighting some proposed gun control laws, and one of the pillars of support for private gun ownership that is commonly deferred to is Article 16...
Going Unarmed Is an Antisocial Act
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Paul Bonneau 2014-04-08 08:32
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR All States provide protection. That is the primary justification for their existence. The reality can be a bit more complicated, of course. To be sure, there have been times and places where governments have actually provided protection. George Washington’s army actually provided protection against--well, I guess it was against the government that...
The Home Team
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Mark Davis 2014-04-07 08:29
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR Sports provide many benefits to society, not least of which are the many rich metaphors for life.  The understanding of social organization, establishment of rules, the dynamics of competition, individuals sacrificing for the team, learning accountability, commitment to a purpose and developing a work ethic in sports offers a range of wonderful...
Der Uber-Americans
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Tim Hartnett 2014-04-03 08:14
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR Things always look a lot clearer from behind the beltway curtain. It’s nothing like the haze your average American rube sees trying to watch developments along the Potomac. So Washington keeps a crew spinning round the clock to set the story straight, narrow and well off the course of the blogosphere. We call them lawyers, lobbyists, bureaucrats, PR...
A Remarkable Document
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Paul Hein 2014-04-02 08:45
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR From time to time, we hear our rulers refer to the Constitution, in such solemn tones and with such serious demeanor that we might think they took it seriously. For example, some of them have expressed outrage that the NSA should violate the people’s right to privacy. Good for them; it IS an outrage. Some of the rulers are indignant that the...
Liberty: Rooted in Rights
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Jim Davies 2014-03-31 08:57
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Everyone wants to be free, to make his own decisions without interference. That's a no-brainer; if there are any exceptions beyond those unhappily born without the ability to manage for themselves, they are very few. I never met anyone who said “Rule me, please!” Libertarians, however, add one crucial and distinguishing feature to that: We...
I Don't Mind If You Keep Voting, But Do You Mind If I Keep Laughing While You Do?
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Wilton D. Alston 2008-08-26 17:00
Exclusive to STR "It is the continuing decline in faith in the politicization of society that has, for well over a year, made the 2008 presidential race the preoccupation of the mainstream media. The media must continue to advertise the products and services of the establishment owners, just as it does for the sellers of prescription drugs and other nostrums. Still, the outcome of the 2008...
A Dollar in Peril
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Jim Davies 2008-11-02 17:00
Exclusive to STR One of the nice things about not voting is that one can enjoy a little sport at the expense of those who do. Let me share with you an example or three. A few days before November 4th, I visited a nearby town, and first called at the government postal monopoly for some stamps so that I could write to an innocent friend incarcerated in a government prison. Standing in line, I said...
Deadliest Catch: One Alaska Fisherman to Another
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Douglas Herman 2008-09-28 16:00
Exclusive to STR September 29, 2008
The Confessions of Osama Bin Laden
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Douglas Herman 2008-11-17 17:00
I confess I did not know then, but I know now, why you Americans stopped chasing me at Tora Bora in October 2001.
Do You Really Want Freedom, Or Are You Just Kidding Yourself?
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Wilton D. Alston 2009-06-09 16:00
Exclusive to STR June 10, 2009 'The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness. This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.' ~ Plato 'Wherever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to ensure implicit obedience is to...
A New Strategy For Liberty - Part 1: An Open Letter To Ron Paul Supporters
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Stewart Browne 2009-05-17 16:00
Exclusive to STR May 18, 2009 Dear Ron Paul Supporters, Thank you. Thank you for giving your time, effort, and money to the cause of liberty. Thank you for taking a stand for what you know is right, and putting yourselves out there in favor of opinions the State would rather you didn't hold.
A New Strategy For Liberty - Part 2: Secession in Three Easy Steps
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Stewart Browne 2009-05-17 16:00
Exclusive to STR May 18, 2009 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
Objectivist Resistance to Anarchy: A Problem of Concept Formation?
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Carrie Burdzinski 2009-05-19 16:00
Exclusive to STR As a former Orthodox Objectivist who now recognizes anarchy's intrinsic coherence, I have particular interest in studying the ethical basis of anarchism. Roy A. Childs, Jr.'s "Objectivism and the State: An Open Letter to Ayn Rand" and "The Epistemological Basis of Anarchism: An Open Letter to Objectivists and Libertarians," and Nicholas Dykes' "Mrs....
Charity Never Faileth
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B.R. Merrick 2009-05-13 16:00
Exclusive to STR May 14, 2009 The title of this article comes from 1 Corinthians 13:8. I can't call myself a believer anymore, but I do believe quite strongly in the need for each of us to be charitable. I think it's good for us. I know that for me, it helps to remind me of things I tend to forget, when I think of what it is that I lack. There are plenty of people worse off than I am, or...
Functional Rights: The Elephant in the Parlor, Part II
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Scarmig 2009-06-03 16:00
Exclusive to STR June 4, 2009 Part II: Rights are' So what are rights? If there are none of these things, functionally, despite what anyone might claim, then what are they? How do they function in daily life? How are they exercised inalienably by every person everywhere that has ever existed, regardless of the government that claimed authority over them? George Potter wrote:
'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...
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...