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Monday, May 23

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Melinda Secor is the guest editor today.

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Original article "A privilege, a special tax break, a rule, a prohibition, a piece of meat here, a piece of meat there… and soon the foxes are eating high on the hog.  But what’s meat for the foxes is poison for the economy."
Original article "As if the U.S. needed still more laws legislating political correctness, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Commission on Human Rights now claims city businesses and entities which ‘fail to address customers by their preferred gender pronouns,’ such as Mr. or Mrs., could face fines up to $250,000."
Original article "After Sean Davis put out an article on The Federalist about how men can’t get pregnant…Zach Ford, the LGBT editor over at Think Progress, decided to argue that the science on that actually wasn’t settled…Apparently, according to Ford, men do menstruate and can in fact get pregnant."
Original article "As government continues to expand, finding ever more ways to feed itself through taxation, it seeks to justify this burgeoning existence. Enter the Nanny State. New York is a leader in developing laws and regulations to protect us from ourselves, perhaps most famously with the Big Apple’s attempt to ban large-size sugary drinks. The Empire State has the highest cigarette taxes in the nation, which fuels a black market, and it places heavy restrictions on other 'sins.'...
Original article "When looking at this spending in context, the U.S. not only spends more than the next six countries combined, but spends almost triple the amount on military expenses than the second biggest defense spender in the world, China, according to data from the Stockholm International Peach Research Institute. These figures come on top of the recently announced $1 trillion dollar nuclear missile modernization program that has been curiously absent from public discourse, having not even been...
Original article “'Only Donald Trump (among the Presidential candidates) has said anything meaningful and critical of U.S. foreign policy.' No, that is not Reince Priebus, chair of the RNC, speaking up in favor of the presumptive Republican nominee. It is Stephen F. Cohen, Emeritus Professor of Russian History at Princeton and NYU, a contributing editor for The Nation, that most liberal of political journals."
Original article "Traditionally, the best way to keep track of future military deployments – absent unexpected events, of course – has been to follow key procurement contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense of mission critical offensive wartime equipment such as weapons and ammo, or, less followed, core defensive components such as kevlar, body armor and other forms of core personal protective gear. These usually take place shortly prior to major 'events' involving US armed forces...
Original article "Currently, it is believed the unmanned plane has spent the past year orbiting around Earth. The American government has, however, failed to give any tangible reason behind the deployment of X-37B to space, except saying it is for an experiment. As to the actual nature of the experiment, that still remains a mystery."
Original article "The role of government is to redistribute wealth, according to a course at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. A test, administered on April 29 in Professor John Traxler’s Healthcare Economics class, told students that '[o]ne of the main functions of government is income redistribution,' then asked them to explain what the statement meant. The correct answer was C: 'Taxing the wealthy and giving it to those in poverty.'”
Original article "We recently stumbled upon an image in one of the more obscure corners of the intertubes which we felt we had to share with our readers. It provides us with a nice metaphor for the meaningfulness of government activity."
Original article "Yesterday I spoke at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, NECSS, a 'celebration of science and critical thinking' held May 12-15 in New York City. Philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, whom I met recently, got me invited, and he might regret that, because I decided to treat the skeptics skeptically."
Original article "Replacing a common drying method boosts the performance of perovskite photovoltaics."
Original article "In the bird world, the color red has special significance. Many species use red signals to attract mates or deter rivals, adding the color to their beaks, feathers, or bare skin. Generally speaking, as far as many birds are concerned, redder is better."
Original article "Spotting native alligators and crocodiles in Florida is common, but anyone who sees a large reptile may want to take a second look -- human-eaters that can grow to 18 feet long and weigh as much as a small car have been found in the Sunshine State."
Original article "If you're a rattlesnake, you want to bring the right weapon to a squirrel fight. And that venomous weapon varies from place to place, evolutionarily calibrated to overpower the local squirrels' defenses, according to new research from The Ohio State University."
Original article A Photo Blog
Say It Isn't So!
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Paul Hein 2015-12-24 08:21
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Three people in California are suing chocolate manufacturers, most notably Hershey, Mars, and Nestle. “Aha,” you cry. “The chocolate made them sick, and they had tremendous pain, suffering, and medical bills!” No, no, not at all. The three suffered no ill effects from the chocolate products. Their suit alleged false advertising....
Do You Suffer From Putinitis?
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Douglas Herman 2015-12-17 09:10
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Epidemic of National Erectile Dysfunction Strikes America! Experts Point to Putin as Culprit in Incurable Disease.   What Is Putinitis? Do you find yourself not only questioning authority, but pitying all those who do not? Do you drive down the freeway, feeling surrounded by sociopaths on cellphones, most of them madly tweeting and texting, while...
SPECTRE: Not Scarier Than the Newspapers
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Kevin M. Patten 2015-12-17 08:43
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR Spoilers. The newest 007 film is, all and all, a dud. Putting the summation first: It’s predicable, uninspired, disjointed. It sets itself up for real potential by attempting to give the secret agent a genuine backstory, and then fails miserably without much effort. It brings in supernova-sized casting, and then wastes the talent. It teases us...
A Panarchist Take on Borders and Immigration
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Paul Bonneau 2015-12-09 09:24
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Bionic Mosquito has written a thoughtful piece on the border/immigration issue. The money quote? “So what does culture have to do with maintaining a libertarian order? This, to me, is quite simple: the less conflict, the less chance that some self-proclaimed and self-pitying disadvantaged group will look to a savior to deliver them from their...
Why Renters Are Screwed
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Paul Bonneau 2015-12-02 09:03
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Every now and then my wife and I get the itch to go into property rental. For example, we look at real estate listings on the Oregon Coast. A duplex would be nice, because we could take one unit for ourselves, and rent the other out. The renter could help watch our place while we were not around, and we might even work out a deal for him to do lawn mowing...
The Complementarity of Love and Freedom
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Glen Allport 2015-11-18 08:55
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR Complement: add to (something) in a way that enhances or improves it; make perfect     ~ Apple's OS/X on-disk dictionary, ver. 2.2.1   – 1 – Interdependent   Yin and Yang. Heart and head. Female and male. Complementary elements, forces, and qualities are everywhere in the natural world.   Wikipedia puts it...
Why Participate in a Rigged Game?
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Paul Bonneau 2015-11-17 09:31
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Oregon has vote-by-mail, and in due time we recently received our ballots in the mail along with a voter’s guide. Since it is an odd-numbered year, all that was on the November ballot were two tax levies, one for libraries, the other for cops. Like many other states, Oregon has not only the usual dates for primary and general elections, but also some...
I Don't Get It
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Paul Hein 2015-11-16 09:11
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }There are things I simply do not understand. I hesitate to mention it, because I seem to be the only person who is puzzled by these things, thus indicating that I possess the savvy of a turnip. Still, I have reached--and surpassed—an age where I don’t much care what other people may think...
Weltschmerz, Anyone?
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Paul Hein 2015-10-27 08:55
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The Germans have a knack, if that’s the word for it, of making new words by putting old ones together. So “weltschmerz” is a conjunction of two words meaning, literally “world pain.” The term refers to the frustration, depression, etc., that one experiences on appreciating the difference between the way things are, and the way...
America the Failed Experiment: "I Don't Think That's a Word" and Other General Folly
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Alex R. Knight III 2015-10-26 08:35
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Did you know that America has the smallest constitution of any other tax-farm on Earth? It was, of course, ostensibly designed to produce the most limited and least intrusive State in all of history. Yet, the American State is now the largest empire to ever exist in all the time humans have walked the world, with the hugest, most destructive military...
A Juggernaut of Destruction
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George F. Smith 2009-02-19 17:00
Exclusive to STR February 20, 2009 Nature is stingy; the things we need to sustain life above a primitive level are scarce. Fresh tomatoes, iPods, and rotator cuff surgery do not come forth as easily as the air we breathe, and thus man had to discover on his own how to produce or acquire them.
Ringo's Law and the Healthcare System of Doom
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Glen Allport 2009-08-12 16:00
Exclusive to STR - 1 - The Law Some years ago, noted philosopher Ringo Starr described an important and now-famous discovery: "Everything government touches turns to crap." That observation clearly deserves elevation in status from the mere "something Ringo said" to the more formal Ringo's Law. Ringo's Law generates accurate predictions and explains events in useful fashion;...
Separation of Me and State
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B.R. Merrick 2009-07-26 16:00
Exclusive to STR I listened to Dr. Laura every once in a while years ago, back when I was proudly religious and conservative. She was, and I assume still is, unabashedly conservative. She took a lot of abuse for it, but she stuck with it. (Of course, it did make her a millionaire.) One time when I was listening, a man called in to tell her that a young woman he knew had just had an abortion...
Anarcho-Statism
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Anthony Gregory 2004-07-13 16:00
If anarchism means anything, it is a rejection of the state, meaning, a rejection of an institution claiming and maintaining a monopoly on violence. Of course, anarchists find themselves in the real world, in which such monopolies clearly exist. Some of the things states do we might even approve of, at least circumstantially. If an anarchist is being mugged, and a police officer comes by to stop...
The Greatest Tragedy
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Anthony Gregory 2004-05-16 16:00
The greatest tragedy in our culture is the widely accepted lie that the wars in U.S. history, since after the American Revolution, have been necessary, proper and even glorious. And this lie has been swallowed, parroted, and perpetuated by many of those who call themselves conservatives, liberals, progressives, socialists, constitutionalists, 'libertarians' and even 'anarchists'--all to the fatal...
Why Deism and Corrupt Government Don"t Mix
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Robert L. Johnson 2004-12-16 17:00
It's been my experience when talking to people about religion, that the overwhelming majority of them have never heard of Deism. Hopefully, with the recent conversion of world-famous philosopher and atheist, Antony Flew, to Deism, this will begin to change. The lack of knowledge of Deism is highly unusual given the strong role Deism has played in the history of Europe and America. But, as FDR is...
Libertarianism in One Sentence
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Roderick Long 2004-05-30 16:00
David Bergland once offered Libertarianism in One Lesson. I would like to offer libertarianism in one sentence. The most succinct formulation of libertarianism I can think of is this: Other people are not your property. In other words: They are not yours to boss around. Their lives are not yours to micromanage. The fruits of their labour are not yours to dispose...
I Remember
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strike 2004-05-08 16:00
I remember how, after the brakes went out on the station wagon after coming down a hill, she reached over just before we crashed and held me back against the seat with her arm. I remember that vividly even though I was only a little boy. That probably saved my life, as my head still cracked the windshield. I remember how she'd pick us up from swimming lessons and take us to Vacation Bible...
Wheat and Chaff
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Bill Butler 2009-12-08 17:00
Exclusive to STR 'His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.' ~ Matthew 3:12 So much of life is about: (1) making distinctions; and (2) making choices. Indeed, the meaning and consequence of all our lives can fairly be said to be a test of our free will choices and the rational,...
Origins
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Jim Davies 2009-10-25 17:00
Exclusive to STR  Where and when did government start? It's quite a mystery. Given that human beings are basically harmless creatures, how did it happen that an inherently violent institution arose in human society, whose whole raison d'tre is always to destroy the fundamental human right of self-governance? The question is important not just to satisfy historical understanding, but to...
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...