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Monday, November 24

Guest Editor

Government Denies Knowledge is the guest editor today.
 

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photo courtesy of Kansas Poetry

Original article "A new report released today by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab—a multidisciplinary research organization specializing in cyber security, hacking, and online surveillance—shows state sponsored hackers are targeting human rights groups and political dissidents with impunity."
Original article "Even if you take into account the abandonment of its outposts in Iraq -- which hosted 505 U.S. bases at the height of America’s last war there -- and the marked downsizing of its presence in Afghanistan -- which once had at least 800 bases (depending on how you count them) -- the U.S. continues to garrison the Greater Middle East in a major way. "
Original article "The changes from the Snowden disclosures are found far from the Kabuki theater of the D.C. political class, and they are unquestionably significant. That does not mean the battle is inevitably won: The U.S. remains the most powerful government on earth, has all sorts of ways to continue to induce the complicity of big Silicon Valley firms, and is not going to cede dominion over the internet easily. But the battle is underway and the forces of reform are formidable—not...
Original article “The job hopping has long fostered a culture of coziness that, even without direct evidence of impropriety, generated a public perception that regulators and bankers form unholy alliances. But the new accounts of a regulator and a banker actually sharing confidential documents — violating a cardinal rule of the regulatory world — suggest that those impressions may no longer be purely hypothetical.”
Original article No, drivers are not being exploited, despite what many socialists/progressives/leftists of all stripes proclaim.
Original article "If we are looking at inflation in its narrowest term, the purchasing power of a unit of currency, then no, we don’t see inflation. The problem with looking at an inflation index is the same problem as Keynesian economics: it aggregates all the important information away."
Original article "Ostensibly, the CPI is a linear combination of the “prices” of things/stuff consumers could actually purchase weighted by a percentage that the “ideal consumer” spends on any particular stuff/thing in his “ideal” basket. The main problem here is that the “prices” used are not the prices a consumer would actually pay; instead the real price for an item is scaled by what the BLS calls a “Hedonic Quality Adjustment (HQA)”. The HQA...
Original article "The latest news on the burgeoning police state in the US -- a page-one investigative report in the New York Times disclosing that at least 40 agencies of the US government from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Supreme Court (!) are using undercover agents to spy on and even to entrap law-abiding American citizens -- suggests that we have passed the tipping point. One can no longer speak in terms of the US as a country that is moving towards ...
Original article "The book-cooking could mean bad news for public pensions and other programs that rely on these budgets. The report finds that, nationwide, states have unfunded liabilities of nearly $5 trillion, or $15,000 per American (even though the states allegedly low-ball that number at $2.7 trillion)."
Original article "A visually impaired Florida man said police took him to an unfamiliar area and left him there in retaliation after his stepfather recorded cell phone video of a pot bust."
Original article Can you imagine the hell we'll have to pay when economic collapse occurs?
Original article I'm sure these fantastic results will be more than enough to convince many states to adopt them.
Original article "...decentralized darkmarkets promise a number of features that surpass those offered by sites like eBay, Aliexpress or Amazon, as multisignature escrow, P2P lending, low fees, Ricardian contracts, decentralized arbiters system… Darkmarkets are working as decentralized and distributed organizations."
Original article "Whatsapp will integrate the open-source software Textsecure, created by privacy-focused non-profit Open Whisper Systems, which scrambles messages with a cryptographic key that only the user can access and never leaves his or her device. The result is practically uncrackable encryption for hundreds of millions of phones and tablets that have Whatsapp installed—by some measures the world’s largest-ever implementation of this standard of encryption in a messaging service....
Who Am I?
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Paul Hein 2014-06-24 06:40
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR My pastor is worried about my immortal soul, and the risk of its eternal damnation. I laugh at him. Since when did virtue make the ten o’clock news? My doctor warns me about my unhealthy diet and lifestyle. I puff on a cigarette while reaching for my Martini, and offer him some of my doughnuts. My son wants some money to buy a new electronic game to...
Velvet Glove, Iron Fist
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Paul Hein 2014-06-12 23:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The term “jurisdiction” has several similar meanings. It can simply mean control. Or it can mean the power to enforce the law. The latter definition is more significant, because the organization that enforces the law is also the one that writes the law. It is correct to say, therefore, that jurisdiction can mean the power to enforce one’s...
Down & Out in Rio de Janeiro
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Douglas Herman 2014-06-10 23:00
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “Most people go on holiday to escape. They pick a far away destination in the assumption that the further away they are from home, the more rewarding and freeing the trip will be.” ~ Matthew Dawn Sticker shock. Expect to pay a lot. Hellishly hot in the summer and shockingly less sexy than advertised. But the city and local people, called...
Letter From a Guest Editor
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Bradley Keyes 2014-06-09 06:51
Column by Bradley Keyes. Exclusive to STR I have been the Friday editor for Strike The Root for almost two years. I have enjoyed being an active part of the site but I will soon stop being the Friday guest editor in order to focus my time on some other projects. The primary Editor will need someone to replace me, and I know he sometimes has problems finding people willing to sign up. I figured I...
Fundamentally Flawed Federal Fleece
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Scott Thomas Outlar 2014-06-05 06:42
Column by new Root Striker Scott Outlar. Exclusive to STR What happened to the foundational philosophy upon which America was formed? The ideas of liberty, self responsibility, honor, justice, courage, frontierism, freedom, morality, and other such individual-based concepts? Well, what happened is the leftist progressives moved in and corrupted the mentality of the youth over the span of many...
The Earliest European Debate on Intellectual Property and the War It Caused
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2014-05-29 06:54
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR Some years ago, I changed my thinking about intellectual property (IP) upon reading Stephan Kinsella’s clear exposition of the debate in his work, Against Intellectual Property. In particular, I was fascinated by his definition and discussion of how and when property rights come into play—not only in terms of the abstract concepts that IP...
Who'll Be the Next in Line?
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Tim Hartnett 2014-05-28 07:36
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR “But I don’t like waiting in line,” Ray Barboni tells a competitor before gunning him down in Get Shorty. And after all, who does? You don’t have to be a Hollywood villain to hate your place in the queue. Slowpokes and nitwits get old quick with a crowd in your way. So it’s a rare man that grew up on the teeming island of...
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
9.66667
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...
A Juggernaut of Destruction
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George F. Smith 2009-02-19 16:00
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 15:00
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 15:00
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 15:00
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 15:00
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 16:00
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 15:00
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 15:00
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 16:00
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 16:00
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...
'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
9.625
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
9.25
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
9.5
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...
Oh, Stanley MUST READ
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tzo 2011-03-30 02:00
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...