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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."
When Deplorable Meets Adorable
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Douglas Herman 2016-12-17 13:39
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “Why are we in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate measures?” ~ Henry David Thoreau   So I had to meet Miss America again. If someone said to me, 50 years ago when I was a tongue-tied teenager, that one day I’d be hanging out with a former beauty queen for a couple of days, trying not to fall in love with her as...
The Last Barricade
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Terry Hulsey 2016-12-17 12:59
Column by Terry Hulsey. Exclusive to STR “I” comes from the flesh, but [...] “we” comes from the Devil. ~ Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn   So much of life is compromise. Rare is the one who maintains his integrity to the end of his life. In this national election year when not one candidate stands for a consistent set of principles, it’s good to ask the question:...
Assumptions, Assumptions
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Paul Hein 2016-12-16 08:16
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Our trash is picked up on Tuesdays. Well, I should not simply say “trash,” because only one of the containers holds officially defined trash. The others are for recyclables and yard waste. (Ah, the carefree days of my youth, when trash was trash, and not analyzed and segregated.) Recently, while writing out the check for these services, which are...
To Manage and Steer the Peons
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Paul Bonneau 2016-12-02 08:41
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR An alternative news site, Breitbart, had an interesting post today about comments Angela Merkel had made. It’s rare to see such a frank admission of what the ruling class is about: "Digitisation is a disruptive technological force that brings about deep-seated change and transformation in society. Look at the history of the printing press...
Fundamentals
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Paul Hein 2016-11-30 08:47
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR There doesn’t seem to be any debate about the fact that things are seriously wrong in America. The octogenarians among us--present writer included--can recall a vastly different America, with no “checkpoints” or rioting, or SWAT teams, or invasions of foreign countries which had not—and could not--attack us. But why has this happened...
The Life Story of a Simple Old Chair
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Douglas Herman 2016-11-16 07:45
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR The fine craftsmen of High Wycombe, in northern England, who made me in 1880 are no longer of this world but of the next. Their young flesh and strong muscles, sinew and tendons turned the pieces, assembled the shaped elm seat to the chair legs, pressed the beech wood rods and rails to the fine figured armrests you see. And then they took their evenings...
Nuclear Warheads as Hostages
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Paul Bonneau 2016-11-16 07:16
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR In earlier times, victors in a war would take the sons of the vanquished rulers back home, to raise them as their own. This provided incentive for the rulers of the now-vassal states not to raise Hell any more (after all, it is the rulers, not the people, who start wars). I wonder if a modification of this hostage concept could not be applied to...
Clintonism, Unplugged
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Kevin M. Patten 2016-10-30 20:44
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR “Yes, that is what I would have said, and because there is no cosmic point to the life that each of us perceives on this distant bit of dust at galaxy’s edge, all the more reason for us to maintain in proper balance what we have here. Because there is nothing else. Nothing. This is it. And quite enough, all in all.” ~ Gore Vidal,...
Why the Ruling Class Likes Crime
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Paul Bonneau 2016-10-27 06:25
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Back during the American Revolution there were a lot of radical ideas floating around, one of which was “no standing army.” In those days before police existed, the army was what the rulers used to plunder the productive and keep the people under the rulers’ thumbs: “the sharp point of the spear.” The Crown used it that way in...
Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Pussy Control
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2016-10-26 07:26
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR By referencing Prince’s song, Pussy Control, I intentionally draw a link between politics and the intentional trespass of bodily boundaries. And it really does boil down to bodily integrity and respecting boundaries when you closely examine the concept of human rights – something the political process is designed to destroy. On one hand,...
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...
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...
CHAOS . . . The State of the State
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Mark Reynolds 2004-10-10 15:00
First, let us start with the understanding of what the definition of chaos is according to the World Book Dictionary - Chaos: 1a. Very great confusion; complete disorder. And according to my Word Web dictionary, chaos is a state of extreme confusion and disorder. After reading Bob Johnson's recent article Kneeling in the Grass, I started thinking about chaos as we can see it in action, right...
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...
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
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
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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...