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Friday, April 21

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Ken Kraska is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Original article A survey of assorted schemes to reform California politics and boundaries from an LP perspective and which is better than nothing, especially if you don't live in the L.A., S.J./Sac, or S.F. Bay metro regions and are fed-up with their current stranglehold on government in the Golden state.  
Original article The eastern and northern parts of California aren't really a good match for the emergent coastal-based People's Republik of Kalifornia, and so the California independence movement is itself breaking up into factions that don't wanna be ruled by the coastal population centers any longer. Go figure?  
Original article "Venezuela enacted stricter and stricter gun controls over the period of the Chavez/Maduro regime.  Venezuela banned the commercial sale of guns and ammunition in 2012. [...] But making guns illegal for most of the people is only half of the equation. As Venezuela is falling apart, unable to feed its people or to keep crime under some control, the dictator Maduro has decided to arm those he thinks are loyal."  
Original article "Political behavior does not exist in abstractions, such as the 'state' or the 'government,' or a 'constitution,' but is activity engaged in by such men and women who find the machinery of state power a useful device for accomplishing ends that they value."  
Original article Hollywood bigshots hate the fact that anonymous reviews posted on opening day can bomb a film that they poured their blood, sweat, & tears into (as well as lots of their studio's money). Bottom line: The  establishment opinion gatekeepers don't have the juice they used to.  
Original article "[...] Justices resolve cases, both important front-page controversies and less publicized back-page ones, through a combination of personal preferences, life experiences, partisan politics, and values writ large, where traditional legal norms play only a marginal role in generating (as opposed to explaining) their decisions."  
Original article "First, let's keep in mind that none of this would be possible without Cobb County, Georgia, taxpayers kicking in more than $400 million. More accurately, none of this would have been possible without one of Cobb County's former top government officials negotiating a secret deal with the Atlanta Braves to have taxpayers pay that amount for a new stadium, and without the rest of the Cobb County commission voting to approve the stadium deal at a supposedly public hearing where...
Original article A father was pissed that his son was caught cheating on a test and to teach him lesson made him get out of the car and told him to walk home (less than a mile). Then cops.. (Just watch the video).  
Original article Some good advice. Just because it's cheap doesn't make it a good choice. (video)  
Original article Sheesh. And this is just the stuff we hear about too. TSA operations are security theatre all the way through.
Original article Crony socialism finally does some good, however inadvertant. UK parlimentarian should add Venezuela to that list as well.
Tomorrow in a City Near You
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Mark Gillespie 2003-12-14 17:00
By now, I'm sure that you will have seen the ubiquitous video of the Marines killing an Iraqi. Now, before you say, 'Well, the Iraqi was trying to kill them' or 'That's the reality of war,' I want to let you in on a little secret. This isn't just going to happen in Iraq . Yes, after a few years in Iraq , killing and becoming hardened to killing, these same troops will come here to enforce the...
Onward, Conscript Soldiers!
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Harry Goslin 2003-12-14 17:00
Over the last two years, some have suggested the possibility of reinstating military conscription. No wonder. If President Bush is reelected in 2004, he will have no electoral restraints on his imperial ambitions. Given recent surveys indicating that a significant portion of active duty and reservist military personnel will not reenlist, the president will need to tap other sources for 'axis...
Anarchism as Constitutionalism
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Roderick Long 2003-12-14 17:00
I was recently pointed to, or reminded of, Robert J. Bidinotto's article The Contradiction in Anarchism. The article is nearly a decade old, so I don't know whether Bidinotto still stands by everything in it; but his criticisms of Market Anarchism are nonetheless worth addressing. Bidinotto contrasts Market Anarchism unfavourably with constitutionally limited government. Because 'conflicting...
Reflections on Saddam's Capture
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Bob Murphy 2003-12-14 17:00
Well, they finally did it. U.S. troops have finally captured Saddam Hussein. My first thought was: This is the modern day Hitler? Say what you will about Adolf; he wasn't taken alive by the henchmen of the bourgeoisie.
Libertarians and the S Words
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George F. Smith 2003-12-14 17:00
Libertarians rail about government ' 'Look how it has failed. Look how it robs and murders' ' but they miss an important point. Lay bare government's intentions and they're as pure as silk, according to conventional morality. It's okay to blow up Iraqi children as long as we force-feed their parents neocon democracy. Government means well, dammit. What can libertarians say about what they...
Baker Takes the Loaf
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Greg Palast 2003-12-11 17:00
Well, ho ho ho! It's an early Christmas for James Baker III. All year the elves at his law firm, Baker Botts of Texas, have been working day and night to prevent the families of the victims of the September 11 attack from seeking information from Saudi Arabia on the Kingdom's funding of Al Qaeda fronts. It's tough work, but this week came the payoff when President Bush appointed Baker,...
How I Said No to the Automatic Social Security Number
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Scarmig 2003-12-11 17:00
This is the story of how I successfully refused to accept a Social Security Number for my child. I simply said 'no.' Really. That's how easy it was. I just said no, again, and again. On the Texas Application for Birth Certificate, which I was unable to get a copy of for this article, there is a check box down at the bottom of the page. It says, and I'm paraphrasing, 'Check here to have your...
The Effect of Alcohol on the Man in the Street and Brain Tissue
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Jennifer Abelle 2003-12-10 17:00
I am domiciled temporarily at the familial homestead, deep in the bowels of the Leviathan, in order to discharge my filial duty in observing the two great patriotic holidays of the Merchant State : Thanksgiving and Christmas. Life here, while mundane in general, has its diversions. There is the local newspaper, for instance. It is a simple affair of a dozen or so pages, not unlike the scores...
Get Out of My Way, Sheep!
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Mark Gillespie 2003-12-10 17:00
Grandpa was some old guy that my mom took in off of the streets. We weren't related in any kind of way. He was an old drunkard that cleaned bricks for his booze money and collected Social Security. I don't say this to disparage him, but to give you some background as to who and what he was.
National Political Radio
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Bob Murphy 2003-12-10 17:00
When I was younger, I used to laugh with all of the conservative writers about all of the dumb liberals on National Public Radio (NPR). Lately, with all of the crap in Iraq , I've found that NPR is one of the few places I can actually hear some interesting commentary. However, the last two days reminded me of my blissful youth. Yesterday NPR had a guy who was lamenting Russian President...
Taoism and Anarchy
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Mark Gillespie 2003-10-21 16:00
I have studied many religions in my search for truth. In my searches, I embraced a few. I was a nominal Christian for many years and converted to Islam about six years ago. Of course, I have left all of those religions behind, in my never-ending quest for truth. However, there is one "religion" that I studied that seemed to contain more truth than any other. That way is Taoism.
An Open Letter to the Peace Movement
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Roderick Long 2003-03-10 17:00
Dear Peace Activists:All honour to you. In your opposition to the United States' impending war on Iraq, you represent a welcome voice for sanity and civilisation, lifted up against the incessant baying of the dogs of war.But I want to urge you to follow the logic of your position just a bit further.Much has been said, and eloquently so, about the need, in dealings between nation and nation, to...
How I Said No to the Automatic Social Security Number
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Scarmig 2003-12-11 17:00
This is the story of how I successfully refused to accept a Social Security Number for my child. I simply said 'no.' Really. That's how easy it was. I just said no, again, and again. On the Texas Application for Birth Certificate, which I was unable to get a copy of for this article, there is a check box down at the bottom of the page. It says, and I'm paraphrasing, 'Check here to have your...
Supreme Court Lets Dogs Go Fishing...for Drugs
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Rex Curry 2005-01-25 17:00
A new Supreme Court case states that cops can take dogs fishing. Dogs can go fishing for drugs in Illinois vs. Caballes. As an attorney, I am often consulted by people victimized in searches by dogs trained to smell drugs. A drug dog's skills are often overestimated because people anthropomorphize dogs. A humanlike quality that dogs have is that they are natural libertarians with no interest in...
Radical Solidarity and Moderate Anarchism
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Anthony Gregory 2005-01-27 17:00
Libertarians, and especially anarchistic libertarians, are known for their principles and strong ideology. This has often been, but does not have to be, a double-edged sword in the fight for freedom. To be a libertarian, one must embrace the Non-aggression Principle, or at least come to the same policy conclusions as one would based on the principle. Some libertarians say they don't like the...
The Suppression of Dissent
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Jim Davies 2005-10-25 16:00
Exclusive to STR The jury is still out, as I write these words. Its verdict may be in by the time you read them, and there's a blog with the latest news--but that's okay because the point of this article is not to comment on the trial's outcome but to show what government had to do, in order try to silence an influential advocate of freedom. Its conclusion will be that government is wholly unfit...
The Power of One
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Jim Davies 2005-11-21 17:00
Exclusive to STR Nobody is better qualified than my friend Per Bylund to propose, as he did in a recent STR article, that we who yearn for liberty "save the world through saving [our]selves." Per is not only a brilliant thinker and prolific author (in two languages!) he founded an anarchist website before many of us got our brains in gear and has engaged in debate there all comers from...
Be Free
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Mark Davis 2005-07-10 16:00
The state has grown too big and powerful and conversely the individual appears small and powerless. Libertarians of all stripes can debate endlessly on why this has come about and where we should ideally be instead. When the question of what to do about it comes up, there is typically a moment of silence and perhaps a chuckle or two coupled with some frustrated cynicism. After this moment of...
Utopia vs. Liberty
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Richard Rieben 2005-07-18 16:00
In his insightful analysis of the Dark Side, STR writer Jonathan David Morris notes that, "The Dark Side of the Force is not evil for evil's sake. It's evil because it believes the ends always justify the means . . . .
The Preamble Reconsidered
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Jim Davies 2006-05-17 16:00
Exclusive to STR The Preamble to the United States Constitution is surely one of the most sublime paragraphs ever written. Before this dissection begins, let's prop it up and admire it in all its glory: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure...
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...