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Friday, February 27

Guest Editor

Ken Kraska is the guest editor today.

WANTED: A new guest editor for Saturdays.  If you're interested, please email me.

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photo courtesy of Pai Shih

Original article "[With] very rare exceptions, there is no reason to believe that actors, directors, rock stars, and other such celebrities have any more insight into public policy than the average person on the street. ... [Although] Patricia Arquette might well be a good actress, it is unlikely that she has any special insight into the wage gap between men and women, or how best to deal with it."
Original article "We’re told that radar traps and so on exist not to extract dollars from our wallets but for 'safety.' If so, why do the cops squeal so loudly about Waze? After all, people slow down for the trap up ahead. Isn’t that the desired object? Obviously, not. The squealing erupts not because people are slowing down but because they slow down in time to avoid being hit with a fine for not slowing down. As they used to teach in journalism school: Follow the money. It is always about the money."
Original article "You know who else thought he was a sheepdog? George Zimmerman. How’d that work out? Sure, he was legally justified, but he ended up killing a guy who probably didn’t need killing, and has now had his life completely ruined. All because he was a 'sheepdog.' ”
Original article "For the most part, the portable computer is a dream machine for the few. The limitations come from what people actually do with computers, as opposed to what the marketers expect them to do. On the whole, people don’t want to lug a computer with them to the beach or on a train to while away hours they would rather spend reading the sports or business section of the newspaper. Somehow, the microcomputer industry has assumed that everyone would love to have a keyboard grafted on as an extension...
Original article The feds are seeking to contract for medical personnel at JFK airport to administer enemas and then dig through the resultant poo, looking for ingested dope.
Original article I find these polls to be of dubious reliability, given the failed Scottish independence referendum last year, but at least English succession from the mega-state is still being discussed.
Original article "The power to require permits is the power to prevent something from ever existing. This lovely movement would've never begun or spread if everyone who wanted to build a Little Free Library recognized a need to apply and pay for a permit. Instead they did good and asked permission never."
Original article "The many ways that corporations, special interests and political interests of all stripes exploit media and the Internet to perpetuate astro-turf [political movements] is ever-expanding. Surreptitious astro-turf methods are now more important to these interests than traditional lobbying of Congress." On this list most are funded by leftist billionaires.
Original article "Even though a DNA test proved Carnell Alexander is not the father of a child a woman claimed was his on a welfare benefits form, the state of Michigan [i.e., a judge] says he must pay $30,000 to settle the case – or go to prison." Go figure?
Original article "When speculating wildly about the source of these white freckles, we thought they could be evidence of cyrovolcanism or even icy geysers, but were confused how such an isolated, small world could be thermodynamically active enough to generate either of them."
Federal Register Watch
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Mike Powers 2003-06-23 15:00
What freedoms have you lost this week? The Federal Register is the official daily publication for Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as Executive Orders and other Presidential Documents. This column attempts to summarize the highlights (or lowlights) of the Federal Register during the preceding week. Instructions for subscribing to the Federal...
Return to the Constitution??!
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Kitty Antonik Wakfer 2003-06-23 15:00
'Return to the Constitution!' is a cry raised frequently by many who are understandably angered by heavy government intervention in their daily affairs at home, in the workplace, traveling - everywhere and at any time. It is the position taken by these rightfully frustrated individuals that if the US had a government pared back to the scope of that envisioned by the Founding Fathers, then all...
The Best Show in Town
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Uri Avnery 2003-06-22 15:00
The most talented director could not have done better. It was a perfect show. Television viewers all over the world saw heroic Israeli soldiers on their screens battling the fanatical settlers. Close-ups: faces twisted with passion, a soldier lying on a stretcher, a young woman crying in despair, children weeping, youngsters storming forward in fury, masses of people wrestling with each other. A...
The Fat MAN in Little Boy
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Adam Engel 2003-06-22 15:00
Let's talk about the night The Fat MAN raped you. How old were you, seven, eight, nine? I was eight, I think. 'KABOOM!' the Fat MAN screamed. 'What? What?' 'Only kidding,' laughed The Fat MAN, stroking HIS Bomb. 'Go back to sleep.' 'Jesus Christ. How the Hell'm I suppose to sleep NOW?' 'Relax. If I had really let this sucker go, you'd be part of the rug by now. A little Rorschach blot of...
A Nation of Armchair Dictators
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Jacob Halbrooks 2003-06-22 15:00
Occasionally a college girl will call me at home and request that I take a political poll. Unfortunately, I'm too polite to simply hang up the phone. The result is an awkward experience for all involved. She pretends that I wasn't put on the list by mistake, and I pretend that there's a 'none of the above' option for every question. It finally ends when she asks whether I'm a Republican,...
Ethnic Purgation, Academic Disaster
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Fred Reed 2003-06-22 15:00
Oh good. In the Washington Post [1], the trade journal of the coming vacuum, I discover a story on "Whiteness Studies." These, at what used to be the University of Massachusetts, are yet more un-courses that grow like mold on the wreckage of American education. They endeavor to make white students ashamed of being white. How useful.
A Good Day Indeed
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Craig Russell 2003-06-22 15:00
Sometimes you learn from books. Sometimes you learn from other people. Sometimes you learn directly, sometimes indirectly. Other times you learn just by watching, by noticing things, by asking yourself questions about them and trying as best you can to answer them . . . . It was, as Vito Corleone might have said, an offer I couldn't refuse: free tickets to see Steve Winwood and the Dead at...
Tyranny and the Tulia 38
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Mike Powers 2003-06-20 02:00
 What do you get when you combine a corrupt cop, an omnipotent government police task force that is accountable to none, and oppressive drug laws that deny citizens their basic civil liberties?  Dozens of innocent people imprisoned essentially for no reason, for allegedly doing harm to nobody but themselves.  Who would ever expect such a miscarriage of justice to occur in...
Permission To Be Free
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Jeff Baxter 2003-06-18 15:00
I am ambivalent re: same sex marriages--not my cup of tea, and I'd rather have a cold long-neck and an intelligent woman to talk to . . . but I digress. I caught the story last night--and I caught the hints of Ontario preparing to decide on it several weeks back. While it appears that it is a victory for personal freedom, in reality, it is not. It is a mere shift by the government in how it...
Untitled
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Joseph S. Bommarito 2003-03-17 16:00
Beyond the count of years I walked the world, and my children built their shrines to me.  Decades and centuries and millennia pass, and still the shrines are built. Temples insubstantial to men, clear to my eyes.  No foundations or walls or roofs, but shrines nonetheless. Holy ground, consecrated  Today, every day, somewhere in the world, the earth is prepared for my coming. ...
Taoism and Anarchy
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Mark Gillespie 2003-10-21 15:00
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 16:00
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 16:00
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 16:00
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 16:00
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 15:00
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 16:00
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 15:00
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 15:00
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 . . . .
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
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...