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Monday, October 12

Guest Editor

Melinda Secor is the guest editor today.

WANTED: New guest editors for Saturdays and Sundays.  If you're interested, please email me.

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photo courtesy of Mr. Brendel

Original article "The U.S. would be severely mistaken if it believes the sending of a warship through what China perceives as sovereign territory will be perceived as anything other than offensive aggression by an imperialist power. The U.S. is already engaged in proxy wars with Russia in Ukraine and Syria, which have the potential to devolve into an open conflict between the superpowers. Attempting to intimidate the Chinese in their own backyard seems like an extremely ill conceived move at this time....
Original article "A rationale for opposing Russia’s bombing of ISIS has been manufactured, and is now escalating – with a chorus of criticism citing the reported errors of Putin’s 'unprofessional' campaign, as Secretary Carter termed it....The world need not be convinced of these arguments, only enough Americans to show support in polls for U.S. forces operating directly in Syria, and meeting Russia on the battle lines as an enemy."
Original article "Here's something you probably never saw or heard about in the west. This is Putin answering questions regarding ISIS from a US journalist at the Valdai International Discussion Club in late 2014."
Original article "The old adage, 'desperate times call for desperate measures' appears to be the theme of U.S. officials these days. With Russia entering the fray in Syria, the United States’ ultimate goal of ousting President Bashar al-Assad is becoming much more elusive. So is that why U.S. officials and analysts essentially applauded this weekend when ISIS killed a top Iranian military commander in Syria?"
Original article "The US Treasury has recently opened an inquiry about the so-called 'Islamic State’s' (ISIS/ISIL) use of large numbers of brand-new Toyota trucks. The issue has arisen in the wake of Russia’s air operations over Syria and growing global suspicion that the US itself has played a key role in arming, funding, and intentionally perpetuating the terrorist army across Syria and Iraq."
Original article "Last year’s National Defense Authorization Act allocated half a billion dollars to train 'vetted,' 'moderate' rebels to attack ISIS in Syria and also to overthrow the country’s sovereign government. This schizophrenic policy goal not surprisingly produced a total (after the others were killed, captured, or willingly gave their weapons to ISIS) of four or five fighters. Even this micro force of five ultimately found itself in the depths of embarrassment as it...
Original article "As US attempts to extort a settlement in Syria built on regime-change, US senators and generals conspire to arm and back a new terrorist army aimed at Iran."
Original article "Fighting toxic spills is serious business."
Original article "According to an emergency plan recently distributed by St. Louis County officials, a fire at the Bridgeton Landfill is now within 1,000 feet of a nuclear waste dump. The landfill fire has actually been burning for over 5 years, and they have been unable to contain it thus far."
Original article "And just in case anyone wants to feel superior about China's decision to grade its entire populace on a mandatory curve, let's not forget that employers and loan providers are using applicants' social media interactions to determine their worthiness -- including who they're friends with and what those friends are posting to Twitter, Facebook, etc. The US government may not be calling for a 'citizen score,' but there have been pushes for a national ID, and...
Original article "The U.N. will be considering norms related to cyberspace security this month. A committee comprised of 20 nations published a proposal over the summer for the General Assembly to consider."
Original article "In recent weeks, the organization’s members have embarked on creative protests that encourage  current intelligence employees to follow their conscience and quit. Their latest stunt, over an NSA facility in Germany, involved a drone and fliers."
Original article "The New York Police Department is out of control, and the New York City prosecutors are right there with them. In a case of unbelievable police and prosecutorial abuse of power, the NYPD broke an NBA player’s leg last April for 'contempt of cop,' and prosecutors decided to ignore the evidence and slap Thabo Sefolosha with three criminal charges anyway."
Original article "Cigarette smoking and heavy alcohol use cause epigenetic changes to DNA that reflect accelerated biological aging in distinct, measurable ways, according to research. The researchers estimated biological age using a previously validated epigenetic 'clock' , calculated the difference between biological age and chronological age, and assessed the relationship between tobacco and alcohol use and premature aging."
Original article "The first ancient human genome from Africa to be sequenced has revealed that a wave of migration back into Africa from Western Eurasia around 3,000 years ago was up to twice as significant as previously thought, and affected the genetic make-up of populations across the entire African continent."
Original article A Photo Blog
The Fat MAN in Little Boy
Adam Engel 2003-06-22 16:00
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
Jacob Halbrooks 2003-06-22 16:00
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
Fred Reed 2003-06-22 16:00
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
Craig Russell 2003-06-22 16:00
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
Mike Powers 2003-06-20 03:00
 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
Jeff Baxter 2003-06-18 16:00
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...
Tomorrow's News...Today!
Joseph S. Bommarito 2003-06-18 16:00
Selected news items from June 15, 2015. Baghdad, Iraq-- CentCom commander General Frank Jones issued a statement today saying that it may soon be proven that Evil Dictator Saddam Hussein is, indeed, dead. Although soldiers of the Third Infantry Division have not yet breached the lowest level of Bunker #17, they have high hopes of finding the body of the Evil Dictator and refugee from justice,...
Which Side Are You On, Boys?
Bernard Chapin 2003-06-18 16:00
I have written before about the fact that I am a member of the nation's largest teaching union, although, other than having about $500 extorted from my check each year, I rarely have any dealings with its hierarchy. The one exception was in October of 2001. Back then, I was still paying into the union political action committee and was entitled to vote during the contract ratification process.
Adelaide's Whooping Cough, the Annihilation of Space, and You
Craig Russell 2003-06-18 16:00
We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph'but perchance the first news that will leak through into the broad flapping American ear will be that Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough. ~Thoreau, Walden Why are you reading this?
Prayers and Protection
Roger Young 2003-06-17 16:00
During the latest War of Yankee Aggression--this time against the sovereign country of Iraq--a prayer was circulated throughout the virtual mailboxes of the internet titled, 'A Special Prayer.' It reads as follows:
Taoism and Anarchy
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...