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Monday, June 29

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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 Theophilos Papadopoulos

Original article "Banks will remain shut until at least after a July 5 referendum called by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on whether to accept austerity in exchange for a European bailout, Kathemerini newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources."
Original article "With the eyes of the world on Greece and a possible collapse of the of the Eurozone as a likely end result, many are ignoring a potentially much more massive elephant in the room. It’s been the hottest market in the world, so flush with cash that they have actually built entire ghost-cities lacking populations and mega shopping centers without tenants – a clear sign of bubble waiting to be pricked. But the inevitable seems to now be taking hold as once unstoppable Chinese...
Original article "'In France, only half the population works,' concluded our friend. 'The other half tries to stop them.' With so many people trying to keep anything from happening, it’s no wonder many things don’t get done."
Original article "What’s more shocking is that this isn’t an isolated case. Airbnb has an entire page dedicated to tent rentals in California. I suppose it won’t be long before America starts spawning the most expensive shanty towns in the world."
Original article "Vladimir Putin denounces, more and more explicitly, the servility of France and Europe towards the United States, whether in the case of wire-tapping French leaders or that of Mistral ships."
Original article "With intra-Europe relations hitting a new all-time low; and, having already been busted spying on Merkel, Obama got caught with his hand in Hollande's cookie jar this week, the following exultation from one of Germany's top politicians will hardly help Washington-Brussells relations. As Russia Insider notes, Oskar Lafontaine is a major force in German politics so it caught people’s attention when he excoriated Ash Carter and Victoria Nuland on his Facebook page yesterday...
Original article "Thousands of angry, torch-bearing Hondurans marched on Friday to call for the resignation of President Juan Hernandez and demand an independent probe into one of the worst corruption scandals in the country's history."
Original article "Beyond the sensational headlines is the story of paid FBI informants with long criminal histories who spent a year working to befriend the brothers and enlist them as terrorists. This effort, both expensive and time-consuming, nevertheless failed to convince the Duka brothers to take part in a violent attack. Indeed, over the course of hundreds of hours of surveillance, the plot against Fort Dix was never even raised with them."
Original article "The program involved several weeks of 'amnesty' for 'pointed knives.' Civilians can turn in these apparently dangerous weapons at their local police station in exchange for 'amnesty,' apparently, even though knives (rounded or pointed) aren’t illegal in the United Kingdom.....Incidentally, the knife violence rate in the United Kingdom is about double the rate of gun violence in the United States." Sigh....Just in case you thought the "they'll...
Original article "A disturbing report published Wednesday by Human Rights Watch details how the Colombian military callously murdered thousands of innocent civilians and dressed their lifeless bodies in leftist rebels’ uniforms, just to artificially inflate the body count for a period of at least six years. The commander of the armed forces and other senior army brass knew about it the whole time"
Original article "You might think that young children would first learn to recognize sounds and then learn how those categories of sounds fit together into words. But that isn't how it works. Rather, kids learn sounds and words at the same time. Now, researchers present evidence from European starlings showing that songbirds learn their songs in much the same way."
Original article "A team of scientists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin has identified the first sensor of the Earth's magnetic field in an animal, finding in the brain of a tiny worm a big clue to a long-held mystery about how animals' internal compasses work. Animals as diverse as migrating geese, sea turtles and wolves are known to navigate using the Earth's magnetic field. But until now, no one has pinpointed quite how they do it. The sensor, found in worms called C....
Original article "Since it made its courtroom debut in the mid-1980s, DNA evidence has been integral to thousands of cases (including, famously, the OJ Simpson murder trial). Juries and lawyers alike generally consider DNA evidence to be extremely reliable—a 2005 Gallup poll found that 58 percent of people considered it to be 'very reliable.' But in reality, DNA evidence is much less reliable and objective than most people think."
Original article A Photo Blog
A Guru's Advice to a Presidential Hopeful
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George F. Smith 2003-06-09 16:00
So, you want to run for president of the United States. Good for you. As your political guru, I need to cover a few things with you. First, you're a multimillionaire, right? You're a billionaire? That's even better. And of course you're either a Republican or Democrat. You haven't decided yet? Let me suggest flipping a coin. Your strategy during the campaign is to smile...
New American Empire: Before the Fall
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Joe Blow 2003-06-08 16:00
This is an attempt to peer into the future over the next 70 years, developed over several weeks in April 2003 in collaboration with JCN, who provided valuable insights into the EU dimension. It presents a very condensed version of an enjoyable series of extended online discussions. 'Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before the fall.' ~ Proverbs 16:18 Abstract
Socialism: 'If You Build It, They Will Leave'
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Bernard Chapin 2003-06-08 16:00
One night during my ten year college reunion in June of 2001, my friend Grange and I retraced our old malingering grounds in the Coventry section of Cleveland Heights. We were disappointed to discover that the free-wheeling locale had turned into a suburban yuppie borough. All that remained from its bohemian past was a communist bookstore. Out of novelty, we decided to go in; although, much to...
Lessons of a Summer Day
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Alfred A. Hambi... 2003-06-08 16:00
So the kids they dance And shake their bones, And the politicians throwin' stones, Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down. Ashes, ashes, all fall down. ~ "Throwing Stones," by John Perry Barlow, with Bob Weir Based upon a true incident from childhood, a long, long time ago . . .
Adolph, Heinz and Poland
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Fred Reed 2003-06-08 16:00
In my daily snowstorm of email I find furious appeals to patriotism, usually addressed to large lists of recipients. The writers invoke The Founding Fathers, urge fealty, and counsel solidarity with all the whoop and holler of a camp meeting. I'm puzzled. Why is patriotism thought to be a virtue? It seems to me a scourge.
Character and Freedom
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Craig Russell 2003-06-04 16:00
Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. ~ Benjamin Franklin Baseball fans received a surprise the other day when Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs broke a bat during a game and the umpire saw that it had been corked. Earlier this year, Sosa hit his 500th homerun, thus ensuring, so many thought, a future spot in the Hall...
Just Following Orders
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Randall Schultz 2003-06-04 16:00
Most of us have heard of the excuse called "The Nuremburg Defense." At the trials of the Nazi war criminals in Nuremburg, many of the accused defended their actions by claiming that they were just following orders. It seems a bit odd that the state revenue agents, known as law enforcement, often use this exact same excuse when citizens complain to them about being shaken down. What is implicit...
Custody Court Massacre
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Bernard Chapin 2003-06-02 16:00
'Tell everybody my story. Name names. Tell the truth, everyone should hear about this.' These words came from my friend Robert after the resolution of his child custody case. Unfortunately, in what follows, I lack the cajones to name any names other than his. However, I will say that his ex-wife hailed from South America and that the court in question was in New York City .
Federal Register Watch
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Mike Powers 2003-06-02 16:00
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...
Radical Feminists Infest Canada
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Bernard Chapin 2003-06-01 16:00
I never thought I'd be as grateful as I am today that my grandfather accepted the Ford Motor Company's transfer from Canada to the USA back in 1925. He was a Canadian citizen living in the province of Ontario when Ford announced that the American plants needed more skilled laborers. Luckily, he gathered up his family and crossed the Ambassador Bridge to settle in the country in which he is now...
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...