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Wednesday, August 27

Guest Editor

A. Magnus is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Kansas Poetry

Original article ""Utility disconnection is always considered a last resort, obviously because of consequences for households," but as Detroit News reports, but water-providers can expect more controversy, as a month-long moratorium against shutting off water for those behind on their bills expired last night."
Original article "Beginning next year, if you buy a cell phone in California that gets lost or stolen, you’ll have a built-in ability to remotely deactivate the phone under a new “kill switch” feature being mandated by California law—but the feature will make it easier for police and others to disable the phone as well, raising concerns among civil liberties groups about possible abuse."
Original article "‘It's a cosmic coincidence that connects one of Nasa’s iconic past outer solar system explorers, with our next outer solar system explorer,’ said Dr Jim Green, director of Nasa’s Planetary Science Division at Nasa Headquarters in Washington. ‘Exactly 25 years ago at Neptune, Voyager 2 delivered our “first” look at an unexplored planet."
Original article "The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter. The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online. The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation,...
Original article "“[The program] is obviously very sloppy, and it’s another reason that Congress needs to revisit this promptly,” said Tim Lynch, director of the CATO Institute’s project on criminal justice. “We don’t know where these weapons are going, whether they are really lost, or whether there is corruption involved.”"
Original article "Ahead of the bypoll, over 90 licensed gun owners in Saharanpur have been issued notices to surrender their weapons with immediate effect to the district police. "People have started surrendering their weapons already. The notices were issued two days ago," said a senior police officer. The last date for depositing weapons is August 27. "During the election, each licensed weapon will be kept in the strong room of police stations," said the officer."
Original article "When does a prohibitive law become a police state excuse to use coercive force? Answer, when agency regulations say so in their playbook manual. The years of incrementalism are over. The bipartisan administrations during your lifetime have eroded the “pursuit of happiness” to such an extent that it has become a mere memory of what once was."
Original article "But the most encouraging reason to boycott such campaigns is the fact that people are reversing this and other neurodegenerative diseases naturally. Unfortunately, a campaign to get that important and potentially life-saving information out to the public at large has been shadowed by a giant ice bucket."
Original article "A Kauai County law requiring companies to disclose their use of pesticides and genetically modified crops is invalid, a federal judge ruled Monday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren ruled in favor of four seed companies seeking to stop Kauai's new law from going into effect in October. Syngenta Seeds, DuPont Pioneer, Agrigenetics Inc., doing business as Dow AgroSciences, and BASF Plant Sciences sued for a permanent injunction, arguing the ordinance unfairly targets their industry."
Original article In honor of the waning days of summer...
Favorite Local Boondoggles
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Paul Bonneau 2014-03-19 08:20
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The town government just got done patting themselves on the back for a renovated library. I notice in the “key numbers” sidebar, they left out “Money stolen from taxpayers.” In the story, though, it’s explained that it cost $9.5 million dollars; but if I am not mistaken, this bought not a single book. This sort of thing is...
On the Institution of Marriage
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PSYCHOTICNUT 2014-03-19 08:05
Column by new Root Striker Steven Holman. Exclusive to STR Intro This has been a long time coming. Recently, many of my friends and family have been getting engaged and married, so I thought I would report my understanding of the institution. First, I’d like to say that I love my friends and family and support them in their life choices, and wish nothing but happiness for them. I don’...
What's Mine Is Yours--If You Say So
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Paul Hein 2014-03-18 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Reading the newspaper this morning, I got the impression that the purpose of the paper is to obscure, rather than present, the news. The front page headline, for instance, was a piece about a local hockey player, and his rise to fame. Succeeding pages concerned local school board problems, and other such trivia. Not until page seven was there any information...
A Critique of 'Against Libertarian Brutalism'
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Paul Bonneau 2014-03-16 23:18
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Jeffrey Tucker writes a thoughtful (if not concise) article in his Against Libertarian Brutalism, but at the end, one is left unsatisfied. It has the flavor of one big straw man argument, as well as looking like a bit of “divide and conquer,” splitting libertarians unnecessarily into two distinct camps (as if we did not have enough camps...
Home of the Slave, Land of the Fee
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Paul Hein 2014-03-06 09:10
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR My Fourth Edition of Black’s Law dictionary defines “slave” thusly: “a person who is wholly subject to the will of another.” The phrase “will of another” sounded familiar. I checked the same dictionary for “statute,” and found it defined as the “written will of the legislature.” You might come...
Fun With Freedom: Keeping Your Dignity With the TSA (Thousands of Sexual Assailants)
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2014-03-03 01:00
By Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR Ever since the blowback retaliation of 9/11, the government has subjected people trapped in the United States with a constant stream of propaganda, war-making tax-theft, police-state spying, and outright physical and sexual molestation at airports. Although oodles of self-deceived parrots (my apologies to that noble bird) dutifully repeat the doxology...
The Last Days of Government
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Jim Davies 2014-02-25 09:03
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR At about 7.35 p.m. ET on February 22nd, the NBC News TV reporter grabbed my attention with the following, as well as I can recall it: “Government has disappeared.” and “The are no policemen to be seen. Not even traffic cops.” This, again, was 2014 – not 2027. And it was not a spoof, like the alien invasion one in 1938. The...
Trade Unions
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Jim Davies 2014-02-24 01:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR On February 14th the UAW took another kick in the teeth; employees of Volkswagen at its plant in Chattanooga voted 712 to 626 not to join. Trade unionists everywhere were buzzing like demented hornets; on The Guardian website I offered a little comfort (“The union lost. Boo-hoo. Get over it. Unions are parasites.”) but, alas, I was heavily...
A Minor Office
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Paul Hein 2014-02-19 09:08
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The advertisement headline read: “President increases amount seniors can get from reverse mortgages.” Imagine the astonishment that the Founding Fathers would experience if they could read that! “What in the world does the president have to do with mortgages, whether forward, reverse, or sideways?” They would be flabbergasted to hear...
Rothbard vs. LeFevre
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Jim Davies 2014-02-17 23:06
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR The Complete Libertarian Forum (CLF) is a massive work, and by not hurrying I'm making some slow but satisfying progress. I'm up to October 1973, and at Kindle location 25370 there are some remarks by Murray Rothbard about Robert LeFevre. Apparently this libertarian scholar and apologist wasn't quite to Murray's liking, for I'd seen...
Does the American Empire Deserve to Die?
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Douglas Herman 2009-11-01 17:00
 Exclusive to STR November 2, 2009 I’m halfway through a reflective book written by an old curmudgeon. Part patriot, part historian, all gadfly, Gore Vidal wrote Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia in 2004, just before the upcoming national elections. Almost a time capsule coupled with dire prophecy, the book is a sober,...
Voting Sophisms
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Mike Powers 2008-11-03 04:00
 Exclusive to STR   With Election Day looming, Americans are constantly being reminded about the importance of voting.  Politicians, news media, celebrities, and talk show hosts alike wax poetic about this hallowed institution we call democracy and how crucial it is for voters to cast their ballot.    Rock the Vote!  Vote for Change!  ...
Do It. Vote. MUST READ
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strike 2001-12-31 04:00
They Hate Us Because of Our Freedom
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Alfred A. Hambi... 2004-04-19 00:00
Whenever I hear 'they hate us because of our freedom' or "because they hate our way of life" or some other such drivel, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. If real people didn't suffer the consequences of it, such ignorance would be amusing. But another annoying thing about statements like these is that they perpetuate the myth that we live in a land of freedom. The sad fact is, we are not...
Let Us Awake Now
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B.R. Merrick 2009-06-04 03:00
Exclusive to STR On May 30, 1962, a modern musical masterpiece premiered in England ’s newest cathedral, built next to the remains of the cathedral that was destroyed when the Nazis bombed Coventry .  Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem" combines two choirs, two orchestras, three vocal soloists, and the Latin religious funeral text with...
The Abolitionist Argument in 35 Seconds MUST READ
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Glen Allport 2010-06-21 03:00
Exclusive to STR   -1- ". . . a power too great and terrible to imagine."   The Lord of the Rings trilogy was released on Blu-Ray in April, which reminded me that I hadn't seen the first installment, The Fellowship of the Ring, since its theatrical release in 2001. While watching the film again I was struck anew with its abolitionist message – a message that is clear,...
Who Is Afraid of a Real Inquiry?
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Uri Avnery 2010-06-21 03:00
  If a real Commission of Inquiry had been set up (instead of the pathetic excuse for a commission), here are some of the questions it should have addressed:   1. What is the real aim of the Gaza Strip blockade?   2. If the aim is to prevent the flow of arms into the Strip, why are only 100 products allowed in (as compared to the more than 12 thousand products in an average Israeli...
Public vs. Private
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Paul Hein 2010-07-19 03:00
By Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR     The two terms have always confused me. In general, public means the people considered as a whole, the populace, the citizenry, etc. Private, on the other hand, refers to particular individuals. So public ownership means ownership by everyone, which is a bewildering concept, to say the least. Private ownership, on the other hand, is...
Had Enough Government 'Regulation' Yet? MUST READ
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Glen Allport 2010-08-19 03:00
By Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR    - 1 - The Blessings of True Regulation in a Civil Society   Many things should be regulated – for health and safety, for protection against fraud, and for other reasons.   Regulation is a normal function of civil society. We don't want to get electrocuted when we touch a toaster or vacuum cleaner, for example, and the makers of...
Blame Wikileaks?
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Patrick Coleman 2010-08-27 03:00
By Patrick Coleman.   Exclusive to STR   The media controversy concerning the recent leak of over 91,000 military reports, termed the “Afghan war diary,” by Wikileaks.org has focused very much around the supposed moral culpability of Wikileaks as an organization, its founder, Julian Assange, as well as the accused leaker, Bradley Manning, who now faces 52 years in prison for...
'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
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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
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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
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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...
Oh, Stanley MUST READ
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tzo 2011-03-30 03:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Stanley Milgram was an American social psychologist best known for his Milgram Experiment, a study conducted in the 1960s.   Dr. Milgram wanted to research the relationship between obedience and authority, and he was at least partly motivated to do so by the events of the Nazi Holocaust. It greatly troubled him that so many supposedly good people could...