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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Everybody knows pop music was a lot better 40 0r 50 years ago, right? But like most urban legends, this one is both true AND false too. Sprinkle a string of saccharine words and phrases together in any repetitive, random order--Baby, baby, I love you, love me, heart, hurt, tears, smiles, always, forever, never, together, baby--and anyone can devise a hit song for whichever young generation. For every troubled, heart hurt teenager forever baby, of...
Original article "House investigators concluded that Democratic IT aides made unauthorized access to congressional servers in 2016, allegedly accessing the data of members for whom they did not work, logging in as members of Congress themselves, and covering their tracks...."
Original article "Last week, a large part of the media ecosystem seemed to totally flip out following Facebook's announcement that it was going to effectively de-prioritize news content in favor of content from friends and family. Facebook was pretty direct about how this will decrease traffic to many publishers."
Original article "Turkey is poised for an imminent massive ground invasion of Northern Syria to quash Kurdish militia groups currently holding Afrin near the Turkish border. Multiple regional outlets have reported a build-up of forces that could constitute the largest external intervening force thus far in the entirety of the Syrian war."
Original article "With the reading of their own version of a Declaration of Independence, founders of the state of New California took the first steps to what they hope will eventually lead to statehood. To be clear, they don’t want to leave the United States, just California."
Original article "In its latest reminder that China is a (for now) happy holder of some $1.2 trillion in US Treasurys, Chinese credit rating agency Dagong downgraded US sovereign ratings from A- to BBB+ overnight, citing "deficiencies in US political ecology" and tax cuts that "directly reduce the federal government's sources of debt repayment" weakening the base of the government's debt repayment."
Original article "A video released by investigative journalist group Project Veritas shows Twitter employees expose top-secret details about their jobs. Senior Network Security Engineer Clay Haynes is heard in the footage captured January 6 speaking openly about how he is paid to access and analyze users' personal information - which includes browsing through hundreds of obscene pictures and messages."
Original article Something is very wrong.
Original article "This year that number [of homeless people] reached nearly 554,000...."
Original article "The Transtar Traffic Map is lit up like a Christmas tree out there with road and highway closures all across the region. The worst of it appears to be north and west of the city, but there have been numerous spots reported near town as well. Icy overpasses and bridges are perhaps the greatest concern, but there are patches of ice on side streets as well, particularly under overhanging trees where the ground is colder."
Original article RIP, Dolores.
Nuclear Warheads as Hostages
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Paul Bonneau 2016-11-16 07:16
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR In earlier times, victors in a war would take the sons of the vanquished rulers back home, to raise them as their own. This provided incentive for the rulers of the now-vassal states not to raise Hell any more (after all, it is the rulers, not the people, who start wars). I wonder if a modification of this hostage concept could not be applied to...
Clintonism, Unplugged
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Kevin M. Patten 2016-10-30 20:44
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR “Yes, that is what I would have said, and because there is no cosmic point to the life that each of us perceives on this distant bit of dust at galaxy’s edge, all the more reason for us to maintain in proper balance what we have here. Because there is nothing else. Nothing. This is it. And quite enough, all in all.” ~ Gore Vidal,...
Why the Ruling Class Likes Crime
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Paul Bonneau 2016-10-27 06:25
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Back during the American Revolution there were a lot of radical ideas floating around, one of which was “no standing army.” In those days before police existed, the army was what the rulers used to plunder the productive and keep the people under the rulers’ thumbs: “the sharp point of the spear.” The Crown used it that way in...
Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Pussy Control
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2016-10-26 07:26
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR By referencing Prince’s song, Pussy Control, I intentionally draw a link between politics and the intentional trespass of bodily boundaries. And it really does boil down to bodily integrity and respecting boundaries when you closely examine the concept of human rights – something the political process is designed to destroy. On one hand,...
Backing Bunk
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Paul Hein 2016-10-26 07:03
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR A monetary system that has replaced money with non-redeemable notes that can only enter circulation as a loan is doomed to collapse, and many have warned of that fate regarding our own system of ever-growing debt. Our situation is not unique, however. Governments all over the world have realized the advantage--temporary, of course, of issuing IOUs--never to...
Damage Control: The Panacea of Politics and How Voluntaryists Are Falling Prey to It
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Alex R. Knight III 2016-10-14 07:18
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR There’s been a trend of late, among both more and less visible “voluntaryists” in social media, the blogosphere, and elsewhere, to simply backpedal:  To retreat to the conclusion that, since a voluntary society isn’t happening any time soon, it’s best – in the name of what “progress” can “...
Consent and Secession
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Paul Bonneau 2016-10-05 07:48
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Carl Watner wrote an interesting article, back in 2000, concerning an apparent conflict between government by consent, and the difficulty of secession. At first glance, it appears that if government exists through the consent of the people, then secession should be possible and easy. Yet that is not the case today, or ever. How can that be? He writes, ...
Gun Control in the Third Reich
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Alex R. Knight III 2016-10-03 05:19
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR It is perhaps apropos – with gun control hysteria reaching a feverish pitch as society pushes towards another bi-annual rat-on-a-treadmill November bean counting -- that I just recently got around to reading Stephen P. Halbrook’s 2013 literary offering, Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and “Enemies of the State...
Bold New Steps
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Paul Hein 2016-09-29 08:05
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR How goes manufacturing in the United States? Not very well. We’ve all seen the empty stores in the mall, and read of small--and sometimes not so small—firms failing, or being gobbled up by larger ones. Only if you were in a coma could you fail to know of American firms moving to Mexico, or China, and the resultant loss of jobs. Manufacturing...
Can They Really Say That in a Movie?
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Douglas Herman 2016-09-28 07:52
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “But talking about it (freedom) and bein’ it, that’s two different things. I mean, it’s real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. Of course, don’t ever tell anybody that they’re not free, ‘cause then they’re gonna get real busy killin’ and maimin’ to prove to you...
Does the American Empire Deserve to Die?
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Douglas Herman 2009-11-01 16:00
 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 03:00
 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 03:00
They Hate Us Because of Our Freedom
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Alfred A. Hambi... 2004-04-18 23:00
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 02:00
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 02:00
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...
Who Is Afraid of a Real Inquiry?
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Uri Avnery 2010-06-21 02:00
  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 02:00
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 02:00
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 02:00
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...
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
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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
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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
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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...