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Monday, April 27

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photo courtesy of Terry Chen

Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR You are notified by a group of strangers that you must send them a large amount (by ounce? gram?) of money. The request is reasonably polite, although there is, in small print, or hushed, mumbled tones, a promise of unpleasantness should you decline the request. Or perhaps you learn, by TV or newspaper, that henceforth you will be required to do something which you had not previously been required to do: carry certain papers on your person at all times,...
Original article "In a series of articles, Eric Lipton of The New York Times examines the explosion in lobbying of state attorneys general by corporate interests and the millions in campaign donations they now provide."
Original article "American foreign policy has been the instrument of the corporate class since the turn of the last century. This is what empires are all about – and, as imperiums go, ours is in a class of corruption all by itself."
Original article A brief critique of some lesser known selections from Marx.
Original article "Some 900 people from Libya may have died when their boats capsized in the Mediterranean Sea as they fled the barbaric chaos that the Obama administration helped unleash in Libya in 2011. Yet, the mainstream U.S. media has amnesia about the bloody American hand in this tragedy, writes Robert Parry."
Original article "Turse has unearthed a continent’s worth of bad behavior, even as U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) went out of its way to obstruct his reporting and the documents he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act were so heavily redacted that ink companies must be making a fortune."
Original article "The growing 1,200-file record is comprised of 8,900 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the files of various FBI informants and government employees engaged in “domestic intelligence work” since the 1950s."
Original article The real problem is the belief that all our social problems can be solved with force.
Original article "It's a strange demand to make on a political philosophy -- that it instantly fix everything that the opposing philosophy has broken. Moreover, I'm concerned that some libertarians, in their justifiable enthusiasm for "the market," inadvertently lead nonlibertarians to think that this unrealistic expectation is part of their philosophy. Of course, that is not good because nonlibertarians won't believe that the market would make all things right overnight, and so they...
Original article "In a landmark 2009 report, the National Academy of Sciences concluded that, aside from DNA, there was little, if any, meaningful scientific underpinning to many of the forensic disciplines. “With the exception of nuclear DNA analysis … no forensic method has been rigorously shown to have the capacity to consistently, and with a high degree of certainty, demonstrate a connection between evidence and a specific individual or source,” reads the report."
Original article "But in hindsight, there’s a giant, glaring problem with my educational experience: I hardly did any real thinking, and I didn’t really give a damn about learning. At least not for most of that time. For the vast majority of my “education”, I wasn’t asking deep, probing questions; I wasn’t generating original ideas about the topics at hand; I wasn’t engaging in creative problem-solving; I wasn’t imagining multiple perspectives or...
Original article "Why in the world has JP Morgan accumulated more than55 million ounces of physical silver?  Since early 2012, JP Morgan’s stockpile has grown from less than 5 million ounces of physical silver to more than 55 million ounces of physical silver.  Clearly, someone over at JP Morgan is convinced that physical silver is a great investment."
Original article "Reflecting on the diverse ways in which libertarians seek to reduce the states impact in our lives, a general theme emerges. When previous revolutions have been loud, confrontational and very often violent, the libertarian revolution in its myriad forms is all about evading, creating and finding more ways in which we can avoid conflict. It is not about resisting but simply not complying, which may make it the quietest, and best, revolution to date."
Original article Some of the history and business models of various blockchain startups.
Original article Will recent breakthroughs in computer science make truly free markets a reality?  
Original article "Since early in 2013, Darkcoin has been a permanent fixture in the daily digital currency news. From Darkcoin’s initial meteoric rise, quickly reaching a USD value of $15, to the level of security and innovation it provides for privacy seekers, to the failures and triumphs of the “Masternode Network”, Darkoin has been almost as interesting and intriguing as Bitcoin itself. And 2015 is shaping up to be a year of rebirth for Darkcoin, which is now Dash. We discuss...
Original article Learn how to use PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) to protect your communications.
Who Owns What?
9.75
Paul Hein 2012-03-28 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Are you the owner of some property? For many of us, the answer would be, “Of course. I own a home, and a car.” Maybe, for some, an additional home, and several cars, plus a boat. But whatever it is, it’s yours, and you own it, right? You even have impressive documents like “Title,” or “Deed.”   It is interesting...
Hyperdeflation, Hyperinflation, or Choice C?
0
David Calderwood 2012-03-27 00:00
Column by David Calderwood. Exclusive to STR  When it comes to liberty, I am both idealist and pragmatist.   Ideally, I favor the notion that the cooperative, mutually voluntary way we all usually interact with each other in our daily lives is the same system that can and should govern all human social interactions. This makes me a Voluntaryist, or individualist-anarchist, or whatever...
Terrorist Alert: Government Extremists Threaten Americans MUST READ
9
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 [...
Star-Crossed Super Ships: Titanic, Enterprise, America
10
Douglas Herman 2012-03-23 00:00
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR The whole world looked different one hundred years ago.   In 1912, the automobile and the airplane were curiosities. England enjoyed an enormous empire in 1912, served by freighters, tankers, liners and warships. As immigration flooded across the Atlantic Ocean, hundreds of those ships ferried passengers across to America. Shipyards launched bigger...
Finding the Divine
10
Glen Allport 2012-03-22 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR   Scientific consensus is emerging that people are fundamentally empathic, kind, fair-minded, and cooperative. Yet these characteristics are being undermined by widespread emotional damage and a corrupt system of coercive governance.      - 1 - Why So Much Darkness Staining the Light?     "The divine within me...
The Free Lunch
10
Paul Hein 2012-03-21 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR  If you watch political commentators on television, you won’t have to watch very long before the subject of the national debt is introduced. That, in itself, is interesting, because the national debt has been around for a very long time indeed. Evidently it has reached such proportions today that it cannot be ignored, and the pundits are wringing...
The God Question
9.14286
Jim Davies 2012-03-19 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Why does it matter, to market anarchists, whether or not God exists? Surely all would be able, in a free society, to believe whatever they wish about religion? That was the thrust of Paul Bonneau's recent article here, and he added that it's counterproductive for the libertarian spokesman to ridicule the religious. His point is well taken. In the...
Dehumanizing People is Fun
8.85714
Paul Bonneau 2012-03-13 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It is clearly fun to make fun of people. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be such a popular pastime.   One can imagine why we are prone to this kind of behavior. For example, in the old days, if you wanted to slaughter another tribe and steal their women and take all their stuff, dehumanizing them first was eminently sensible. It erases all inhibitions...
Milking Cubans
0
Emiliano Antunez 2012-03-09 01:00
Column by Emiliano Antunez. Exclusive to STR A former resident of Hialeah, Florida today finds himself in the less hospitable surroundings of a Cuban prison for the unspeakable crime of running a successful farm on the island gulag. Among other things, Juan Carlos Rodriguez allegedly produced too much milk and overpaid his employees, because apparently the last thing a workers' paradise needs is...
Psychology Rules Again!
9.25
Paul Hein 2012-03-09 01:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Readers of STR are no doubt familiar with George Washington’s characterization of government as force, not reason. (Has any president since ever acknowledged that?) In our time, we can find plenty of examples of government achieving its goals with violence, and I’m thinking not only of the federal government, but even local government. Just search...
Official Hypocrisy
9.33333
Mark Davis 2013-07-12 08:07
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR "To blindly trust government is to automatically vest it with excessive power. To distrust government is simply to trust humanity--to trust in the ability of average people to peacefully, productively coexist without some official policing their every move. The State is merely another human institution--less creative than Microsoft, less reliable than...
Race Hucksters Bore Me
9.33333
Paul Bonneau 2013-07-18 06:55
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It’s a wonder how worked up people can get themselves over a little melanin in skin. Most often it is just a joke, but it can become tedious at times. Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are not the only race hucksters, although they come immediately to mind when you hear the term. There are armies of race hucksters in government, the folks who have...
Government Is a Garbage Dump
9.25
Alex R. Knight III 2010-04-30 03:00
Exclusive to STR   I was recently sent two friendly little notices from the government of Vermont, via the U.S. government’s postal monopoly, to the effect that it was time to fork over some of my money to purchase a new slip of paper and a couple of stickers so as to “register” my automobile, and to purchase a new laminated piece of paper with photo (though in Vermont, the...
Bankers on Trial
9.25
Jim Davies 2010-08-10 03:00
Column by Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR     Several of my friends insert the two letters "st" in the middle of the word, to express the view that bankers make up a large, organized criminal class. Here, I'll follow the principle that people are innocent until proven guilty, and check some of the evidence, but meanwhile leave those letters out.   At root, a bank...
Ethics and Morals and Law, Oh My!
9.25
tzo 2011-11-08 01:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   "It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words." ~Syme, 1984   Ah, words.   Philosophy is the pursuit of knowledge distinguishable from other methods by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.   When we discuss the organization of society, we are in the realm of political philosophy....
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...
Government Is Not Civilization, It Is Slavery
9.25
JGVibes 2012-03-05 01:00
Column by JGVibes. Exclusive to STR  One of the most pervasive misconceptions in our culture is the idea that “government” has anything to do with the structure or organization that we see in our society. This is one of the primary reasons why people have such a difficult time considering the very real possibility of a world without the organization known as “...
Psychology Rules Again!
9.25
Paul Hein 2012-03-09 01:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Readers of STR are no doubt familiar with George Washington’s characterization of government as force, not reason. (Has any president since ever acknowledged that?) In our time, we can find plenty of examples of government achieving its goals with violence, and I’m thinking not only of the federal government, but even local government. Just search...
The God Slide
9.25
tzo 2012-11-08 01:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Religion is always a fun topic to address, since no one ever really gets fired up about it . . . . While Voluntaryists acknowledge that government is aggressive, unethical, and is often likened to religion in that it is based on superstitious beliefs, it is commonly held that religion is only dangerous when coupled with government force. If people want to believe...
Evicting the Statist Within Us
9.25
Paul Bonneau 2012-12-11 09:12
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Himalayan blackberries, Rubus armeniacus, were introduced into America in 1885 as a berry crop, but escaped cultivation and have become a pest plant in the Pacific Northwest particularly. One day I was visiting my parents when I found Dad out doing one of the usual tasks around here, beating back the blackberries. He was calmly, quietly snipping 4-inch...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
10
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
10
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
10
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
10
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
0
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
9
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
10
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...