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Friday, July 11

Guest Editor

Ken Kraska is the guest editor today.

WANTED: A new guest editor for Saturdays.  A guest editor selects the external links for that day and then uploads them to STR.  If you're interested, please email me.

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photo courtesy of Moyan Brenn

Original article In 225 years no American president, no matter how autocratic, violent, corrupt, incompetent, or enfeebled by age or illness, has ever been successfully removed from office. So much for all that “checks and balances” stuff they taught us in high school civics class. Quite soon now I expect the Land of the Free™ will have “presidents for life” too.  
Original article Berkeley, CA city ordinance now requires marijuana clinics to  “donate” two percent of their inventory to low income and homeless stoners.   
Original article “Of course, if things ever soured with the [currently ruling] Democrats, the oligarchs can always look for benefactors among Republicans legislators, as Facebook and Google are already doing,. “ But of course!  
Original article A blog post by ex-NYT war correspondent and USMC combat veteran C.J. Chivers showing how it’s done and providing a recent example.  
Original article It’s not the product he sells that’s the problem, say the tax cops, it’s that he didn't pay RI the required kickback for doing so. 
Original article Oz’s national police say that ten-percent (and the number is growing) of the guns they seize are now homemade.   
Original article Got a primo parking spot? Put it on the app and squat on it till someone shows up and pays you to move on and take the space for themselves. Easy peasy! But nobody should be able to sell “public space” parking rights except the city government, right? Nah.  
Original article This is bad in itself, but the larger point should be that no one is fit to rule over others whether they’re elected or of royal lineage.  
Original article  And yes, the Land of the Free is™ on the list too.  
Original article “The EPA is planning to expand its jurisdiction over the nation’s waterways under the Clean Water Act to include ditches, small streams, ponds, and other purely local waterways.” Even the puddle at the end of my driveway? Probably so, in time.
Original article Of course she’s employed, presumably at a good salary, by Google, so there’s that.  
Original article Finally a good use for all that surveillance technology.  
Original article Sheesh. You can tell that place is secure and well-run. (Not.)  
Original article One government agency asks for information from another government agency and the former refuses. A head-shakingly ridiculous situation, but a true story.  
Prohibition Did Work . . . Sort Of
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Bob Wallace 2011-10-07 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   Several pundits (among them William Bennett and Ann Coulter) have claimed Prohibition worked. They’re right. It did work…sort of.   Alcohol consumption dropped by 50%, cirrhosis of the liver by 63%, admissions for alcohol psychosis by 60%, and arrests for drunk and disorderly, by 50%.   That’s the good news....
History's Most Elaborate Ad Hoc Hypothesis
9.8
livefreeretiree 2011-10-05 00:00
Column by Vahram G. Diehl. Exclusive to STR  In the formulation of scientific laws, there is a concept called an “ad-hoc hypothesis”.  A hypothesis is essentially just a generalization, a singular idea encompassing and explaining a particular set of observed events. It is the starting point for all new understanding, the first attempt at comprehension of something...
American Christian Fascists
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Bob Wallace 2011-10-03 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   If fascism ever comes to America, it won’t be through insignificant groups such as American Nazis or the KKK, both of which together could field a couple of softball teams. It’ll come through “Christians,” specifically the blood-thirsty ones who support war.   This kind of Christian supports the State, and...
A Roadmap for the Lost Generation
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Westernerd 2011-09-30 00:00
Column by Robert Taylor.   Exclusive to STR   "Society is a contract between the living, the dead and those who are yet to be born."  ~ Edmund Burke For the first time in history, the amount of student loan debt now exceeds the amount of credit card debt in America. For centuries, the US government has been heavily subsidizing student loans and propagating the myth...
The Most Important Jobs in the World--Education and Parenthood
8.5
livefreeretiree 2011-09-29 00:00
Column by Vahram G. Diehl.   Exclusive to STR   The essence of culture is formed by ideas that are passed down through the generations. Politics, religion, customs, language, etiquette, fashion, music, sports, cuisine, and every other ideology that distinguishes one place from the next constitutes culture. Everything about culture has developed respective to each group of...
The Oldest Institution
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Paul Hein 2011-09-29 00:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   No, I’m not referring to the oldest occupation--assuming it IS the oldest. I am speaking of a social institution which must have begun when Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden, and which has flourished ever since. It is slavery.   In its most obvious and elemental form (which is the only way most people think of it), it consists of...
Staying Sane in an Unsane World
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livefreeretiree 2011-09-27 00:00
Column by Vahram G. Diehl. Exclusive to STR It is no secret that most people do not know what they are talking about, most of the time, on most subjects.  As a young person with an inclination toward the exclusive use of reason, this is for me an especially infuriating environmental defect.  People who cannot use reason (most people) will substitute authority in its place,...
All Men Are Created Equal
9.75
tzo 2011-09-27 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Near the end of "The Failed Theory of Relativity," I wrote:   "There must be universal objective human values and ethics that are inextricably tied to human existence and grounded in empirical fact that apply to us all. Exploring what some of them may be is beyond the scope of this little essay…."   It is now time to...
A Rationalist's Call to Action: Commence Breeding
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livefreeretiree 2011-09-20 00:00
Column by Vahram G. Diehl. Exclusive to STR Crisis! The planet is in a state of dreary imbalance! Tasks that should take three steps take three hundred! Human affairs everywhere are initiated with unnecessary hardship and carried through with extensive roundabout hoop-jumping and mountains of parlor-trick paperwork! Entire populaces can scantily differentiate their defecatory...
User's Guide to Spreading the Philosophy of Liberty Recommended
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livefreeretiree 2011-09-19 00:00
Column by Vahram G. Diehl. Exclusive to STR Whatever the collective heading they arbitrarily choose to fall under, the supporters and practitioners of free choice who reject coercion through force or fraud as a viable ethical standard are constantly facing barriers in the path to spreading this moral precept to those around them. Those who believe in a stateless and free society absent of...
The Philosophy of Authority
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tzo 2010-07-30 03:00
By tzo.   Exclusive to STR   “Authority” is one of those words that is commonly used but less commonly understood. It may be claimed that a person has the authority to decide what to do with his own life and property, and it may also be claimed that a police officer has the authority to arrest a person who has broken the law. How does the concept of authority properly apply...
Reflections on the Evolution of the Welfare-Warfare State
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Duane Colyar 2010-08-24 03:00
By Duane Colyar.   Exclusive to STR   Expanding on the ideas presented in by the author in a previous column, the reader is invited to imagine a federation, such as the United States, where the central, federal government functioned within the limits imposed by a founding document, such as the Constitution of the United States. Now imagine everyday life for the citizens of the...
Education and the Individual
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Michael Kleen 2010-09-10 03:00
By Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   In the intellectual battlefield, libertarians, individualists, and anti-Statists have frequently neglected the subject of childhood education (1-8th Grades) and the intellectual development of children. Because of the laissez faire nature of our philosophy, we are more willing to leave those matters up to parents or to the individuals themselves....
Become Dangerous
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Paul Bonneau 2010-09-16 03:00
By Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   You know who you are. You're a "philosophical libertarian" or "philosophical anarchist." You might think of yourself as a bit bookish or intellectual. You tend to express yourself through words rather than action.   You have a philosophical agreement, perhaps including some discomfort, with the right to bear arms. You either...
Annoying Guy
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tzo 2010-09-29 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   A play in one act. SCENE: Two people chatting in a coffee shop.   A: Let me ask you something. Are you an ethical person?   B: I would like to think so, yes.   A: Do you use violence to get what you want?   B: No! What do you mean?   A: If you want a new shirt, do you steal it from someone?   B: Of course not.   A:...
Malthus' Mistakes
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Jim Davies 2010-10-08 03:00
Column by Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR   The Reverend Thomas Malthus was no dummy. He made a colossal and famous error by predicting at the end of the 18th Century that human population would stop growing for want of food to feed any more people, but he was a serious scholar nonetheless. He was a fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge and as well as being an Anglican clergyman was...
It's Better to Lose an Election, Than to Win
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Paul Bonneau 2010-10-08 03:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   I've read lots of articles about the disutility of voting. It's not like there are a shortage of them! Here's my take on it, perhaps a bit different than most (my title refers to winning or losing from the voter's point of view, not the politician's).   At my age, 60, I've seen a lot of elections. Much of my life was spent in frantically...
Terms of Association Recommended
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Jim Davies 2010-10-15 03:00
Column by Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR    An advocate for the US Constitution recently argued on the Peter Mac Show that any group of people in any locality properly has the right to set up an association and to define its terms. He was correct, of course. The terms agreed would relate to who can belong and who, not--and to how decisions of policy and practice shall be made, as...
Your Sticker Makes a Lot of Sense Recommended
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Per Bylund 2010-11-03 03:00
Column by Per Bylund.   Exclusive to STR   Election Day means there are a lot of people walking around proudly carrying a sticker on their collar or lapel: “I Voted.” It bothered me at first that they would take pride in such ugly, immoral, and destructive behavior and that they so urgently wanted me to see that they had cast a ballot. I do not particularly like that these...
Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Libertarian
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Duane Colyar 2010-11-05 03:00
Column by Duane Colyar.   Exclusive to STR   Over the years I’ve enjoyed introducing my children and grandchildren to the concept of liberty and the freedom-threatening hazards of the welfare-warfare state. This introduction has started when they were as young as three years old. The reader might ask, “How can this be? Children that young can’t...
'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...