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Monday, January 16

Guest Editor

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Melinda Secor is the guest editor today.
 

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “This is the true joy in life – being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one: being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” ~ George Bernard Shaw Mike: I’m a fellow Michigander, a fellow filmmaker like yourself, raised with...
Original article "Chief among the common misconceptions about the way official propaganda works is the notion that its goal is to deceive the public into believing things that are not 'the truth' (that Trump is a Russian agent, for example, or that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, or that the terrorists hate us for our freedom, et cetera). However, while official propagandists are definitely pleased if anyone actually believes whatever lies they are selling, deception is not their primary...
Original article "A couple of days ago, Politico published a fascinating piece describing how factions associated with the current Ukrainian government apparently interfered in the U.S. election on behalf of Hillary Clinton. The findings seem pretty damning, and certainly warrant at least some conversation within the American media given the 24/7 obsession with Russia. Nevertheless, most of you have probably never heard of this saga, since when it comes to the corporate media news cycle, some election...
Original article "Do not be fooled by the tears and gushing words of Obama and his supporters as he counts down to his departure from the White House. They are an insult when measured against the tears of the countless Libyans, Syrians, Afghans and others who have suffered as a result of a foreign policy that brought his administration into disrepute."
Original article "As Obama’s days as U.S. President draw to a close, both the Obama administration and the mainstream corporate media are attempting to provoke a greater conflict with nuclear-armed Russia on the basis of something that never actually happened; at least on the basis of something that they have yet to prove has actually happened. Still, the hype and hysteria being piped from the halls of the White House, intelligence community, and the mouthpiece of the establishment, the corporate...
Original article "Having arrived in Germany a few days ago, a mass of over 3,000 US ground troops backed by a large column of American tanks are advancing eastward toward the Russian border today, heading across Poland as part of a major NATO operation called Atlantic Resolve."
Original article "The 'fog of war' erupts in the confusion caused by the chaos of war. And in the media, it’s an intentional phenomenon that makes it difficult to separate fact from fiction. While the battles over war narratives evolve, they all have a common goal: to distort reality on the ground. Such is the case on the crisis in Syria, the new cold war with Russia, and even the buildup for President Bush’s support for Kuwait’s 'humanitarian' war against Iraq....
Original article "Thanks to CNN and BuzzFeed, a war now rages among corporate media outlets, a true study in irony, as the New York Times and Guardian hurl accusations the two outlets are guilty of publishing Fake News — the same Fake News all of the aforementioned have cited in unabashed attempts to discredit legitimate alternative media."
Original article "Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko is once again warning about the long-standing problems of corruption in Afghanistan, and the amount of US 'reconstruction aid' disappearing down black holes over the course of the years. As always, the discussion came around to 'ghost soldiers.' Ghost soldiers are a phenomenon in which Afghan military commanders fill their ranks with fictional names and just keep the salaries, which since the...
Original article "On average, we spend over 50 hours a week away from our homes. Chances are, if a sudden disaster occurs at your workplace and you are forced to shelter in place for a given time, many coworkers (including yourself) could be unprepared."
Original article "Yes, You Need a Vehicle Survival Kit! And here’s why. You jump in the car, fire the ignition, head down the road, and all is well. But then, the unexpected happens. A small error, an unavoidable accident, a rapid change in weather, some black ice, vehicle malfunction, something causes everything to change in an instant."
Original article "Fear your exploding smartphone no more. Scientists have designed a heat-activated molecular fire extinguisher that could make lithium-ion batteries safer."
Original article "Researchers are reporting development of the world’s thinnest electrical wires, made of chalcogenide and diamondoids (the smallest possible bits of diamond)."
Original article "A chemical that is thought to be safe and is, therefore, widely used on crops—such as almonds, wine grapes and tree fruits—to boost the performance of pesticides, makes honey bee larvae significantly more susceptible to a deadly virus, according to researchers at Penn State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture."
Law's Terrible Mandate: The Persecution of Justin Michael Wolfe
9.66667
fmoghul 2012-08-22 23:00
Column by Faisal Moghul. Exclusive to STR Justin Michael Wolfe, a 19-year old drug dealer in Northern Virginia, was accused of capital murder for hiring his friend and fellow drug dealer, Owen Barber, to kill another drug supplier named Daniel Petrole in March, 2001.   Section 18.2-31(2) of the Virginia Criminal Code defines capital murder as the “willful, deliberate, and premeditated...
I Pledge Allegiance, Under God, to the Constitution of Independence
9.5
tzo 2012-08-20 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR The citizens of the United States are proud of their nation’s Founding Fathers and the Founding Documents they authored, based on Noble Guiding Principles, firmly grounded in Freedom and Justice For All. God Himself seems to be an ardent admirer, as evidenced by the fact that He hath not yet come forth to dispute having made any of the many endorsements that...
Opinion and Reason
10
Jim Davies 2012-08-19 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR From time to time a market researcher calls me up and asks for a few minutes of my time to answer his or her survey questions. I always answer “Yes, I'll be happy to; what rate are you offering?”   “What was that, again?”   “What are you offering to pay? My opinions, on a range of topics, are highly valuable. So is my...
Confronting the Myth of Gun Control
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fmoghul 2012-08-14 23:00
Column by new Root Striker Faisal Moghul. Exclusive to STR   In the wake of the Batman massacre in Aurora, Colorado, and now the Sikh Temple attack in Oak Tree, Wisconsin, the mainstream media’s propaganda blitz has predictably inundated the airwaves with the conventional, yet fallacious, orthodoxy that more guns equal more armed crime. Against this backdrop, some lawmakers have sought...
Magic 'Money'
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tzo 2012-08-13 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Where does U.S. “money” come from? If you’re not sure, the answer that follows may surprise you a bit.   The process begins with the Treasury Department creating a bond. Treasury bonds represent the Federal government asking for loans. When a Treasury bond is “bought,” what is really happening is that the “buyer” is...
Muddy Waters
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Paul Hein 2012-08-13 23:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The Supreme Court’s ruling in the Obamacare matter stirred up interest in the subject of federal taxation, and just what the government can, or cannot, tax. This, I gather, was because of the expectation--not to be realized--that the Court, if it ruled Obamacare constitutional at all, would do so on the basis of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution....
Maximum Salary
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Eric Field 2012-08-12 23:00
Column by Eric Field. Exclusive to STR Hamilton Nolan of gawker.com likes taxes. Or at least he has fantasies about forcing taxes on those he perceives as undeserving of wealth. In his August 8th column, Nolan endorses French president Francois Hollande’s proposed 75% on all incomes over $1.2 million per year. Nolan identifies one problem with Hollande’s tax proposal; that many of...
Compassion in a Free Society
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Jim Davies 2012-08-08 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. One of the ugliest things said about freedom advocates is that in a society without government, large numbers of poor people would be trampled underfoot. Critics say that if all were free selfishly to pursue our own ends, many would be left behind, to suffer and starve. That such a society would be harsh, uncaring, divisive, mean. That it's necessary to have a government, to...
Dear Naomi...
9.2
Paul Bonneau 2012-08-02 23:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Dear Naomi Wolf,   I read your article about the Aurora theater shootings.   While I have enjoyed a lot of your work in the past, I must say that I believe you have missed the boat with this one. It seems to run counter to your normal tendencies of questioning government tyranny. It’s also not very realistic.   For one thing, I think...
Love and Respect
0
Jim Davies 2012-08-02 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   A few weeks ago my Tolstoy: Close, but No Cigar suggested from a reading of his monumental War and Peace that the novelist Leo Tolstoy was almost, but not quite, a market anarchist; and among the comments that followed its publication there were a couple that suggested some further reading about this amazing man. I thank Sir William Blackstone and...
Here's Looking at You, Kid
9.25
Paul Hein 2015-06-23 06:56
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The conversation around the lunch table got around, not surprisingly, to the NSA and its surveillance activities. Nobody liked it. It was Virgil who said what many were probably thinking: “I don’t like it either, but if you’re doing nothing wrong, what’s so bad about it?” There were nods of assent, and a few murmured “It...
Spend More, Print More, Tax Less
9.2
Guest 2011-02-22 03:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim. Note: Cristian Gherasim plagiarized this column from here.   Whether it's a bailout of subprime mortgage holders, large investment banks, or going to war, whether or not the resources exist to do these wonders rarely enters into the equation. Why is it that tax cuts don't curb the government? And why do politicians not feel the need to tax us more when they...
Tools for Tyrants: Hatred, AKA 'Divide and Conquer'
9.2
Paul Bonneau 2011-11-03 23:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR   The next tool we are going to examine is the tyrant’s use and encouragement of hatred among those he wishes to govern. This is a part of the “divide and conquer” or “divide and rule” strategy.   Of the elements mentioned in the Wikipedia article, the most important are 1) creating or encouraging divisions among...
Freedom Is Not Found on Paper Recommended
9.2
Alex R. Knight III 2012-02-14 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III   Exclusive to STR   One of the good folks at Gun Owners of Vermont (I like spelling that out much more than the acronym – GOVT – for what should be an obvious reason) recently sent me, along with my 2012 membership card, a piece published not long ago in a small freebie newspaper called The Shopper. It hails out of Ludlow, Vermont, and the...
The Wonders of the World
9.2
tzo 2012-06-06 23:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   I will say that the Taj Mahal is a fine and impressive piece of architecture.   It was commissioned by Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his third wife, who died during the birth of their fourteenth child.   It obviously wasn’t cheap. Where did the Shah get the money to finance such a project? Well, the Mughal empire accumulated money...
Thoughts on Bullying and Respect
9.2
Paul Bonneau 2012-06-13 23:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR When I was in my teens and twenties, John Wayne used to annoy the Hell out of me. Nowadays I see that that was so because I was ignorant. There was actually a lot I could learn from his movies, and I was thoughtlessly rejecting his message out of hand.   One standard plot element of his films that I found completely implausible was a conflict he would...
Dear Naomi...
9.2
Paul Bonneau 2012-08-02 23:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Dear Naomi Wolf,   I read your article about the Aurora theater shootings.   While I have enjoyed a lot of your work in the past, I must say that I believe you have missed the boat with this one. It seems to run counter to your normal tendencies of questioning government tyranny. It’s also not very realistic.   For one thing, I think...
The Political Doctrine of Primus Inter Pares
9.16667
tzo 2011-07-11 23:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   I am going to comment here on a particular speech that Tom Woods gave in Los Angeles this past May. Mr. Woods has recently written a book about State nullification, which is a tactic he proposes as a response to Federal Government Gone Wild. I have not read the book or extensively studied all of Mr. Woods’ propositions, and so my critique is of...
Very Special People
9.16667
Jim Davies 2012-07-08 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR I've tried, but have not been able to agree with Paul Bonneau's recent article Libertarians Are Nothing Special. Quite the contrary, I think libertarians are extraordinarily special.   Many of us begin by taking an interest in the political scene, and vote for a libertarian candidate in some election. That's a mistaken strategy, yes, but as a starting...
It Never Stops!
9.14286
Paul Hein 2010-10-28 02:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   As a younger man, I had plenty of patients, but little patience; and my meager supply is diminishing with age.   Elections are particularly annoying, with the same inane platitudes voiced over and over again, until I wonder how the public, even as numbed and dumbed as it is, can stand it.   There is, for example, the incessant...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
10
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
9.625
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
0
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
9
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
10
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
9.25
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
9.5
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...