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Friday, April 21

Guest Editor

Ken Kraska is the guest editor today.

WANTED: New guest editors for Saturdays and Sundays.  If you're interested, please email me.

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Original article A survey of assorted schemes to reform California politics and boundaries from an LP perspective and which is better than nothing, especially if you don't live in the L.A., S.J./Sac, or S.F. Bay metro regions and are fed-up with their current stranglehold on government in the Golden state.  
Original article The eastern and northern parts of California aren't really a good match for the emergent coastal-based People's Republik of Kalifornia, and so the California independence movement is itself breaking up into factions that don't wanna be ruled by the coastal population centers any longer. Go figure?  
Original article "Venezuela enacted stricter and stricter gun controls over the period of the Chavez/Maduro regime.  Venezuela banned the commercial sale of guns and ammunition in 2012. [...] But making guns illegal for most of the people is only half of the equation. As Venezuela is falling apart, unable to feed its people or to keep crime under some control, the dictator Maduro has decided to arm those he thinks are loyal."  
Original article "Political behavior does not exist in abstractions, such as the 'state' or the 'government,' or a 'constitution,' but is activity engaged in by such men and women who find the machinery of state power a useful device for accomplishing ends that they value."  
Original article Hollywood bigshots hate the fact that anonymous reviews posted on opening day can bomb a film that they poured their blood, sweat, & tears into (as well as lots of their studio's money). Bottom line: The  establishment opinion gatekeepers don't have the juice they used to.  
Original article "[...] Justices resolve cases, both important front-page controversies and less publicized back-page ones, through a combination of personal preferences, life experiences, partisan politics, and values writ large, where traditional legal norms play only a marginal role in generating (as opposed to explaining) their decisions."  
Original article "First, let's keep in mind that none of this would be possible without Cobb County, Georgia, taxpayers kicking in more than $400 million. More accurately, none of this would have been possible without one of Cobb County's former top government officials negotiating a secret deal with the Atlanta Braves to have taxpayers pay that amount for a new stadium, and without the rest of the Cobb County commission voting to approve the stadium deal at a supposedly public hearing where...
Original article A father was pissed that his son was caught cheating on a test and to teach him lesson made him get out of the car and told him to walk home (less than a mile). Then cops.. (Just watch the video).  
Original article Some good advice. Just because it's cheap doesn't make it a good choice. (video)  
Original article Sheesh. And this is just the stuff we hear about too. TSA operations are security theatre all the way through.
Original article Crony socialism finally does some good, however inadvertant. UK parlimentarian should add Venezuela to that list as well.
Sell Chicken, Not Politics: An Alternative Approach to Chick-fil-A
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Eric Field 2012-08-02 00:00
Column by new Root Striker Eric Field. Exclusive to STR Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men. ~ Ayn Rand   Preface I begin this article by saying that I don’t consider myself either for or against gay marriage. I am for the right of...
Anarcho-Statists
8.66667
tzo 2012-08-02 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR I am not one to get caught up in labels when it comes to identifying which flavor of non-governmental society one may envision. There are anarchists, anarcho-capitalists, anarcho-socialists, anarcho-communists, anarcho-syndicalists, mutualists, voluntaryists, and a long list of others.   I generally choose to use the term voluntaryist for myself, as it seems...
How Did Americans Become Poor?
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Glen Allport 2012-08-01 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR "If you can understand why a bathtub empties when the drain is opened, you can understand why Americans are now as poor as church mice."     Not long ago, we Americans were rich; now we are poor. How did that happen?   Actually, Americans are worse than "poor" – Americans are staggeringly indebted, in debt beyond...
A Dual-Currency Community
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Paul Bonneau 2012-07-31 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR When a fiat currency goes into heavy inflation, the tendency of users of that currency is to convert it into something else that has a more stable value, so their holdings don’t evaporate into thin air. People will either buy gold or silver, or convert to another more stable fiat currency, or if those options aren’t available, will simply buy...
Trade Deficit: Hooray!
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Paul Hein 2012-07-31 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR With an election looming, our politicians are wailing and bemoaning the economic crisis, which, given their policies and legislation during the past century, was inevitable and predictable. They express grave concern over the balance of payments and trade deficits, among other things.   If you do any research at all on those subjects, you will be...
Some Thoughts and Reactions on the Aurora Massacre
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Scott Lazarowitz 2012-07-30 00:00
Column by Scott Lazarowitz. Exclusive to STR Once again, the Aurora ordeal shows not only the insanity of gun control laws, it also shows that we can’t rely on government police to protect us from crazy mass murderers. Just like we can’t rely on a national government-monopolized military-security complex to protect us from foreign invaders. I am having the same kinds of thoughts as I...
Lament for a Flask of Gin
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Jim Davies 2012-07-18 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   This summer, a government agent stole from me a bottle of gin at Logan Airport.   By "stole," I mean that he removed it from my possession without leave. That's the usual way that word is understood. Federal, State and local governments steal far more from each of us than that, every day – but somehow this tangible proof, this...
The Boston Tea Party: An Attack on Property Rights?
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Paul Bonneau 2012-07-17 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Here and there I have noticed some strange treatment of the Boston Tea Party among libertarians, a sort of shame that such an event has normally been celebrated in our culture. Were the participants bad people? Should we be ashamed of them?   One example of such treatment is Charles Adams' exposition of early American taxation:   Recently...
Tolstoy: Close, But No Cigar
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Jim Davies 2012-07-13 06:39
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR I'd heard somewhere that Leo Tolstoy was an anarchist, so reckoned it was high time I read War and Peace. Thanks to gutenberg.org, I was able to download both that and Anna Karenina and enjoy the pair of them on vacation rainy days. Having done so, I must dismiss the rumor; he was an extraordinary author and thinker, and upset Establishment clerics and...
Let Us Prove That Anarchy Can't Work
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Paul Bonneau 2012-07-10 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau Exclusive to STR In my recent Facebook escapades, this challenge came up: “My longstanding challenge to create a society larger than a commune or a small town that functions well without any government is still open. Create one, and you'll shut me up quick. Until then, I'm going to refer to your notions as ‘unproven theories’ at best, and ‘utter...
It Never Stops!
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Paul Hein 2010-10-28 03:00
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...
The Parable of the Lions and the Slaves
9.14286
tzo 2011-03-07 04:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The nature of lions is to kill, and so it is good that they kill because that ensures lion survival. If an individual lion loses his teeth, that is bad because he can no longer fend for himself. If all lions were to lose their teeth, that would be the end of lions.   Humans put some lions in zoos and feed them meat and get them to reproduce....
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...
Valor and Discretion
9.1
tzo 2010-02-01 04:00
Exclusive to STR   Once upon a time I worked a second shift job and regularly walked home from the train station during the later hours of the evening. One night as I was making my way home, a police cruiser pulled up alongside me and the officer asked me where I was headed. I said I was going home, and he then asked me where that might be. I gave him the name of my street, and with that he...
Brights Are Keeping Us in the Dark Ages
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strike 2003-07-20 16:00
While reading an article about Brights (the new, more marketable term for atheists) last week, I came across this website for The Brights' Network. I was excited to find it until I read 'The Reason' for the group: 'Currently the naturalistic worldview is insufficiently expressed within most cultures. The purpose of this movement is to form an umbrella Internet constituency of Brights having...
E-Prime and Freedom
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Craig Russell 2003-07-23 16:00
To be or not to be ' that is the question. ~ Shakespeare, Hamlet Let's think for a moment about thought.
Abortion, Coercion and the State
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Anthony Gregory 2005-03-22 17:00
Two of my fellow STR writers and guest editors that I much enjoy to read, weebies and John deLaubenfels, have each come out with a column on the eternally contentious abortion issue. On first glance, one might say that weebies' article is pro-life, while John deLaubenfels' is pro-choice. These two positions might initially appear diametrically opposed and therefore entirely irreconcilable. I do...
Legalize Methamphetamine!
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Marc J. Victor 2006-03-27 04:00
I’m the last guy who ought to argue for the legalization of meth.[1]  As a practicing criminal defense attorney, I make a good income from defending people who are charged with drug crimes.  If the drug war ended, I would lose a substantial portion of my income.  Additionally, some would call me a health...
Creating a Free America
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Kevin Van Horn 2006-11-02 17:00
Exclusive to STR November 3, 2006 I will live as a free man among free Americans. We will pay no taxes. We will submit to no rulers. We will exercise our rights openly and without fear. I've reached a point in my life where I can no longer bear to live on my knees, meekly submitting to whatever outrages and humiliations America 's rulers choose to inflict on us. And so I have made a...
A Machiavellian Matrimony
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Alex R. Knight III 2006-12-13 17:00
Exclusive to STR December 14, 2006 Not for me. Of course, as I close in on 38, I'm still a bachelor which means no matrimony yet of any kind. I doubt it's in the cards. Here's why:
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
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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
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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
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...