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Thursday, May 25

Guest Editor

Robert Taylor is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Original article Where would Communism and National Socialism be on the world stage if it weren’t for the Great War?
Original article Our inflationary economy is sending the prices of luxury goods soaring — while prices on products for regular people are often flat.  
Original article The roots of this disaster are in the presidency of George W. Bush: he and his neoconservative advisors launched a war that was supposed to transform the Middle East into a laboratory of “democracy” – exported by force of arms. The idea, as expressed by neoconservative ideologues, was to “drain the swamp” of the Middle East, so altering the environment in which the “mosquitoes” of terrorism lived and flourished that they would be unable to produce a...
Original article This country is becoming a total joke and it’s not merely because of Donald Trump. While he’s certainly becoming a key player in our national embarrassment, this country’s decent into a reckless Banana Republic has been a long time coming.  
Original article While the chattering classes spend all their time rehashing Donald Trump’s alleged — there’s a word you don’t much see in the media anymore — coordination with Russians over their alleged — there it is again — hacking of the Democrats’ email, a story with far more ominous implications is being ignored: Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Original article From Clinton to Bush, then Obama and now Trump, it’s as if we’ve been caught in a time loop, forced to re-live the same thing over and over again: the same assaults on our freedoms, the same disregard for the rule of law, the same subservience to the Deep State, and the same corrupt, self-serving government that exists only to amass power, enrich its shareholders and ensure its continued domination. The republic has fallen to fascism with a smile.
Original article The close U.S. association with Saudi Arabia has long been a stain on America’s honor. Trump and Tillerson have deepened that stain.  
Original article While Trump was acquiescing to Saudi cajolery, Iran was doing something the Saudis never have: holding a presidential election. And the message that emerged once the counting was done is clear: Iranians are ready for moderation, for openness, for their country’s relations with the West—locked in deep freeze since the Islamic Revolution in 1979—to at last begin to thaw.
Original article The explosive growth of occupational licensing is yet another example of how government regulation can benefit the few and the powerful. When government plays favorites, society as a whole suffers, with our most vulnerable citizens often bearing the burden. Freed of restraint that benefits the politically powerful, our markets best serve consumers by reducing prices, fostering innovation and creating new job opportunities.
Original article One can never tell exactly when a bubble will burst or which corner of the financial system will be the epicenter of the earthquake. But if and when these looming bubbles explode, the main culprit will be the irresponsible policies that were supposed to prevent future bubbles and that created the perfect storm of moral hazard, easy money, and cheap credit one again.    
Original article Like in Colorado, New York, and Vermont, California is learning that a single-payer plan would be prohibitively expensive.
Original article While it may have only been for a few moments, Offerman shows that even celebrities have at least one issue where their views are, often unknowingly, libertarian. And for this Parks and Recreation star, the government better keep their hands off his whiskey.  
Tyranny Hits the Road Running
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Retta Fontana 2016-05-13 07:58
Column by Retta Fontana. Exclusive to STR Early humans were as free as anything imaginable. They learned that living in loose bands and tribes provided some warmth and protection against predators and the elements. As long as they didn’t violate someone else’s space or challenge a stronger person for any possession, every living thing was free to roam. It was the unquestioned norm -...
The Aborted Fetus of American Fascism?
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Kevin M. Patten 2016-05-07 15:37
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR As of late April, the remnants of an enthralling legend still stand within the hills of Pacific Palisades. Down here, some seventy years ago, a potential Fascist headquarters was being cultivated for the day that Adolf Hitler announced victory in World War Two. Afterwards, the Third Reich would make its way across the ocean to the shores of Los Angeles...
The First & Last Tabloid Presidential Elections?
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Douglas Herman 2016-05-05 07:17
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Our Republic Reels from Absurdity to Obscene in Prez Selection 2016   Maybe I’m getting old. At 66, I certainly don’t recall another presidential election so entertaining in a sleazy, openly corrupt sort of way.  I don’t recall Nixon vs. Kennedy with such rancor and mud-slinging.  I was ten at the time, in 1960. ...
Light, Metal, Shadow: The Freedom of Welding
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Alex R. Knight III 2016-05-03 08:07
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR I suppose my first serious exposure to the trade, craft, and art of welding came during a brief five-month stint I did working for a railroad company. Technically, my job title was that of forklift driver, loading and unloading rail cars when freight came in to a small ex-airport on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River. On days when no such...
Not Surprised: Thoreau Pissed Off Some New Yorkers
9.5
Douglas Herman 2016-04-26 07:24
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Years ago, while working in LA as a struggling scriptwriter, I observed that Hollywood is a Moronocracy:  movies made by morons, for morons and about morons.  Rainman, Forrest Gump, Waterboy, Dumb & Dumber, Batman vs. Superman, etc. You see the trend? Intelligent, insightful opinions, subtlety, cleverness, playful and caustic remarks have...
A Method For Achieving Panarchy (Part 1)
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Paul Bonneau 2016-04-22 07:50
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I wrote up a recipe for achieving Panarchy, and posted it on a forum frequented by anarchists. It was intended as a focus for discussion more than an actual plan of events. This is a slight re-write, version 2. *What is Panarchy?* Panarchy is that condition, when people are affected by, and can only affect, those political institutions and structures in a...
What's a Public Purpose?
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Paul Hein 2016-04-21 08:08
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The next time you’re in Missouri, go to the penitentiary in Jefferson City. As a visitor, of course: a tourist. The penitentiary is now retired from active duty, and its conscriptees confined to a newer facility some distance away. But the original building, grim and grey, is open for tours. I’ve toured Alcatraz, which held about 500 prisoners at...
A Place Somewhere Beyond 'White Man's Burden' and 'I Hate N*ggers'
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Paul Bonneau 2016-04-21 07:38
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The typical arguments about race are so common and predictable, I wonder why people can’t find something different to talk about. It’s funny how similar the two seemingly disparate positions are, if you think about it. The so-called “liberal” position, AKA “White Man’s Burden,” is in agreement with what “...
Top Ten Reasons to Love Airbnb
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Retta Fontana 2016-04-15 07:30
Column by Retta Fontana. Exclusive to STR For the uninitiated, Airbnb.com is an online network for connecting people who have spaces in their homes, apartments, or castles to rent out temporarily and travelers who are looking for accommodations. Airbnb is secure and worldwide, although obviously more available in some places than others. It is an idea whose time has come. Here are my top ten...
Funny Non-Money
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Paul Hein 2016-04-01 07:41
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR There is the possibility, as pointed out by writers on subjects financial, that the government, which is in debt up to, and beyond, its ears, might seize the retirement funds of its subjects. By this means, we are told, our Rulers might reduce their debt by paying off at least part of it with the stolen--er, taxed--funds. In truth, in seizing its subjects...
Blame Wikileaks?
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Patrick Coleman 2010-08-27 03:00
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...
Why People Believe Government Is Here to Help Us Recommended
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Paul Bonneau 2010-08-27 03:00
By Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR     The tenacity of the meme, that government is here to help us and protect us, is hard to understand. All evidence throughout history points in the opposite direction--that government is here to prey on us, and that if there is anything we need protection from, it is our own governments. Why do people cling to this harmful meme?   A...
Declare 9-11 'Government Blowback Day'
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2010-08-31 03:00
By Lawrence M. Ludlow.   Exclusive to STR   This September 11, let’s help to change the “meme” that has been used by the U.S. government to terrorize Americans into submission and to cynically manipulate the grief of those who lost loved ones in the 9-11 attack of 2001. This year in your community, join hands with others who understand the meaning of the event. Carry...
The Fake TV Challenge Recommended
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B.R. Merrick 2010-09-02 03:00
By B.R. Merrick   Exclusive to STR   In spite of my opposition to The War on Certain Kinds of Drugs, I wish to inaugurate a new war against another one. I have good reasons for doing so. This drug is cheap. It is everywhere. It is insidious. Once it is in your bloodstream, it is nearly impossible to extricate. It becomes infused with the cells of your body...
Aristophanes' Law MUST READ
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tzo 2010-09-24 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Some 2,400 years ago, the Greek playwright Aristophanes put forth an idea in one of his plays that I would like to codify into a law of human behavior. Here are the pertinent lines from his play "The Frogs":   The course our city runs is the same towards men and money. She has true and worthy sons. She has fine new gold and ancient...
The Census Taker's Gun
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B.R. Merrick 2010-09-24 03:00
Column by B.R. Merrick.   Exclusive to STR   “A Census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” ~ Hannibal Lecter, “The Silence of the Lambs”   Okay, so a while ago, I had to go to a specialist to get something cleared up. Quite mild, all taken care of. It reminded me of how nice it is to have a...
Education for the Individual
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Michael Kleen 2010-10-11 03:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   Previously, in “Education and the Individual,” I discussed how the two competing educational methods in the public education system in the United States both presuppose a State monopoly on education, and how both seek to impose a uniform purpose and set of standards for all children. In this article, I will lay out the...
The Failed Theory of Relativity
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tzo 2010-10-14 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Voluntaryism is, primarily, an ethical philosophy applied to the organization of society. Most of the common modern social organization theories (e.g., “democracy”) focus on organizing society based upon what the majority feels is right and always with an eye toward the utilitarian target that is the greatest good for the greatest number....
Our Moral Duty to Pay Taxes
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Guest 2010-10-14 03:00
Column by Jake Roundtree.   Exclusive to STR   The view of the government as the savior of mankind, the organizer of society and the progenitor of morality, is in present times “profoundly integrated into the depths of our consciousness” (Ellul, 216). Keen observers, since Nietzsche, have recognized the overwhelming degree to which citizens of the West are afflicted...
Just Say No!
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Paul Hein 2010-10-19 03:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR   It is interesting to read what St. Augustine had to say about what we now call government: A gang is a group of men under the command of a leader, bound by a compact of association, in which the plunder is divided according to an agreed convention. If this villainy wins so many recruits from the ranks of the demoralized that it acquires...
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
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
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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...