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Monday, May 23

Guest Editor

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Melinda Secor is the guest editor today.

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Original article "A privilege, a special tax break, a rule, a prohibition, a piece of meat here, a piece of meat there… and soon the foxes are eating high on the hog.  But what’s meat for the foxes is poison for the economy."
Original article "As if the U.S. needed still more laws legislating political correctness, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Commission on Human Rights now claims city businesses and entities which ‘fail to address customers by their preferred gender pronouns,’ such as Mr. or Mrs., could face fines up to $250,000."
Original article "After Sean Davis put out an article on The Federalist about how men can’t get pregnant…Zach Ford, the LGBT editor over at Think Progress, decided to argue that the science on that actually wasn’t settled…Apparently, according to Ford, men do menstruate and can in fact get pregnant."
Original article "As government continues to expand, finding ever more ways to feed itself through taxation, it seeks to justify this burgeoning existence. Enter the Nanny State. New York is a leader in developing laws and regulations to protect us from ourselves, perhaps most famously with the Big Apple’s attempt to ban large-size sugary drinks. The Empire State has the highest cigarette taxes in the nation, which fuels a black market, and it places heavy restrictions on other 'sins.'...
Original article "When looking at this spending in context, the U.S. not only spends more than the next six countries combined, but spends almost triple the amount on military expenses than the second biggest defense spender in the world, China, according to data from the Stockholm International Peach Research Institute. These figures come on top of the recently announced $1 trillion dollar nuclear missile modernization program that has been curiously absent from public discourse, having not even been...
Original article “'Only Donald Trump (among the Presidential candidates) has said anything meaningful and critical of U.S. foreign policy.' No, that is not Reince Priebus, chair of the RNC, speaking up in favor of the presumptive Republican nominee. It is Stephen F. Cohen, Emeritus Professor of Russian History at Princeton and NYU, a contributing editor for The Nation, that most liberal of political journals."
Original article "Traditionally, the best way to keep track of future military deployments – absent unexpected events, of course – has been to follow key procurement contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense of mission critical offensive wartime equipment such as weapons and ammo, or, less followed, core defensive components such as kevlar, body armor and other forms of core personal protective gear. These usually take place shortly prior to major 'events' involving US armed forces...
Original article "Currently, it is believed the unmanned plane has spent the past year orbiting around Earth. The American government has, however, failed to give any tangible reason behind the deployment of X-37B to space, except saying it is for an experiment. As to the actual nature of the experiment, that still remains a mystery."
Original article "The role of government is to redistribute wealth, according to a course at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. A test, administered on April 29 in Professor John Traxler’s Healthcare Economics class, told students that '[o]ne of the main functions of government is income redistribution,' then asked them to explain what the statement meant. The correct answer was C: 'Taxing the wealthy and giving it to those in poverty.'”
Original article "We recently stumbled upon an image in one of the more obscure corners of the intertubes which we felt we had to share with our readers. It provides us with a nice metaphor for the meaningfulness of government activity."
Original article "Yesterday I spoke at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, NECSS, a 'celebration of science and critical thinking' held May 12-15 in New York City. Philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, whom I met recently, got me invited, and he might regret that, because I decided to treat the skeptics skeptically."
Original article "Replacing a common drying method boosts the performance of perovskite photovoltaics."
Original article "In the bird world, the color red has special significance. Many species use red signals to attract mates or deter rivals, adding the color to their beaks, feathers, or bare skin. Generally speaking, as far as many birds are concerned, redder is better."
Original article "Spotting native alligators and crocodiles in Florida is common, but anyone who sees a large reptile may want to take a second look -- human-eaters that can grow to 18 feet long and weigh as much as a small car have been found in the Sunshine State."
Original article "If you're a rattlesnake, you want to bring the right weapon to a squirrel fight. And that venomous weapon varies from place to place, evolutionarily calibrated to overpower the local squirrels' defenses, according to new research from The Ohio State University."
Original article A Photo Blog
Why Must I Be a Marxist to Be an Artist?
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Alex R. Knight III 2015-08-06 07:49
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }Have you ever taken notice of the fact that almost the entire artistic community – and I don’t mean just Hollywood culture here, but also the literary world, the music industry, the visual arts – seem to have a kind of unspoken agreement amongst themselves that in order to be one of the...
Cecil Was One of Us. No, Wait, He Was Just a Lion.
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Harry Goslin 2015-08-05 07:50
Column by Harry Goslin. Exclusive to STR The irrational, overly-emotional and childlike reaction to the killing of a lion in Africa is another example of why Americans will be forever in the dark about what’s important in the world and what’s not. It’s these kinds of silly, irrelevant stories that especially gets the lip-quivering left up in arms and unfortunately dominates the...
Corruption Abounds!
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Paul Hein 2015-07-30 07:34
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR All taxation is theft, but the most egregious of these thefts must surely be the property tax. Other taxes/thefts can be avoided or minimized, but if you own a house or other tangible real estate, you will be taxed forever, and after you are gone, your heirs will continue to pay tribute to the property tax collector. A number of years ago I asked the local...
Libertarians Need Not Support Centralized Power
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Paul Bonneau 2015-07-29 08:08
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } The title of this piece will no doubt strike libertarians as absurd, but after reading Randal John Meyer’s Libertarians Need Not Support the Confederacy, the reason for my title will become clear. Meyer critiques Phillip Magness’ piece, “What Should Libertarians Think About the Civil War?” Magness...
Was American Slavery a Bad Thing?
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pc 2015-07-28 07:37
Column by new Root Striker Patrick Chkoreff. Exclusive to STR I saw that question on a message board, asked honestly and with good intention, and I decided to answer not only the original question, but some related ones as well. Here is what I put together. Slavery was very bad, both in America and Brazil. The question was what to do about it. As I see it, the South should have been allowed to...
Please Don't Apologize, Mr. President (For Things You Didn't Do)
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David M. Brown 2015-07-27 08:06
Column by new Root Striker David M. Brown. Exclusive to STR Persons sometimes treat others very badly. This treatment may be institutionally encouraged, and continue for a long time. For example, officials of the Catholic Church once sanctioned torture as a means of extracting confessions from heretics and, with luck, curing them of their heresy. In his account in The Age of Faith of the...
How I Got a Job
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Paul Bonneau 2015-07-23 07:47
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR A while back, I wrote a little article with some tips on how to get a job. I thought I would write a follow-up, giving a concrete example, and perhaps showing somewhat how I came to that opinion about it. As an idiot 18-year old, I joined the Marine Corps, in 1968. They tested me along with all the other new recruits, and as a result put me into an MOS of...
How to Make the Confederate Flag Respectable
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Paul Bonneau 2015-07-22 07:21
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It used to be that the Confederate flag (correctly known as the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia) was not respectable. It was found on dirty pickup trucks, hanging in bars, and painted on the roof of that orange car in “The Dukes of Hazzard,” which was about as silly a show as one could find. The intelligentsia and the chattering...
Pilfering for Pluto
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Alex R. Knight III 2015-07-20 07:22
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR It is unquestionably a scientific achievement of no small measure, the recent flyby made by NASA’s New Horizons space probe of the binary dwarf planets Pluto and Charon – and associated moons – at a near constant velocity of 30,000 miles per hour: the fastest object yet sent into motion from the Earth! The amount of data collected...
How Americans Are Exceptional
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Paul Bonneau 2015-07-16 08:10
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR No doubt many here have noticed the back-and-forth about “American exceptionalism.” On one side are the ruling class and oafish neocons generally; there is no point wasting our time examining their viewpoint on it. On the other are e.g. Lew Rockwell and his writers, who seem to take the phrase “American exceptionalism” as only a...
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...
Rethinking 'School'
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Michael Kleen 2010-10-20 03:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   Few institutions in the United States create more cognitive dissonance than its public school system. Complaints about the cost and quality of American schools fill newspaper opinion pages, and the rhetoric of “improving education” is a staple of every political campaign. Missing from this debate, however, is the role each and...
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
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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...