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Friday, April 21

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Ken Kraska is the guest editor today.

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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.
Dickens, Reconsidered
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Jim Davies 2012-06-12 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Few novels if any can have so profoundly assisted the spread of socialism in the century following 1850 as those of Charles Dickens, for they portrayed vividly the slums in English cities during the Industrial Revolution which enabled Karl Marx, who lived in London with support from his friend Friedrich Engels, to denounce the capitalist system he said had...
Black and White (Are You Experienced?) - Part I
7.33333
Mark Davis 2012-06-11 00:00
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR   If you can just get your mind together Then come on across to me We'll hold hands and then we'll watch the sunrise From the bottom of the sea   But first, are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced? Well, I have   I know, I know you probably scream and cry That your little world won't let you go But who in your measly...
Gary Johnson: Statist
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Scott Lazarowitz 2012-06-08 00:00
Column by Scott Lazarowitz. Exclusive to STR Economist Robert Wenzel recently gave Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson a tough interview. Wenzel pushed hard for honest answers on behalf of mainly his “hardcore libertarian” readers and listeners. By “hardcore,” he refers to those with a bias toward Austrian School economic thought, Rothbardian ethics and an...
The Revolution Is a Relay Race
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JGVibes 2012-06-08 00:00
Column by JGVibes.   For many centuries, the dismal state of civilization has been largely ignored by those who have had to live through it.  The pain, depression and confusion that can come from admitting the twisted nature of our day to day existence has been far too much for most people to cope with, so throughout history, people have created extremely complex justifications and...
Measure 2's Measure of Common Sense
0
George F. Smith 2012-06-08 00:00
Column by George F. Smith. Exclusive to STR Measure 2 is a proposal to amend the North Dakota constitution to eliminate property taxes.  According to polls, most people oppose Measure 2 because it would require legislators to replace lost revenues from other sources.  K-12 school funding would be heavily impacted.  A vote on June 12, 2012 will decide its fate. Measure 2...
CISPA: Should We Care?
8.33333
Paul Bonneau 2012-06-07 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   Yet again the puppet masters have gotten all the puppets jumping about in a frenzy. It makes me wonder whether there is actually reason to get exercised about this bill.   Certainly, the notion that the U.S. government will protect the Internet from attacks is absurd, given that the source of all the most serious attacks (of which CISPA...
The Wonders of the World
9.2
tzo 2012-06-07 00:00
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...
Being Rich--Even a Little Bit
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Paul Hein 2012-06-05 00:00
Column by Paul Hein   Exclusive to STR   I’ve said this before, with the usual worldwide repercussions that greet all of my pronouncements. I’m going to say it again, so prepare yourself. I do not want to frighten, alarm, or shock anyone, but there are some things that simply must be said, so here goes: THERE ARE ADVANTAGES TO BEING RICH!! I’ll go even further: There...
Time for Civil Disobedience? Recommended
8.75
Jim Davies 2012-06-05 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Underlying approaches to the great problem of how to rid society of government parasites without violence is the insight of Etienne de la Boëtie:   "Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like...
Working Capital
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Jim Davies 2012-05-29 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR "Capitalism" is another of those words, like "liberal," whose meanings have been twisted by time, use and particularly by government influence, to mean something quite different from, and sometimes opposite to, their original intent. When we see Occupy Wall Street protesters waving banners calling for its downfall, they are referring to...
Obama Doubles Aid To Dependent Dictators
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Bill Walker 2010-01-08 04:00
Exclusive to STR   On December 16, 2009, to commemorate the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, President Obama signed the omnibus bill which includes H.R. 3081. This stroke of a pen raised US foreign aid to $48.764 billion.  Official US foreign aid in 2006 totaled less than $23 billion . . . and that was a sharp rise from pre-Bushian times.   This official, or more precisely the...
Why 'The Greatest Generation'?
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Robert L. Johnson 2010-01-12 04:00
Exclusive to STR   Tom Brokaw coined the phrase “the Greatest Generation” for those Americans who lived through the Great Depression of the 1930s and who went on to fight, kill and die in World War II. You have to ask yourself why a key spokesman for the established government-friendly (to say the least) mainstream media would hold these Americans in such high regard.  ...
The Divine Right of Kings in Sheeple's Clothing
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tzo 2010-01-21 04:00
  Exclusive to STR   The art of political discourse is the art of deception. Since government is, by definition, an unethical enterprise masquerading as an ethical organization, then whatever comes out of a politician's mouth or pen is necessarily meant to deceive his audience. Whatever the politician proposes is unethical in that it is based on aggression, and so the proper spin must...
What Is to Be Done With the Statists?
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Paul Bonneau 2010-05-10 03:00
Exclusive to STR Have you ever wondered what freedom would look like? The big picture, I mean; not just like what it would be like to smoke some pot without being beat up by thugs.   Strangely enough, any realistic picture of freedom will have to include statists in some respect! It's not like we can take any remaining statists out back and put a bullet in their head; that option, although...
The Biblical Roots of the “Lunatic State of Israel”
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Robert L. Johnson 2010-06-14 03:00
Exclusive to STR     The courageous Jew Norm Finkelstein recently described the Jewish state of Israel as a “lunatic state.” He made this statement during an interview regarding the slaughter of nine volunteers who were murdered by the Israeli Occupation Forces while trying to break Israel’s illegal and anti-human blockade of Gaza. The nine people murdered in the...
A Lion in Daniel's Den
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Jim Davies 2010-07-19 03:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR     The abrupt termination of the distinguished, six-decade career of Helen Thomas, after she expressed her opinion about Jews on May 27th, has something fishy about it. There are layers of deception to be uncovered, and since nobody else has removed them, I will make the attempt. You read it here first.   Until that day, there had been no...
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...
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
0
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...