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Monday, December 29

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photo courtesy of Fred Moore

Original article "You name it and it failed.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about invasions, occupations, interventions, small conflicts, raids, bombing runs, secret operations, offshore “black sites,” or god knows what else -- none of it came close to succeeding by even the most minimal standards set in Washington.  In this period, many grim things were done and most of them blew back, creating more enemies, new Islamic extremist movements, and even a...
Original article "For better or worse, this nomination of yet another Citigroup alumna to an important position in our government comes at a time when the public has grown suspicious of Wall Street’s influence on our government."
Original article "'1970s New York' is a foundational text of urban paranoia. It's an abstraction stemming from numerous sociological factors ranging from a crack epidemic to city fiduciary collapses, one that continues to hold significant sway in the popular consciousness. It makes a magnificent foil for the law-and-order types, one that festered in the background of the debate over stop-and-frisk."
Original article "Even in a best case diplomatic scenario, we're still a long way from finding Cuban cigar brands at our local tobacconists."
Original article "While the NSA has come under public pressure for openness since high-profile revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the release of the heavily redacted internal reports at 1:30PM on Christmas Eve demonstrates limits to the agency’s attempts to demonstrate transparency. "
Original article "Ironically, the criminalization of the possession of psychedelic drugs in 1970 and the attendant passion of the authorities’ anti-drug crusade did little to slow the spread of recreational abuse, but effectively shut all research into possible beneficial uses down cold."
Original article "The government blames North Korea of the Axis of Evil for the attack on Sony, a claim quite like the bogus claims of the past we so credulously believed. No matter how often they lie to us, Americans believe what the government tells us. They lie, we believe, their lies are exposed — rinse, repeat."
Original article "Everyone has heard the statistic. One in five female students will be raped during her time on campus. Only they won't because the rate of campus rape is far, far lower and it is consistently falling."
Original article "First, approximately 11,000 FOIA cases that were improperly closed in 2012 had to be reopened and reprocessed. Second, after its reorganization, a new manager found a stack of boxes containing 12,000 paper requests from 2012 that had never been entered into their processing system." Government transparency. 
Original article "How to be dependent on government is now one of the earliest life lessons America is teaching nearly a supermajority of children."
Original article "The Social Security Administration, which announced in April that it would stop trying to collect debts from the children of people who were allegedly overpaid benefits decades ago, has continued to demand such payments and now defends that practice in court documents."
Original article "For people who consider themselves “awake” to the nonsensical idiocy being parroted in the 24/7 mainstream mind-melting cycle, almost nothing that happens these days seems to fit the definition of “real” or “believable.” Everything needs to be double-checked."
Original article Might as well fight the surveillance state, all while getting tax deductions!
Original article "A computer science student in the Netherlands has developed a cheap and censorship-resistant messaging service built on top of the bitcoin blockchain."
In Defense of Incrementalism
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Michael Kleen 2011-06-28 23:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   In any political or social philosophy, there are those who believe that they can achieve everything they want all at once or in a series of large jumps, and those who believe that broad-based change should be (or is most rationally) achieved through incremental changes. The advocate of incremental change, I believe, is the more pragmatic of...
Patriot Pauls and Patriot Acts, Part II of II Recommended
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tzo 2011-06-27 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Part II: Get Real   Reality check: There is little I can do to change society as it is currently configured, and the Constitutionalist must come to grips with the fact that he is in an identical situation. The Voluntaryist is ridiculed for holding a position that hardly anyone understands or is aligned with, but the same may be said of the Ron Paul...
How Can You Hate Hitler?
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-06-27 23:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III Exclusive to STR And not just in contrast to other tyrants and butchers of the 20th Century, when modern warfare and weaponry for the first time made the extermination of human beings possible on such a massive scale – I’m referring to Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and a few others who were at least indirectly responsible (after all, it was ultimately the masses...
The Good, the Bad and the Half-Asleep
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Bob Wallace 2011-06-26 23:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   It was Aristotle who observed there are two kinds of ignorance: when you’re ignorant and know it, and when you’re ignorant and don’t know it. The second kind of ignorance is the dangerous kind, because people who are ignorant and don’t know it usually think they’re smarter and more knowledgeable than everyone else...
Obama, Where's the Contract?
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-06-26 23:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III   Exclusive to STR   Of course, the more popular question these past three years or so has been, “Where’s the birth certificate?” – so much so that Barack felt obliged to produce a Hawaiian “long-form” piece of paper alleging his 1961 birth took place there. Others contend that this is a forgery, and that the...
Patriot Pauls and Patriot Acts, Part I of II
9.5
tzo 2011-06-23 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Wow. Lots of buzz lately about Rand and Ron Paul and the Patriot Act. It's got me to thinking...   This is for all the Paul supporters out there who believe that their Constitutional vision of returning the nation to the noble framework laid out by Thee Founding Fathers™ is the end to be attained. This is for all those who are disillusioned, dissatisfied...
The (Re)birth of A(nother) Nation
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Harry Goslin 2011-06-21 23:00
Column by Harry Goslin. Since October 26, 2001, the United States has undergone several transformations. That's the date the original version of the PATRIOT Act became law and marked the beginning of Police State America.   Whenever "key" provisions of the Act were scheduled to "sunset," we have been bombarded by warnings from Congress and the executive branch of...
The Absurdity of Hating Walmart...and Not Government
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-06-09 23:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III   Exclusive to STR   It seems to invoke the ire of the dogmatic leftists to no end, the largest corporation on earth; this homegrown business, now global in scope, second in size only to the U.S. federal government. They inveigh against it as if this department store chain were the summary of all total malfeasance – a horrible capitalist-pig...
The Great Game of Government™
7.75
tzo 2011-06-09 23:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Imagine you are going to participate in one of those chess games in which actual people occupy each of the 64 stations on a large board. If you agree to play, and you are assigned the role of bishop, then you can move only diagonally. Furthermore, you can only move when and how far the player who controls the army of which you are a part decides....
Taking the Bull by the Tail
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Duane Colyar 2011-06-07 23:00
Column by Duane Colyar. Exclusive to STR While reading news reports in a local daily that is now so small it would barely cover the bottom of a birdcage, my mind wandered over the dark scenes of modern-day America: endless wars of dubious constitutionality and military occupations spawning future wars; hit squads flying uninvited into a sovereign nation; the spectacle of police dressed in...
A Meeting of the Minds
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forty2oz 2013-06-14 06:02
Column by new Root Striker forty2oz. Exclusive to STR Discussion with a left-leaning Statist who claimed to not be employed by the government: (We were at Starbucks sitting at adjacent tables with three other patrons seated nearby; a couple in a booth along the windows facing street-side, and a man in a state-issued costume in another booth directly across from them near the entrance to the...
Words and Deeds
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Douglas Young 2013-07-15 07:26
Column by Douglas Young. Exclusive to STR Celebrity chef Paula Deen was professionally lynched for having once used a racist epithet at home 30 years ago when referring to the black man who robbed her at gunpoint. This came in a legal deposition prompted by an extortionist $1.25 million discrimination lawsuit filed by a white female former employee who admitted she hadn’t heard Ms. Deen use...
The Thirteenth Year
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Jim Davies 2013-08-27 06:32
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR There's a lot of silly superstitions around, one of which regards the number 13 as unlucky, leading to irrational but septasyllabic triskaidekaphobia. Tall buildings are built with floors numbered up to 12, then 14 and beyond; it must play havoc with the design engineers. According to Shyam Sunder Gupta, in 1993 the prestigious British Medical Journal...
Political Science Is Junk Science
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Alex R. Knight III 2013-08-28 06:25
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR One of the more amazing aspects of the increasingly untenable farce that passes for education in America today is the widespread availability, at the college or university level, of degrees in Political Science. What is “political science” – if indeed we are to even accept the idea that two such concepts bear any relation to one...
Propaganda 101: An Introduction and Case Study
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Mark Davis 2013-09-12 07:25
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR "A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper...
How Much Do You Value Government?
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Paul Bonneau 2013-09-16 06:41
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I was reading Mama Liberty’s recent blog post about downsizing government. It occurred to me that it could be determined how much any given individual valued government, by asking them how much they would pay in taxes for it, if taxes really were voluntary. For example, Joe Blow pays a total of $20,000 this year in taxes. If asked what he’d...
MYOB: As Important as NAP?
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Paul Bonneau 2013-12-27 08:21
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR If you have not yet read Eric Frank Russell’s classic And Then There Were None, it would help understand this article. “MYOB” means “Mind Your Own Business.” Of course, every libertarian and anarchist knows what “NAP” is (although I have always wondered why it has two names, “NAP” and “ZAP,...
I Don't Have Rights; Nor Do I Want Any
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Paul Bonneau 2014-03-26 07:18
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Ever since I can remember, I have questioned. I suppose I am a contrarian. Whenever a herd of people goes off in one direction, that is prima facie evidence that the direction they are going needs to be questioned even more. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect,” as Mark Twain nicely put it....
The Urge to 'Do Something'
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Alex R. Knight III 2014-04-10 07:03
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR It’s virtually the mantra of the statist government-believers – those of the Left, Right, and Center – whenever there’s a perceived “crisis.” A mass shooting. Unemployment. A display of racism or gender-bias. A tax-financed school system that fails to actually educate (though why such should baffle anyone is beyond...
The Name Game
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Paul Hein 2014-04-14 07:23
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR An interesting phenomenon: You receive a letter, signed by a group of people unknown to you, asking you to send them a large check, and implying that if you don’t, there could be unpleasant consequences. You laugh, and throw it away. Perhaps, if you’re sufficiently annoyed, you could send a copy to the authorities, asking that they put a halt to...
'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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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...
Oh, Stanley MUST READ
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tzo 2011-03-30 02:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Stanley Milgram was an American social psychologist best known for his Milgram Experiment, a study conducted in the 1960s.   Dr. Milgram wanted to research the relationship between obedience and authority, and he was at least partly motivated to do so by the events of the Nazi Holocaust. It greatly troubled him that so many supposedly good people could...