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Wednesday, December 24

Guest Editor

A. Magnus is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Fred Moore

Original article "The U.S. is increasingly coming to grips with the terrible costs of the post-9/11 war on terror that has gone on for over a decade – with no end in sight. American casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq total 6,845 men and women, according to the latest official tally, while more than a million troops were wounded in both wars."
Original article "Recently, there was a charity event given by retired LAPD officer Joe Myers. Half were police, some retired, and the other half were non-police attendees. Private I Gary Fishell, who once worked for the federal government, thought it would be funny at the event to get up and sing a violent song of sorts...."
Original article "Nicaragua has announced the start of work on a new canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. At an opening ceremony, Wang Jing, the president of HKND, the Chinese company building the canal, said this moment would go down in history. The 278km (172 mile) waterway will be longer, deeper and wider than the Panama Canal."
Original article "Well, if we’re not going to punish CIA officials for torturing people and misleading leaders about it, we’re certainly not going to punish CIA officials for snooping on Senate staff and misleading leaders about it, right? Right."
Original article "In fact, there are approximately 2.2 million students in the United States who receive home education, and experts note that its popularity has continued, rather than waned, through the years. These students have been found to score up to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests."
Original article "As the Los Angeles Police Department prepares to outfit its force with body cameras during interactions with the public, civil rights groups are concerned over the idea that footage won’t be made public outside of court proceedings."
Original article "The police are not going to regulate themselves; and like any bureaucratic organization, will constantly try to command as much power and resources as they can while insulating themselves from accountability to anyone outside the organization."
Original article "A New Year’s goal of the federal office responsible for averting employee leaks is to make a career out of catching so-called insider threats."
Original article "I think if anything defines 2014 for me, it’s the advent of incessant claims for which no proof – apparently – needs to be provided. Everything related to Ukraine over the past year carries that trait. The year of ‘beautiful blue eyes’, in other words. Never no proof, you just have to believe what your government says."
Original article "As police forces fail some communities, private organizations are stepping up. Oath Keepers stationed volunteers on the rooftops of businesses in Ferguson, protecting them from looters. Local business owners said they felt safer knowing the private entity was looking out for them."
Original article "Steve Wigginton, the U.S. Attorney in Southern District of Illinois, says posts on Twitter reveal an effort by ISIS to team up with not only criminals, but anarchists and sovereign citizens. “We received intelligence reports for law enforcement showing actual tweets ISIS was putting out encouraging Americans to join the people who were burning down buildings in Ferguson to engage that kind of conduct across America,” said Wigginton."
Original article 'Tis the season...
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
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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™
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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
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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...