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Wednesday, May 27

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A. Magnus is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Terry Chen

Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The waiter informs you that there is a special, off-menu item available. “Today we have a special: blackened snapper with a mango chutney, served on a bed of wild rice.” It sounds good, but you have your heart set on a meat entree. So you tell him, “Sounds good all right, but I think I’ll have the one-inch thick pork chops, with green beans and a house salad.” The waiter stiffens; his smile disappears. “You’ll have...
Original article "The incident happened at an Irish pub in February. Robert Johnson told ABC11 he was nearby when his friend got into a confrontation with the bar staff. "I guess the bouncers were arguing with him for being loud or whatever," said Johnson. When police arrived, Johnson started recording. "Kept a safe distance - just videotaping," he recalled. That's when things took a turn in his direction. Minutes into the recording, you hear an officer tell Johnson they're...
Original article "TPP elevates corporations and corporate profits to and above the level of governments. TPP lets corporations sue governments for laws and regulations that cause them to be less profitable. Enabling tobacco companies to sue governments because anti-smoking campaigns limit profits has nothing to do with trade. Enabling corporations to sue states that try to regulate fracking has nothing to do with trade."
Original article "Sen. Bernie Sanders fired back at 80 CEOs who wrote a letter lecturing America about deficit reduction by released a report detailing how 18 of these CEOs have wrecked the economy by evading taxes and outsourcing jobs. 80 CEO’s raised the ire of Sen. Sanders by publishing a letter in the Wall Street Journal urging America to act on the deficit, and reform Medicare and Medicaid."
Original article "Tax return information for about 100,000 U.S. taxpayers was illegally accessed by cyber criminals over the past four months, U.S. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of data thefts that have alarmed American consumers. From February to May, attackers sought to gain access to personal tax information 200,000 times through the agency's "Get Transcript" online application, which calls up information from previous returns, he told a news conference. About half of...
Original article "Renowned media scholar Noam Chomsky has declared that the Buzzfeed-style of clickbait journalism is a new form of propaganda aimed at “manufacturing consent” in the interests of elite, dominant groups in society."
Original article "National advocacy organizations Food & Water Watch and Water Defense are calling on California Governor Jerry Brown to protect Americans who consume California produce by ending the practice of using toxic oil field wastewater for irrigation. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times revealed that testing by Water Defense had found toxic industrial chemicals present in the recycled oil field wastewater used to irrigate crops in California’s Central Valley."
Original article "Obama also said that the wars which America waged were “for democracy, the peace we’ve laid to preserve it.” The statement by US president was met with strong criticism both from experts and social media users. “What a joke. Of course the US is still at war,” wrote Brian Fernandes, a user on Facebook. “The US still has troops in Afghanistan and plans to keep them there for years. And they have fomented wars in Ukraine, Africa, Syria, and now Yemen. The US is the most barbaric war-mongering...
Original article "Tensions between China and United States continue to rise over the South China Sea as a Chinese government newspaper warns that war may be 'inevitable' if the U.S. and its allies do not back off from the heavily disputed territory. Last week, the Chinese government condemned the actions of the U.S. military after the P8-A Poseidon, the US' most advanced surveillance aircraft, was caught spying on Chinese naval activities in the Fiery Cross Reef."
Original article "According to investigative reporter Nafeez Ahmed in Medium, the “leaked document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct...
Original article "A report in the official propaganda magazine of ISIS this month bemoans the fact that the terror group is losing members because of so called ‘conspiracy theories’ that Western intelligence manipulates and controls extremists for its own agenda. The International Business Times reports that the magazine, Dabiq, condemns conspiracy theorists, referring to their ideas and beliefs as “sinful”."
Original article "Hillary Clinton wants her supporters to join her in kicking off the campaign season in style! The Presidential hopeful launched her campaign store full of witty products on Tuesday, May 26, and most of the pieces are just too good to pass up. See the items that are absolutely worth coveting, and more that you should definitely leave out of your shopping cart."
Original article While there's still some left of May, anyway...
Caveat
8.33333
tzo 2011-07-19 00:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Any rational conversation on ethics must begin with the following caveat:   If you, as an individual human being, are interested in creating and maintaining a society based on justice, cooperation, freedom, and equal human rights, then there exists a set of objective, ethical rules that can be discovered. Let’s explore them.   But if...
Where's My Contract?
9.85714
Paul Bonneau 2011-07-18 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Dear Senator Enzi,   I was reading Robert Higgs' article Consent of the Governed? when I suddenly realized that I have misplaced my copy of my Social Contract. You know, the signed agreement between myself and the federal government, allowing the latter to rule me? I have looked everywhere and cannot find it.   Would you please make a copy of...
Could the Non-Aggression Principle Stop the Sixth Great Extinction? Part 2
9
Glen Allport 2011-07-15 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR [Part 2 of a five-part series]     How the Idea of Civil Society was Destroyed     In the second half of the 1800s, the nascent civil society in the United States, with its classical liberal worldview – including the understanding that society should embody both liberty and compassion – began giving way to the modern Left...
The Quartzsite Affair
9.66667
Michael Kleen 2011-07-12 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR Because of the corrupting influence of power, we rightly fear its concentration in the hands of a single individual, but what happens when many individuals, in the form of elected representatives, become corrupt and contemptuous of the law? Instead of one tyrant, we find many tyrants, and this is precisely the situation that one small Arizona town finds...
The Political Doctrine of Primus Inter Pares
9.16667
tzo 2011-07-12 00:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   I am going to comment here on a particular speech that Tom Woods gave in Los Angeles this past May. Mr. Woods has recently written a book about State nullification, which is a tactic he proposes as a response to Federal Government Gone Wild. I have not read the book or extensively studied all of Mr. Woods’ propositions, and so my critique is of...
Could the Non-Aggression Principle Stop the Sixth Great Extinction?
5
Glen Allport 2011-07-11 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR [A five-part series]   Part 1: Civil Society Requires Non-Aggression (and one thing more)   Unless you're a hard-core libertarian, you probably haven't heard much about the non-aggression principle, or NAP. That's a shame, because the NAP is what would have saved the world from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, from the BP Gulf of Mexico spill (and...
For What It's Worth (Go Thoreau!)
9
Mark Davis 2011-07-08 00:00
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR There's somethin' happenin' here. What it is ain't exactly clear. There's a man with a gun over there A-tellin' me I've got to beware. I think it's time we stop. Children, what's that sound? Everybody look what's goin' down. ~ Buffalo Springfield   What to do?   When asked what to do about the predicament that I have described over the...
It's Not All That Hard
5
Bob Wallace 2011-07-06 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   “The opposite of war is not peace; it's creation.” ~ Jonathan Larson   Back when I was in college (close to worthless then and even closer now, except for the hard sciences) I realized none of my classes that I was really interested in were logically connected to each other, so that I could come up with an accurate model of...
The Slavery of Politics
9.4
R. K. Blacksher 2011-07-05 00:00
Column by R.K. Blacksher Exclusive to STR There are few things more frustrating than engaging in a discussion with a Constitutionalist. It is a very depressing spectacle to observe people who are often very rational descend into the most vulgar style of starry-eyed hero worship when discussing the Founding Fathers and their divine governing document.   Lysander Spooner effectively...
Clearing the Throne for a New King
8
Emmett Harris 2011-07-05 00:00
Column by Emmett Harris. Exclusive to STR July Fourth represents a day off from work, cookouts in the back yard, singed arm hair from the over exuberant use of lighter fluid, the overindulgence of heady quaffs, and the cause of post traumatic stress in canines everywhere. Oh, and like all other holidays in our brave new America, endless paeans to the military, especially emanating from those...
Propaganda 101: An Introduction and Case Study
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Mark Davis 2013-09-12 08:25
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 07:41
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 09:21
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 08:18
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 08:03
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 08:23
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...
Fixing Historical Sabotage
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Lawrence Samuels 2014-05-12 08:20
Column by L.K. Samuels. Exclusive to STR Being something of an amateur historian, I find it reprehensible that there are so-called historians willing to rewrite history to suit their own ideological narrative. But then again, as George Orwell wrote in Nineteen Eighty-Four, he “who controls the past, controls the future” and he “who controls the present controls the past....
The Compromise
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Paul Bonneau 2014-05-21 08:12
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Why is it that evil proliferates? What mechanism keeps it going? Who is to blame? Why are there so many wars and occupations? Why such huge amounts of theft (“taxes”, fines, fees and “civil forfeiture”)? Why are so many nonviolent people in jail? What keeps the “War on Some Drugs” going? Why does the police state expand...
Through Thick and Thin: Ahoy!
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Mark Davis 2014-06-25 07:17
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR Mini-statists love to use lifeboat analogies in an effort to reveal a weakness in the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) and/or in respect for property rights (self-ownership).   But what is revealed?  These lifeboat situations are, of course, not even close to being universal experiences.  These analogies are used by statists to make the...
The Advantage of Panarchy
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Paul Bonneau 2014-07-14 06:32
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The crucial advantage of Panarchy is that it converts aggressive violence into defense. Most people on the Internet tend to “stick with their own kind”; for example, liberals read only sites like Daily Kos. However, when they venture out and run into those of different persuasions, you always see a battle of competing arguments, and the...
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...