Front page date

Monday, May 4

Guest Editor

Government Denies Knowledge is the guest editor today.

WANTED: A new guest editor for Saturdays.  If you're interested, please email me.

Syndicate content

photo courtesy of Terry Chen

Original article "Libertarians advocate for the privatization of all government “services,” and this includes the prison system. Whenever I mention that “public” utilities and “public” works ought to be done privately, a common retort is to “look at how that has worked in the prison industry.” But how libertarian are private prisons anyways?"
Original article The untold story of the Silk Road.
Original article Assassination, or "targeted killing" didn't work in the drug war and it certainly isn't working in the war on terror.
Original article A lesson in economics for all you Keynesians out there. No, there is no such thing as a "global glut."
Original article "None of them seem to believe that people can be trusted to be in charge of their own affairs. The debate over the “inequality problem” is an excellent case in point. It isn’t as if the knowledge required to understand the problem weren’t readily available. However, most of these people were educated in statist institutions, and have rarely been exposed to any non-statist ideological viewpoints. The possibilities offered by solutions that do not involve the State in...
Original article "It's been a one-party city for at least half a century but Obama still managed to blame Republicans."
Original article "As noted by Sharyl, the reasons for the decline of investigative journalism are complicated. But a big part of it is due to commercial concerns; basically, commercial and corporate influences came into play, and media outlets grew to accept commercialization as part of the news process."
Original article "Economic growth is not the same as economic activity. It’s not about just making more exchanges or producing more stuff. It’s ultimately about getting people the things they want at progressively lower cost, and thereby improving their well-being. That’s what markets have done for the last two centuries. For those of us who understand this point, it’s important not to assume that higher rates of GDP growth or the increased production of physical stuffautomatically...
Original article "I leave you with this thought, if you need to build a fire or light a cigarette, how much would you pay for a BIC lighter?  The same could be asked about “money”, if one needs to put capital somewhere that cannot ever default (which is gold only), what is one ounce of gold worth?  It is crystal clear to me, when this question gets asked, it may take some time for the physical market to clear and give an answer!  The true value of gold...
Original article "When you’re trying to protect your privacy, it’s totally unclear how, exactly, to start using encryption. One obvious place to start, where the privacy benefits are high and the technical learning curve is low, is something called full disk encryption. Full disk encryption not only provides the type of strong encryption Snowden and Obama reference, but it’s built-in to all major operating systems, it’s the only way to protect your data in case your...
Original article "Through a St. Louis-based company, his Tor exit had been whirring away in a German data centre for 18 months. But it appears that wasn’t enough to stop a raid on his house."
Original article "Of course, perhaps it's not so surprising that the committee on "banking and finance" would approve this bill -- considering it gives a free pass to big banks and financial services companies while hindering startups, entrepreneurs and innovators. However, any of the many startups in California that are doing some amazing and interesting things with Bitcoin should speak up now, because California is about to tell them to move out of the state entirely."
Original article "It is looking more and more like Bitcoin, and the advent of the digital currency, couldn’t be at a better place at a perfect time. As states, and the central banks that run, them become more brazen in their economic oppression and deceptions, innovation, freedom, and privacy live on in new and exciting forms that can bring together more people than ever before."
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...
Discovering True Laws
7.75
Bob Wallace 2011-07-01 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace. Exclusive to STR It is unfortunate there has to be a distinction between “true law” and “false law.”  True law is discovered; false law is made up.   No one trained in any hard science believes law can be made up.  None of them will tell you that you can take cyanide without harm, or jump out of an airplane without a parachute.  ...
Desire Is the Mother of Necessity
9.5
B.R. Merrick 2011-06-30 00:00
Column by B.R. Merrick. Exclusive to STR Necessity is the mother of invention. ~ ascribed to Plato   This alleged Platonic nugget may very well be true, but it does not take into account something that I believe is far more important, since it gets closer to the root of why we invent. If necessity is what leads to invention, what, if anything, leads to necessity?   I suppose any...
Reform Sucks. Or Where Do We Go From Here?
8
Per Bylund 2011-06-30 00:00
Column by Per Bylund. Exclusive to STR I recently participated in an online discussion on gay marriage, an issue that was stated to be “such a sure thing” that my views could be dismissed at the outset. And, I suspect, laughed at. Why? Because, it was argued, government’s opening up the state-enforced institution of marriage to gay couples “decreases” discrimination...
Extortion/Bribery
6.33333
Paul Hein 2011-06-29 00:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has been convicted on 17 of 20 counts of extortion and other forms of corruption, centering mainly around his attempt to sell the senate seat of Barack Obama to the highest bidder. Shame on him. His behavior was typical of Illinois politicians, or even politicians in general. He should go to jail!  ...
Against State-Sponsored Gay Marriage Recommended
9
R. K. Blacksher 2011-06-29 00:00
Column by R.K. Blacksher. Exclusive to STR In an 1877 essay titled “Against Women’s Suffrage,” Lysander Spooner wrote, “Women are human beings, and consequently have all the natural rights that any human being can have.” These natural rights, Spooner argued, do not include the “right” to use the power of the state to engage in theft and coercion against...
How Much Do You Value Government?
9
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?
9
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
9
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'
9
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
9
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
9
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
9
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!
9
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
9
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...
Malum Prohibitum, Ad Nauseum
9
Paul Hein 2014-08-25 07:40
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR “I’ve got a tremendous idea,” you announce to your colleagues. “Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had health insurance?” “You bet,” they agree--at least most of them. “Well, let’s make everybody buy it. If some can’t afford it, we’ll subsidize it, somehow, and if they refuse, we’ll...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
10
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
10
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
10
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
10
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
9
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
10
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...