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Monday, July 27

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photo courtesy of Theophilos Papadopoulos

Column by new Root Striker David M. Brown. Exclusive to STR Persons sometimes treat others very badly. This treatment may be institutionally encouraged, and continue for a long time. For example, officials of the Catholic Church once sanctioned torture as a means of extracting confessions from heretics and, with luck, curing them of their heresy. In his account in The Age of Faith of the Inquisition as it developed in the 13th century, Will Durant writes (p. 781): The popes advised that...
Original article "Hey, employers, don’t even think about reimbursing your workers’ health-insurance premiums. Beginning this month, the IRS can levy fines amounting to $100 per worker per day or $36,500 per worker per year, with a maximum of $500,000 per firm. This Internal Revenue Service penalty is not written into the Obamacare law. The amount is over 12 times the statutory amount in the Affordable Care Act of $3,000 per worker per year."
Original article "Given all of this, it's easy to see why many analysts and commentators still belive that Grexit - and everything that comes with it both for Greece and for the EMU - is still the most likely outcome."
Original article "Along with Greece, Spain is yet another nation that has both a history of civil war from recent memory, and the potential for a new war in their future. And as for the EU, they’re busy playing whack-a-mole. They can’t suppress one problematic country without another flaring up. Time will tell how long Brussels can keep their crumbling economic union together."
Original article "Chicago for example, is now paying an exorbitant 8% yield on their bonds, which amounts to almost twice as much as a homeowner would pay for a 30 year mortgage. If other cities have to deal with credit rating downgrades (which they soon will), paying off their liabilities will quickly turn into a Sisyphean task. Widespread municipal bankruptcies will soon become a common feature in America's financial landscape."
Original article "After years of suppression, the forces of reality are threatening to overwhelm our managed global 'markets‘. And it’s about damn time."
Original article "We’ve seen some significant swings in precious metals over the last several years and if we are to believe the paper spot prices and recent value of mining shares, one would think that gold and silver are on their last leg. Last weekend precious metals took a massive hit to the downside, sending shock waves throughout the industry. But was the move really representative of what’s happening in precious metals markets around the world?"
Original article "Supposedly, lower demand is driving the price down, but there’s clearly an increasing demand for the physical metal. When something as simple as supply and demand doesn’t add up, it’s time to question the legitimacy of the forces responsible for setting the price."
Original article "This incident highlights the importance of filming police. Here, we have what seemed like a fleeting exchange with cops, actually evolve into cops lying to ruin the career of an innocent man. Had this not been caught on video, it would have been Kirkpatrick’s word against these two lying cops — and we know who the other cops would have believed."
Original article "It previously has been proven that boats, planes, GPS-driven munitions, unmanned vehicles and even smart homes all can be taken over via remote control But nothing has received the level of attention as the common modern vehicle."
Original article "This is yet another attempt to shatter the rights of all Americans at the expense of one of Washington’s top lobbying clients. While public-private partnerships conspire to protect Big Agra’s market from image damage, the potential health effects of genetically altered foods drenched in pesticides goes not only ignored, but suppressed."
Original article "Beyond the correlations below, she defines and examines the biological mechanism... breaching and turning the the 'no causation' argument on its HEAD. The Monsanto legal 'Argument' is: The correlations don't equal causation, AKA: You Can't Prove it."
Original article "Until now, researchers believed farming was 'invented' some 12,000 years ago in an area that was home to some of the earliest known human civilizations. A new discovery offers the first evidence that trial plant cultivation began far earlier -- some 23,000 years ago."
Original article "It doesn't happen often that a young scientist makes a significant and unexpected discovery, but postdoctoral researcher Stephen Wu of the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory just did exactly that."
Original article "In biology and medicine, we often need to detect biological molecules. For example, in cancer diagnostics, doctors need quick and reliable ways of knowing if tumor cells are present in the patient's body. Although such detection methods exist, they often require a lot of time, work and money. EPFL scientists have chemically tweaked the enzyme responsible for the light of fireflies to make it "sniff out" target biological molecules and give out a light signal. The result is a...
Original article A Photo Blog
Jumping the Gun on Egypt
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Michael Kleen 2011-08-08 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   For the 79 million people living in Egypt, the protest movement that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak in early February was an earth-shattering event, and the enthusiasm of the crowds in Cairo’s Tahrir Square was echoed by many here in the United States. Now that the dust has settled on the “Egyptian Revolution...
Government Is an Obsolete Idea (and Castro Proves It)
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-08-02 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III   Exclusive to STR   Fidel Castro is one of the only personages within recent memory--and this was while talking to a host of news reporters back in the 1990s--who repeated the Marxist myth that ideally, Communism would eventually make governments disappear. Of course, when then asked when the world could expect to see the Cuban government disappear,...
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
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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
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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?
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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!)
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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
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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...
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...
Malum Prohibitum, Ad Nauseum
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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...
Who's On First--And Where Is It?
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Paul Hein 2014-10-03 08:01
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I am bemused at the concern shown about the problem of illegal aliens, but perhaps that can be attributed to the fact that I live hundreds of miles from the border. There seems to be some controversy about the role of the federal vs. state governments. I think this would be an ideal situation to employ the principle of subsidiarity, which states that problems...
Two Modest Suggestions
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Paul Hein 2014-10-15 08:31
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR A long time ago, in a different galaxy, I offered a suggestion for the relief of the financial problems of the airline industry. My advice went unheeded, and today we see the sorry mess that constitutes that industry today. I told you so! My idea, as I’m sure you remember, was to enhance the profitable aspects of airline operation, while reducing 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
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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
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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
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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...