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Monday, April 27

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Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR You are notified by a group of strangers that you must send them a large amount (by ounce? gram?) of money. The request is reasonably polite, although there is, in small print, or hushed, mumbled tones, a promise of unpleasantness should you decline the request. Or perhaps you learn, by TV or newspaper, that henceforth you will be required to do something which you had not previously been required to do: carry certain papers on your person at all times,...
Original article "In a series of articles, Eric Lipton of The New York Times examines the explosion in lobbying of state attorneys general by corporate interests and the millions in campaign donations they now provide."
Original article "American foreign policy has been the instrument of the corporate class since the turn of the last century. This is what empires are all about – and, as imperiums go, ours is in a class of corruption all by itself."
Original article A brief critique of some lesser known selections from Marx.
Original article "Some 900 people from Libya may have died when their boats capsized in the Mediterranean Sea as they fled the barbaric chaos that the Obama administration helped unleash in Libya in 2011. Yet, the mainstream U.S. media has amnesia about the bloody American hand in this tragedy, writes Robert Parry."
Original article "Turse has unearthed a continent’s worth of bad behavior, even as U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) went out of its way to obstruct his reporting and the documents he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act were so heavily redacted that ink companies must be making a fortune."
Original article "The growing 1,200-file record is comprised of 8,900 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the files of various FBI informants and government employees engaged in “domestic intelligence work” since the 1950s."
Original article The real problem is the belief that all our social problems can be solved with force.
Original article "It's a strange demand to make on a political philosophy -- that it instantly fix everything that the opposing philosophy has broken. Moreover, I'm concerned that some libertarians, in their justifiable enthusiasm for "the market," inadvertently lead nonlibertarians to think that this unrealistic expectation is part of their philosophy. Of course, that is not good because nonlibertarians won't believe that the market would make all things right overnight, and so they...
Original article "In a landmark 2009 report, the National Academy of Sciences concluded that, aside from DNA, there was little, if any, meaningful scientific underpinning to many of the forensic disciplines. “With the exception of nuclear DNA analysis … no forensic method has been rigorously shown to have the capacity to consistently, and with a high degree of certainty, demonstrate a connection between evidence and a specific individual or source,” reads the report."
Original article "But in hindsight, there’s a giant, glaring problem with my educational experience: I hardly did any real thinking, and I didn’t really give a damn about learning. At least not for most of that time. For the vast majority of my “education”, I wasn’t asking deep, probing questions; I wasn’t generating original ideas about the topics at hand; I wasn’t engaging in creative problem-solving; I wasn’t imagining multiple perspectives or...
Original article "Why in the world has JP Morgan accumulated more than55 million ounces of physical silver?  Since early 2012, JP Morgan’s stockpile has grown from less than 5 million ounces of physical silver to more than 55 million ounces of physical silver.  Clearly, someone over at JP Morgan is convinced that physical silver is a great investment."
Original article "Reflecting on the diverse ways in which libertarians seek to reduce the states impact in our lives, a general theme emerges. When previous revolutions have been loud, confrontational and very often violent, the libertarian revolution in its myriad forms is all about evading, creating and finding more ways in which we can avoid conflict. It is not about resisting but simply not complying, which may make it the quietest, and best, revolution to date."
Original article Some of the history and business models of various blockchain startups.
Original article Will recent breakthroughs in computer science make truly free markets a reality?  
Original article "Since early in 2013, Darkcoin has been a permanent fixture in the daily digital currency news. From Darkcoin’s initial meteoric rise, quickly reaching a USD value of $15, to the level of security and innovation it provides for privacy seekers, to the failures and triumphs of the “Masternode Network”, Darkoin has been almost as interesting and intriguing as Bitcoin itself. And 2015 is shaping up to be a year of rebirth for Darkcoin, which is now Dash. We discuss...
Original article Learn how to use PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) to protect your communications.
In Defense of Incrementalism
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Michael Kleen 2011-06-29 00:00
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 2011-06-28 00:00
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 2011-06-28 00:00
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 2011-06-27 00:00
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 2011-06-27 00:00
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 2011-06-24 00:00
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 2011-06-22 00:00
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 2011-06-10 00:00
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 2011-06-10 00:00
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 2011-06-08 00:00
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...
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...
The Coercive State Is the Bill Cosby of Global Society
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Glen Allport 2014-11-19 09:25
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR The Internet has been on fire lately with allegations that 77-year old Bill Cosby drugged and raped more than a dozen women over the years. Yikes. Cosby was a popular stand-up comedian in the 1960s and has been a major show-business success ever since. He did an Emmy-winning stint as co-star of the ground-breaking I, Spy series (banned in parts of the...
Like Magic!
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Mark Davis 2015-02-09 09:23
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR Men have been creating supernatural entities since the first fires were harnessed by the smartest guys in the cave at the dawn of civilization. Conjuring up power into existence (state sovereignty) through the use of magic spells (social contracts, laws) is still used to this day by modern wizards (law makers) and priests (law enforcement). Repeating words...
American Sniper: Hero, Psychopath or Mass Murderer?
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Douglas Herman 2015-02-17 09:04
P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } If Chris Kyle and Clint Eastwood Are Your Heroes, Tip a Toast to Occupiers Everywhere.  Especially That Mexican Guy at the Alamo. Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Chris Kyle is gonna win an Oscar later this month. Or the actor playing his part, Bradley Cooper. More than just a film about a misunderstood warrior, coward, killing machine or patriot...
Us, or U.S.?
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Paul Hein 2015-04-06 07:39
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I was watching a television program recently dealing with the events leading up to World War II, but primarily concerned with the attacks by Japan upon China, and the presidential order establishing the American Volunteer Force to provide American pilots and aircraft to fight for the Chinese. The commentator remarked, “The U.S. realized that it could...
Dear OSPIRG Gal...
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Paul Bonneau 2015-04-17 08:33
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Responding to the door bell, there was a young gal with a vaguely eastern European accent at the door, who immediately started a spiel about how she is a member of Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group, and how they are working on a campaign to stop overuse of antibiotics by farmers. Normally I would enjoy talking with a cute lady, but I was grumpy...
Bumper Stickers
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tzo 2010-08-10 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR     If there is one message that must continually be broadcast to people in order to improve the quality of life on this planet, it is this: Politics is aggression. Until this simple understanding becomes widespread, we will all continue to bog down in the mud.   Politics is aggression.   Recently while driving I noticed that the car...
Authority: God vs. Man
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Guest 2011-03-21 03:00
Column by new Root Striker Doug Carkuff. Exclusive to STR One of my guilty pleasures in life was watching the Showtime series “The Tudors.” It is great fun watching King Henry petulantly subjecting his subjects to his whims and hacking off heads and torturing people as it suits him. I have no idea with respect to historical accuracy of any of it except in the broadest sense...
Dehumanizing People is Fun
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Paul Bonneau 2012-03-13 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It is clearly fun to make fun of people. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be such a popular pastime.   One can imagine why we are prone to this kind of behavior. For example, in the old days, if you wanted to slaughter another tribe and steal their women and take all their stuff, dehumanizing them first was eminently sensible. It erases all inhibitions...
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
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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...