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Friday, May 29

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Ken Kraska is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Terry Chen

Original article Armatix GmbH’s CEO Ernst Mauch is not creating a good many consumers want. He is creating a technology which he hopes people will be FORCED TO PURCHASE, and competitors COMPELLED to license from him, by convincing politicians and bureaucrats to mandate Armatrix’s technology be included in all new firearms. A John M. Browning or Sam Colt he isn’t. More like a rent-seeking shitheel.
Original article The U.S. Gov gives ex-presidents Secret Service protection for themselves and their wives for life, a $200k pension, and a $2 million a year “office budget” for ….? Hard to see why this is the case, given that every single living ex-Pres is a multi-millionaire in their own right already. The Obama’s aren’t, not yet anyway, but with ex-presidential speeches going for $250k apiece, he’ll be as flush as the others in no time at all.
Original article “[The] Ecocapsule, is a new kind of micro-house powered entirely by solar and wind energy. The capsule, made by a Slovakian company called Nice Architects, comes pre-made and ready to house two adults. Its kitchenette spouts running water, the toilet flushes, and the shower flows hot. It is 14.6 feet long and 7.4 feet wide.”
Original article “But the absence of any overt motivation creates a problem: it would be easy to understand why somebody religious would want to be ethical, no matter the hardships, looking forward to rewards in the afterlife.” And everyone else? An essay about ethical philosophy in post-apocalyptic pop culture media.
Original article “Here's another company that just doesn't get security research.” Indeed. It’s almost like they’d rather have their customers be hacked and/or ripped-off rather than suffer any embarrassment for their own security lapses. No good deed goes unpunished does it?
Original article “I was pretty proud of the way I had dealt with this problem until [the] Rangemaster … started his critique. ‘I liked the way you immediately alerted on the water bottle. But I wonder why you didn't just go back inside the house where you had excellent protective cover, extra guns, extra ammunition and a telephone?’ ... Sadly, we occasionally read about this sort of poor judgment in the news.”
Original article “A first-year sanitation worker [makes] more than $100,000 in total comp, including overtime, holiday pay, and benefits. When the Department of Sanitation announced last year that it would offer its employment exam for the first time in seven years, more than 90,000 people signed up to take it.” I’ll bet.
Original article For the reason that political pork, crony capitalism, and local VIP’s status-signaling combined  together seem to be an unstoppable force. And so it looks like SoCal taxpayers are next in line to get fleeced for another one.
Original article “[A] central bank or some sort of coinage monopoly can continually skim and redistribute throughout the financial system. Currency [then] ceases to be a highly accurate unit of account ... and becomes more a measure of how well connected and obedient you are to the system as a whole. Under such a system, price distortions become systemic.” And then you become Zimbabwe.
Original article And just when you think that the War on Drugs™ can’t get any more irrationally brainless…
Original article "The ticket handed out for jaywalking actually only carries with it a $25 base fine. It's when penalties and assessments are added in that the cost begins to skyrocket. So, where does the money go? Of that final $190 bail total, only $22.54 goes to the City of Los Angeles according to data provided by the Los Angeles Superior Court. $28.42 goes to the County of Los Angeles, while the State of California receives $139.04."
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?
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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
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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...
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?
9.83333
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?
0
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...
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...
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!
9
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...
The Pros and the Con
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Paul Hein 2015-04-27 07:48
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...
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
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
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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...