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Monday, October 5

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Melinda Secor is the guest editor today.

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Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }Mankind are a part of nature. So as to avoid the risk of being branded pedagogic, I’ll add that the most widely accepted cosmological theory to date is that we are all comprised of stardust – the ultimate Mother Nature. Things in this universe, so far as we know or can tell, just don’t get more natural than that. Economics are a purely human invention – the mother of which, Ben...
Original article "A military alliance between Moscow, Tehran and Hezbollah? You’re darn tootin’, and you can thank Barack Obama and his lunatic regime change plan for that development."
Original article 'Meanwhile, the Russians have shot back by calling out the Washington establishment for their phony efforts to destroy ISIS. After only three days of airstrikes, they claim that ISIS is on the run, while after months of daily airstrikes our military hardly left a dent in ISIS. Logically, this can only mean one thing. Our government never intended to destroy ISIS."
Original article "The media frenzy in the countries of the anti-Assad coalition over the Russian air strikes on Al-Qaeda-linked guerrillas in Syria has made one very significant fact quite clear. Along with the nervous reaction of the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and some other countries it is irrefutable proof that the interests of seemingly opposing forces – NATO and radical jihadism – are actually tightly intertwined. And their relations go far beyond the Syrian crisis."
Original article "Overshadowed by its relative smallness and obscured by its relative complexity, the six-month-old civil war in Yemen is the middle child of Middle East conflict."
Original article "The collapse that many have suggested will take place at some point in the future is actually happening right here and now. If the charts above are accurate – and we believe they are – then America is already in the throes of its next Great Depression."
Original article "What passes for thinking about the prevention of gun violence is not thinking at all. Thinking (as problem-solving) is a search for means that can be reasonably expected to achieve a given end. By reasonably I mean that supporting arguments can be provided to demonstrate to the satisfaction of reasonable people the connection between the means and ends. What we get from gun-control advocates is nothing like that; instead they operate on the magical belief that uttering certain words --...
Original article "If private property rights are the foundation of a free economy, then it should be clear to all that we have neither. We have something else completely, so we might as well admit it."
Original article "The idea behind 'People’s QE' is that central banks would directly fund government spending… and even inject money directly into household bank accounts, if need be. And the idea is catching on. Already the European Central Bank is buying bonds of the European Investment Bank, an E.U. institution that finances infrastructure projects. And the new leader of Britain’s Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, is backing a British version of this scheme. Ah-ha! That’s the...
Original article "A dairy raid just took place on Michael Schmidt’s raw dairy farm in Canada. All eyes had been on Schmidt for years as he is a beloved farmer and food freedom activist who was constantly targeted by agents, along with Canadian sheep farmer Montana Jones. Agents confiscated his items and started loading them onto trucks. The power of the people who arrived as soon as they heard, compelled agents to start unloading the items back onto his farm, preventing the would-be raid."
Original article "The new law prohibits state or local law enforcement agencies from receiving armored drones, weaponized, or both; aircraft that are combat configured or combat coded; grenades or similar explosives and grenade launchers; silencers; and 'militarized armored vehicles' from federal military surplus programs. But, as The Guardian reported last fall, handouts of such equipment from the Pentagon aren’t the only way the federal government militarizes local police. Department of...
Original article "A single neuron in a normal adult brain likely has more than a thousand genetic mutations that are not present in the cells that surround it, according to new research. The majority of these mutations appear to arise while genes are in active use, after brain development is complete."
Original article "The words people use on social media can reveal hidden meaning to those who know where to look. Linguists have long been fascinated by this notion, connecting a person's words to age, gender, even socioeconomic status. Now computer scientists from the University of Pennsylvania and elsewhere have gone a step further, linking the online behavior of more than 5,000 Twitter users to their income bracket."
Original article "Scientists know a lot about HIV—how it's transmitted, the virus' life cycle, and where it likes to hang out in the body. But they haven't had a good understanding of how it moves between cells in the body, and they have never been able to actually watch it spread. Now a team of researchers from Yale University led a study that recorded the virus infecting the lymph nodes in a mouse to better understand how it infects the body, with the intention of being able to stop...
Original article AC/DC rocks the holler.  (Editor's pick)
Original article A Photo Blog
A Decade of Striking the Root
Alex R. Knight III 2011-08-10 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III   Exclusive to STR   Although for myself personally, it’s been very close to half that long at the time of this writing. My very first STR column, “The Trouble With Star Trek,” appeared on August 22, 2006. It was the first time I came to recognize the immense power of the Internet. I’d only learned of STR’s...
Ten Years and Counting
Emmett Harris 2011-08-09 00:00
Column by Emmett Harris.   Exclusive to STR   Ten years ago the United States government was a poorly restrained leviathan, consuming vast amounts of wealth at home and meddling higgledy-piggledy in the affairs of others around the world. While the size of the state loomed large, the voices sincerely espousing liberty were few and, amid the burning debris of September 11th, they...
Jumping the Gun on Egypt
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)
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,...
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?
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
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
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
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?
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...
The Advantage of Panarchy
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
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?
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
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
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!
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?
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.?
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...
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...