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Thursday, July 28

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR In his famous post-World War Two exposé, On Power: The Natural History of Its Growth, Bertrand de Jouvenel makes some salient observations at the very beginning of Chapter IX, “Power, Assailant of the Social Order” (pp. 171-172): “Power is authority and makes for more authority. It is force and makes for more force. Or, if a less metaphysical terminology is preferred; ambitious wills, drawn by the lure of Power, expend...
Original article   The conventions of both political parties are a show worth seeing. It's fun to watch the carnivals of buncombe, but from a safe distance.      
Original article The US-led coalition fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq has dropped its 50,000th bomb recently, yet the end of the two-year effort is nowhere in sight. 
Original article Hillary rose to fame delivering an idealistic commencement address at Wellesley at the beginning of her career. But like the generation she represents, she has betrayed those grand ideals over a lifetime of compromise, expediency, self-promotion and complacent acquisition of power, wealth and fame. She doesn’t deserve another stint at the podium—-let alone the bully pulpit.  
Original article Too bad Bill Clinton didn't spend all of his time eating, playing cards and having sex.  (Editor's pick)
Original article Rather than believe mass Third World immigration "culturally enriches" society and will "help pay for elderly people's pensions" as other European leaders have said, Orban says mass migration is not a "medicine" but a "poison."
Original article There’s no need to invent Russian conspiracies to make the Trump boogeyman appear worse than he is.
Original article Damn.  Well I bet this will be a tremendous success, with no unintended consequences.  (Editor's pick)
Original article Bernie Sanders lied to the American public and world-wide victims of US empire by providing a false choice between Left and Right arms of one criminal political body of .01% oligarchs. The only rational, responsible, and legal response for Americans is to demand arrests of such oligarchs rather than vote them into power for ongoing Wars of Aggression and related crimes of empire. 
Original article New FDA regulations — like most crony capitalist regs — will help large established businesses while hurting smaller ones.    
Original article The rise in the minimum wage is reducing the amount of employment compared to what would happen without the minimum wage rise. 
Original article And taking advantage of the political chaos in Spain, and the lack of an actual, elected government, Catalonia just became the second European state in the span of a month to demand secession. It may not be successful this time, but as Brexit showed, sooner or later the will of the majority will prevail.  
Original article U.S. presidents, Democratic and Republican, broke a 1990 promise to Russia not to extend NATO eastward to the Russian border, a promise made in return for Russia's pledge not to interfere with the reunification of Germany and its membership in NATO. 
Original article Since the start of the new millennium, Africa’s average per capita income adjusted for inflation and purchasing power parity rose by more than 50 percent and Africa’s growth rate has averaged almost 5 percent per year.
Original article The United States of America is not in hell, but the growth of the national security-state that Allen Dulles and his friends helped create, will eventually be the nail in the coffin for any resemblance of liberty in America.
Original article Social welfare programs did not deliver on the promise to end poverty, crime and entrapment in low-income neighborhoods—such measures have instead destroyed black families and urban-based, private enterprises. The expansion of police power did not reduce crime until other policies were changed, including a willingness to prosecute and imprison violent criminals—which benefited African Americans who are by far the major victims by crime. Even so, police relations with blacks remained...
Original article If not for Federal Aviation Administration meddling in supersonic flight innovation, we could zip around the world in a fraction of the time.  
Original article Police departments nationwide are understandably on edge, but initiating a war on free speech because cops are nervous would be a foolhardy one-way path the country wouldn’t be able to return from.  
Original article Politicians depend on votes, so stop giving them your vote unless they have a proven track record of listening to their constituents, abiding by their wishes and working hard to earn and keep their trust.  
The Iconography of Evil
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-11-30 01:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III Exclusive to STR If you ever want an irrefutable indication of what’s wrong with America today, I suggest you have a look at some of the iconography government is putting out there – symbolism, if you will.    It has long been a known psychological principle that symbols and icons are a powerful yet subtle means to instill certain emotions and...
Freedom is Not an Intellectual Pursuit
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Paul Bonneau 2011-11-30 01:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Every once in a while, I get tired of arguments around here, trying in some way or other to justify freedom and liberty. One can go overboard with this stuff.   After all, does one need a PhD in Philosophy to understand freedom? Of course not. Everybody already understands it. It’s just doing whatever the Hell you want to do. No justification is...
Vermont's Raw Arrogance
9.33333
Alex R. Knight III 2011-11-17 01:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Of course, it’s already common knowledge for the most part that Vermonters have the temerity to carry firearms without any form of government say-so – even neighboring “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire will not suffer such uppitiness from the mere non-governmental hoi polloi. But another freedom – albeit not nearly...
There’s the Law, and Then There’s The Law
9.83333
tzo 2011-11-17 01:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!   If this is true, it is a serious fact...
Lemmings and Pied Pipers
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Paul Hein 2011-11-16 01:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Suppose, for a minute, that several of your neighbors came to your door and presented you with a paper on which they had written, in quite formal language, their intent to build a playground for neighborhood children, and that this enterprise was to be funded by a “contribution” from you, among others. “No thanks,” you tell them....
No, Society, There Is No Santa Claus
8.66667
Alex R. Knight III 2011-11-15 01:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR  I know that I have likely irked some of you already by writing a Christmas-themed column before we have even gotten to Thanksgiving, but I can at least offer the caveat that it will likely not be near as onerous as the fact that the latest crop of political parasites (with all due respect to Ron Paul) have already ramped up their bids to be...
Ron, Reviewed
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Jim Davies 2011-11-14 01:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR  It's been a great pleasure to see media mention every day recently of the man who once said in my hearing that the IRS is "the world's largest terrorist organization." The mere possibility that Ron Paul could actually get elected President is enough to make any liberty lover salivate. That he should already have stacked up some straw-poll...
Ethics and Morals and Law, Oh My!
9.25
tzo 2011-11-08 01:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   "It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words." ~Syme, 1984   Ah, words.   Philosophy is the pursuit of knowledge distinguishable from other methods by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.   When we discuss the organization of society, we are in the realm of political philosophy....
Tools for Tyrants: Hatred, AKA 'Divide and Conquer'
9.2
Paul Bonneau 2011-11-04 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR   The next tool we are going to examine is the tyrant’s use and encouragement of hatred among those he wishes to govern. This is a part of the “divide and conquer” or “divide and rule” strategy.   Of the elements mentioned in the Wikipedia article, the most important are 1) creating or encouraging divisions among...
Heartless Libertarians Recommended
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tzo 2011-11-03 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   The specter of the heartless libertarian arises when it is suggested that society could perhaps be better organized without a coercive government at its core. The proponents of this shocking scheme are dismissed as being either blatantly naïve or else accused of being calculating, soulless monsters who don’t want to be bothered with the less...
Hold It, Holder
9
Jim Davies 2013-03-12 07:49
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR The great danger of criticizing specific things government does or says or fails to do or say is that readers can reasonably infer that if the opposite were done or said, all would be well. In other words, they can infer that the author envisages the possibility of a satisfactory government. I do not, ever, anywhere; for by definition (of “govern...
Do We Owe Gratitude to American Veterans For Having Fought in Iraq?
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Robert L. Johnson 2013-03-22 05:56
Column by Robert L. Johnson. Exclusive to STR U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel marked the 10th anniversary of the U.S. war against Iraq by saying, “Every one of the more than one million service members that deployed to Iraq, often for multiple tours of duty, deserves our highest praise and deepest debt of gratitude.” Is Hagel correct? Do the American people owe the veterans of...
Politics Don't Cut It
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Jim Davies 2013-03-27 07:01
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Murray Rothbard never pretended to be infallible, and he wasn't; but when he wrote or spoke on his specialty of economics, he was . . . close enough for government work. I had the chance to hear him speak several times, and have some of his books, and say that he was the most brilliant, prolific and consistent pro-freedom writer of the 20th Century....
Using the 'I' Word for War and Profit
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Tim Hartnett 2013-04-03 06:35
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR For about a century now, Humpty-Dumpty has been the go-to man for fans of elaborate American foreign adventures. Unwelcome inquiries are put down with a one word incantation that blesses and immunizes government-funded schemes that are always cash cows for somebody. “Isolationist” means exactly what its users mean it to mean--no more and no...
A Reverse Industry Boycott
9
Leonidas 2013-04-30 08:03
Column by G. Asher. Exclusive to STR It is exactly 14 minutes into April 19th, 2013. I am sitting here drinking another homebrewed mead, enduring the ice cold feet of the beautiful female asleep on my couch, considering the unrevealed peril of whatever satanic compromise our “leaders” in Mordor-by-the-Sea have come up with vis-a-vis the “fiscal cliff,” and ruminating on...
Foundering in the Morass
9
tzo 2013-04-30 08:28
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR <Voluntaryist decides to troll Statist in order to illustrate the contradictions inherent in government:> Guess what? I own a slave now! It's great! He has to do whatever I say! You should get one, too! What! That's completely illegal! No, he voluntarily signed a contract and now I own him. But the 13th Amendment makes slavery illegal. Period. No...
Where Zero Tolerance Is Overdue
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Tim Hartnett 2013-05-24 07:05
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR The perpetual battle being waged against people who feel entitled to speak their own mind didn’t end when James Madison wrote the First Amendment. If the guarantees on paper in the Bill of Rights could have settled that much, the Ten Commandments would have eradicated sin. Those 45 words that describe where the fight against oppression should draw...
The 'Case' Against Thomas Paine
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George F. Smith 2013-06-12 08:20
Column by George F. Smith. Exclusive to STR Thomas Paine died on the overcast morning of June 8, 1809, in New York City.  Libertarians have long savored his unabashed attacks on government and the many evils of paper money, and the fact that he not only ignited the drive for American independence but kept it alive during its darkest moments.  He played an important role in history, both...
A Meeting of the Minds
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forty2oz 2013-06-14 07:02
Column by new Root Striker forty2oz. Exclusive to STR Discussion with a left-leaning Statist who claimed to not be employed by the government: (We were at Starbucks sitting at adjacent tables with three other patrons seated nearby; a couple in a booth along the windows facing street-side, and a man in a state-issued costume in another booth directly across from them near the entrance to the...
Words and Deeds
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Douglas Young 2013-07-15 08:26
Column by Douglas Young. Exclusive to STR Celebrity chef Paula Deen was professionally lynched for having once used a racist epithet at home 30 years ago when referring to the black man who robbed her at gunpoint. This came in a legal deposition prompted by an extortionist $1.25 million discrimination lawsuit filed by a white female former employee who admitted she hadn’t heard Ms. Deen use...
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
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
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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
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...