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Wednesday, December 13

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A. Magnus is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Original article "A bounty of three million Turkish lira, or nearly $800,000, was placed on the heads of former Pentagon official Michael Rubin and former top CIA official Graham Fuller for what Erdogan's allies claim is their role in a 2016 failed coup that nearly toppled Erdogan's ruling government."
Original article "The National Rifle Association (NRA), which fancies itself a champion of the Second Amendment and gun rights, is nowhere to be found as state governments are moving to confiscate firearms from medical marijuana patients."
Original article "I wouldn’t invite the Amazon Echo or the Google Home into my home. These smart speakers listen to everything that happens around them. Ostensibly this is to make shopping, playing music, and finding information easy. But the internet of things presents way too many risks to our privacy."
Original article "Google is escalating its campaign of internet censorship, announcing that it will expand its workforce of human censors to over 10,000, the internet giant announced on December 4. The censors’ primary focus will be videos and other content on YouTube, its video-sharing platform, but will work across Google to censor content and train its automated systems, which remove videos at a rate four times faster than its human employees.
Original article "British Airways, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Porsche are among five large companies that have been identified as having paid corporate intelligence firms to monitor political groups that challenged their businesses, leaked documents reveal. The surveillance included the use of infiltrators to spy on campaigners."
Original article "A group of local investors who failed in their bid to secure a state license to grow medical marijuana on Monday announced plans for a statewide ballot issue that would fully legalize marijuana. Jimmy Gould, chairman of Cincinnati-based Green Light Acquisitions, has proposed an Ohio constitutional amendment that would allow anyone 21 or older to grow marijuana in their homes for personal use or commercial cultivation."
Into the Wild
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Retta Fontana 2016-05-27 07:38
Column by Retta Fontana. Exclusive to STR This recent Netflix release was an engaging, thought-provoking journey of reckless youth against a backdrop of breathtaking beauty. The cinematography is also excellent. Even a Western scene with run-down motor homes selling flea market junk, complete with trash lying around has such blindingly bright sunlight that the contrast is visually intriguing. The...
Social Justice Warriors Are Assholes
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Paul Bonneau 2016-05-20 07:16
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The Social Justice Warrior (SJW) phenomenon has gotten a lot of discussion lately. There is more to it than first appears. SJWs operate primarily through social disapproval, although like almost any interest group they also enlist government in their cause, if they can. An example of the latter is telling landlords who they must rent to. Of course there...
A Vital Religion: Automatic Voter Registration in Vermont
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Alex R. Knight III 2016-05-19 07:04
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Recently joining the proud tax farms of Oregon, Commiefornia, and West Virginia, bureaucrats of Vermont, desperate to muster support for the continuation of the statist cause, recently enacted a measure that will automatically register all “eligible” applicants for driver’s licenses (a government tracking and identification device...
10,000 Miles Alone Around America by Bicycle
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Douglas Herman 2016-05-19 06:28
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “A voice said to him, Why do you stay here and live this mean, moiling life, when a glorious existence is possible for you?” ~ Henry David Thoreau   Imagine taking a 10,000 mile bicycle trip around North America today without a cellphone, credit cards or keys. No sponsors or support vehicles either, and never more than $100 in cash....
Rich: A State of Mind
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Paul Hein 2016-05-18 07:23
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Many years ago, when I was young and foolish enough to believe that the truth mattered, I would lecture interested groups about our money, or, rather, what passes for money today. In the question and answer period following my remarks, one of the attendees would invariably raise the question: What does it matter what we use for money? The other attendee,...
May A Libertarian Take Money From The Government? A Modification To Block's Argument
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floppytilleyhat 2016-05-16 06:20
Column by new Root Striker David Rogers. Exclusive to STR Back in August 2015, Walter Block and Bob Murphy debated on the Tom Woods Show whether a libertarian could rightly take government money. Bob Murphy's argument was simple and effective: the government stole the money from taxpayers, and that libertarians who take money from the government knowingly receive stolen wealth. Walter Block...
Tyranny Hits the Road Running
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Retta Fontana 2016-05-13 06:58
Column by Retta Fontana. Exclusive to STR Early humans were as free as anything imaginable. They learned that living in loose bands and tribes provided some warmth and protection against predators and the elements. As long as they didn’t violate someone else’s space or challenge a stronger person for any possession, every living thing was free to roam. It was the unquestioned norm -...
The Aborted Fetus of American Fascism?
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Kevin M. Patten 2016-05-07 14:37
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR As of late April, the remnants of an enthralling legend still stand within the hills of Pacific Palisades. Down here, some seventy years ago, a potential Fascist headquarters was being cultivated for the day that Adolf Hitler announced victory in World War Two. Afterwards, the Third Reich would make its way across the ocean to the shores of Los Angeles...
The First & Last Tabloid Presidential Elections?
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Douglas Herman 2016-05-05 06:17
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Our Republic Reels from Absurdity to Obscene in Prez Selection 2016   Maybe I’m getting old. At 66, I certainly don’t recall another presidential election so entertaining in a sleazy, openly corrupt sort of way.  I don’t recall Nixon vs. Kennedy with such rancor and mud-slinging.  I was ten at the time, in 1960. ...
Light, Metal, Shadow: The Freedom of Welding
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Alex R. Knight III 2016-05-03 07:07
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR I suppose my first serious exposure to the trade, craft, and art of welding came during a brief five-month stint I did working for a railroad company. Technically, my job title was that of forklift driver, loading and unloading rail cars when freight came in to a small ex-airport on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River. On days when no such...
The Complication Between State Education and a Young Anarchist: A Short Narrative
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Vaughn Bateman 2010-10-20 02:00
Column by new Root Striker Vaughn Bateman.   Exclusive to STR   If anything can sum together my emotions pertaining to the relationship I share with anarchism, it would be a well-deserved expression of welcome and regret – the two being contradictory when used together. And aside from the thrilling sense of expressing righteous angst against the status quo society (preferably by...
Zionism, Collectivism, and the State
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Scott Lazarowitz 2010-10-22 02:00
Column by new Root Striker Scott Lazarowitz. Exclusive to STR  In their political movement to establish a Jewish national homeland, Zionists asserted a collective claim on the land of Palestine, now called Israel, based on the Biblical scriptures and symbolism of those specific lands. Sadly, collectivist political movements have been a force against individual freedom, and the State has too...
Hail, Ruritania!
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tzo 2010-10-22 02:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   So a group of 20 people find themselves stranded on a previously uninhabited, lush, and rather large island that could support perhaps ten times as many people.   There is an abundance of fish, birds, fruit and other edible vegetation, rainwater, and plenty of trees and other raw materials for building shelter and making tools.   The 20 go...
Are You Really For Freedom?
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Marc J. Victor 2010-10-25 02:00
Column by Marc Victor.   Exclusive to STR   I know you say you love freedom. Virtually everyone says they love and value freedom. Even such murderous villains as Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein claimed to love or advocate freedom.    "The German people are not a warlike nation. It is a soldierly one, which means it does not want a war, but does not fear it. It...
Taxation: Murder on the Installment Plan
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2010-11-02 02:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow.   Exclusive to STR   Government messages employ lots of slave-speech. For example, we are told that “children are the nation’s most precious resource.” Note the misuse of the possessive. The assumption is that people are the property of the state. In a similar way, we hear about “un-renewable resources.” Usually it’s a...
Millions of Petty Tyrants
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tzo 2010-11-05 02:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The empirical evidence that power corrupts goes a long way in explaining the inevitable one-way course to tyranny trod by all governments. Having a monopoly on force, corruption within the government monopoly cannot be effectively checked, and growing corruption and its attendant increasing power eventually congeal into absolute power and absolute...
Libertarians and the Environment, Part 1 of 3: Principles Abandoned
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2010-11-15 03:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow.   Exclusive to STR   The Role of “But” Libertarians and “Hyphenated” Libertarians   There is a particular subset of libertarians that champions anti-environmentalism, zeal for maximum fossil-fuel consumption, disregard for pollution, and worship of population growth for its own sake (and all that comes with it). At best, these...
Libertarians and the Environment, Part 2 of 3: Mises Loves Malthus
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2010-11-16 03:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow.   Exclusive to STR   Mises on Malthus   In his chapter entitled “Harmony and the Conflict of Interests,” Mises included a lengthy section (six pages) entitled “The Limitation of Offspring.” In it he raises several key issues. First he identifies the circumstances in which an increase in population can be accommodated.  ...
Libertarians and the Environment, Part 3 of 3: Christian Interpretations
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2010-11-17 03:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow.   Exclusive to STR   Environmentalism and Christian Libertarians   There are some among the anti-environmentalists – libertarians and otherwise – who call themselves Christians. Some of them believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, and they often base their approach to the natural environment on the following verses from Genesis 1...
America’s Sacred Pudenda: They Hate Us for Our Junk!
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2010-11-18 03:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow.   Exclusive to STR   For too many Americans, history “began” on 9/11. Sadly, the same goes for their superficial sense of morality. It begins and ends with their pudenda – what they do with their sexual organs and what they allow others to do with them. Imbued with a Puritanism that has infested their collective psyche since the cold...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
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D. Saul Weiner 2015-02-13 08:13
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 07:02
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 05:52
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 07:12
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 07:44
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 2012-05-13 23:00
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 2012-03-25 23:00
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 00:00
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 00:00
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 02:00
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...