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Wednesday, May 27

Guest Editor

A. Magnus is the guest editor today.

WANTED: New guest editors for Mondays and Saturdays.  If you're interested, please email me.

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photo courtesy of Terry Chen

Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The waiter informs you that there is a special, off-menu item available. “Today we have a special: blackened snapper with a mango chutney, served on a bed of wild rice.” It sounds good, but you have your heart set on a meat entree. So you tell him, “Sounds good all right, but I think I’ll have the one-inch thick pork chops, with green beans and a house salad.” The waiter stiffens; his smile disappears. “You’ll have...
Original article "The incident happened at an Irish pub in February. Robert Johnson told ABC11 he was nearby when his friend got into a confrontation with the bar staff. "I guess the bouncers were arguing with him for being loud or whatever," said Johnson. When police arrived, Johnson started recording. "Kept a safe distance - just videotaping," he recalled. That's when things took a turn in his direction. Minutes into the recording, you hear an officer tell Johnson they're...
Original article "TPP elevates corporations and corporate profits to and above the level of governments. TPP lets corporations sue governments for laws and regulations that cause them to be less profitable. Enabling tobacco companies to sue governments because anti-smoking campaigns limit profits has nothing to do with trade. Enabling corporations to sue states that try to regulate fracking has nothing to do with trade."
Original article "Sen. Bernie Sanders fired back at 80 CEOs who wrote a letter lecturing America about deficit reduction by released a report detailing how 18 of these CEOs have wrecked the economy by evading taxes and outsourcing jobs. 80 CEO’s raised the ire of Sen. Sanders by publishing a letter in the Wall Street Journal urging America to act on the deficit, and reform Medicare and Medicaid."
Original article "Tax return information for about 100,000 U.S. taxpayers was illegally accessed by cyber criminals over the past four months, U.S. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of data thefts that have alarmed American consumers. From February to May, attackers sought to gain access to personal tax information 200,000 times through the agency's "Get Transcript" online application, which calls up information from previous returns, he told a news conference. About half of...
Original article "Renowned media scholar Noam Chomsky has declared that the Buzzfeed-style of clickbait journalism is a new form of propaganda aimed at “manufacturing consent” in the interests of elite, dominant groups in society."
Original article "National advocacy organizations Food & Water Watch and Water Defense are calling on California Governor Jerry Brown to protect Americans who consume California produce by ending the practice of using toxic oil field wastewater for irrigation. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times revealed that testing by Water Defense had found toxic industrial chemicals present in the recycled oil field wastewater used to irrigate crops in California’s Central Valley."
Original article "Obama also said that the wars which America waged were “for democracy, the peace we’ve laid to preserve it.” The statement by US president was met with strong criticism both from experts and social media users. “What a joke. Of course the US is still at war,” wrote Brian Fernandes, a user on Facebook. “The US still has troops in Afghanistan and plans to keep them there for years. And they have fomented wars in Ukraine, Africa, Syria, and now Yemen. The US is the most barbaric war-mongering...
Original article "Tensions between China and United States continue to rise over the South China Sea as a Chinese government newspaper warns that war may be 'inevitable' if the U.S. and its allies do not back off from the heavily disputed territory. Last week, the Chinese government condemned the actions of the U.S. military after the P8-A Poseidon, the US' most advanced surveillance aircraft, was caught spying on Chinese naval activities in the Fiery Cross Reef."
Original article "According to investigative reporter Nafeez Ahmed in Medium, the “leaked document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct...
Original article "A report in the official propaganda magazine of ISIS this month bemoans the fact that the terror group is losing members because of so called ‘conspiracy theories’ that Western intelligence manipulates and controls extremists for its own agenda. The International Business Times reports that the magazine, Dabiq, condemns conspiracy theorists, referring to their ideas and beliefs as “sinful”."
Original article "Hillary Clinton wants her supporters to join her in kicking off the campaign season in style! The Presidential hopeful launched her campaign store full of witty products on Tuesday, May 26, and most of the pieces are just too good to pass up. See the items that are absolutely worth coveting, and more that you should definitely leave out of your shopping cart."
Original article While there's still some left of May, anyway...
Velvet Glove, Iron Fist
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Paul Hein 2014-06-13 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The term “jurisdiction” has several similar meanings. It can simply mean control. Or it can mean the power to enforce the law. The latter definition is more significant, because the organization that enforces the law is also the one that writes the law. It is correct to say, therefore, that jurisdiction can mean the power to enforce one’s...
Down & Out in Rio de Janeiro
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Douglas Herman 2014-06-11 00:00
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “Most people go on holiday to escape. They pick a far away destination in the assumption that the further away they are from home, the more rewarding and freeing the trip will be.” ~ Matthew Dawn Sticker shock. Expect to pay a lot. Hellishly hot in the summer and shockingly less sexy than advertised. But the city and local people, called...
Letter From a Guest Editor
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Bradley Keyes 2014-06-09 07:51
Column by Bradley Keyes. Exclusive to STR I have been the Friday editor for Strike The Root for almost two years. I have enjoyed being an active part of the site but I will soon stop being the Friday guest editor in order to focus my time on some other projects. The primary Editor will need someone to replace me, and I know he sometimes has problems finding people willing to sign up. I figured I...
Fundamentally Flawed Federal Fleece
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Scott Thomas Outlar 2014-06-05 07:42
Column by new Root Striker Scott Outlar. Exclusive to STR What happened to the foundational philosophy upon which America was formed? The ideas of liberty, self responsibility, honor, justice, courage, frontierism, freedom, morality, and other such individual-based concepts? Well, what happened is the leftist progressives moved in and corrupted the mentality of the youth over the span of many...
The Earliest European Debate on Intellectual Property and the War It Caused
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2014-05-29 07:54
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR Some years ago, I changed my thinking about intellectual property (IP) upon reading Stephan Kinsella’s clear exposition of the debate in his work, Against Intellectual Property. In particular, I was fascinated by his definition and discussion of how and when property rights come into play—not only in terms of the abstract concepts that IP...
Who'll Be the Next in Line?
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Tim Hartnett 2014-05-28 08:36
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR “But I don’t like waiting in line,” Ray Barboni tells a competitor before gunning him down in Get Shorty. And after all, who does? You don’t have to be a Hollywood villain to hate your place in the queue. Slowpokes and nitwits get old quick with a crowd in your way. So it’s a rare man that grew up on the teeming island of...
The Chinese Water Torture, Sort Of
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Paul Hein 2014-05-27 08:19
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Years ago I gave speeches to any group that wanted to hear me, about the nature of our money and the illegality and immorality of the monetary system. I gave one such talk to a group of students at a tony private school in St. Louis, and had a pleasant meeting with the headmaster prior to my speech. I noted a plaque on his desk bearing the words: “...
The Compromise
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Paul Bonneau 2014-05-21 08:12
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Why is it that evil proliferates? What mechanism keeps it going? Who is to blame? Why are there so many wars and occupations? Why such huge amounts of theft (“taxes”, fines, fees and “civil forfeiture”)? Why are so many nonviolent people in jail? What keeps the “War on Some Drugs” going? Why does the police state expand...
The Irrelevance of Government
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Paul Hein 2014-05-13 08:17
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Today has been, so far, like many others. My wife and I rose early and had breakfast. We went to Mass at 8:30--we’re old-fashioned Catholics--and then came home to a few chores around the house: unloading the dishwasher, changing the bed, vacuuming, sweeping leaves out of the garage, and other such mundane chores. We’ll have lunch in another hour...
Fixing Historical Sabotage
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Lawrence Samuels 2014-05-12 08:20
Column by L.K. Samuels. Exclusive to STR Being something of an amateur historian, I find it reprehensible that there are so-called historians willing to rewrite history to suit their own ideological narrative. But then again, as George Orwell wrote in Nineteen Eighty-Four, he “who controls the past, controls the future” and he “who controls the present controls the past....
Zionism, Collectivism, and the State
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Scott Lazarowitz 2010-10-22 03:00
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 03:00
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 03:00
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 03:00
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 03:00
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 04:00
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 04:00
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 04:00
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 04:00
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...
Hooray for the TSA! Recommended
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Paul Bonneau 2010-11-18 04:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   It’s just funny what a complete cluster-f*ck government can make of something if you simply let them have their way. I suppose that is normal with all parasitic organisms; they could live just fine if they knew when to stop their depredations--but they never do. They literally cannot avoid the self-destructive course.   The latest...
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...