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Wednesday, August 27

Guest Editor

A. Magnus is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Kansas Poetry

Original article ""Utility disconnection is always considered a last resort, obviously because of consequences for households," but as Detroit News reports, but water-providers can expect more controversy, as a month-long moratorium against shutting off water for those behind on their bills expired last night."
Original article "Beginning next year, if you buy a cell phone in California that gets lost or stolen, you’ll have a built-in ability to remotely deactivate the phone under a new “kill switch” feature being mandated by California law—but the feature will make it easier for police and others to disable the phone as well, raising concerns among civil liberties groups about possible abuse."
Original article "‘It's a cosmic coincidence that connects one of Nasa’s iconic past outer solar system explorers, with our next outer solar system explorer,’ said Dr Jim Green, director of Nasa’s Planetary Science Division at Nasa Headquarters in Washington. ‘Exactly 25 years ago at Neptune, Voyager 2 delivered our “first” look at an unexplored planet."
Original article "The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter. The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online. The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation,...
Original article "“[The program] is obviously very sloppy, and it’s another reason that Congress needs to revisit this promptly,” said Tim Lynch, director of the CATO Institute’s project on criminal justice. “We don’t know where these weapons are going, whether they are really lost, or whether there is corruption involved.”"
Original article "Ahead of the bypoll, over 90 licensed gun owners in Saharanpur have been issued notices to surrender their weapons with immediate effect to the district police. "People have started surrendering their weapons already. The notices were issued two days ago," said a senior police officer. The last date for depositing weapons is August 27. "During the election, each licensed weapon will be kept in the strong room of police stations," said the officer."
Original article "When does a prohibitive law become a police state excuse to use coercive force? Answer, when agency regulations say so in their playbook manual. The years of incrementalism are over. The bipartisan administrations during your lifetime have eroded the “pursuit of happiness” to such an extent that it has become a mere memory of what once was."
Original article "But the most encouraging reason to boycott such campaigns is the fact that people are reversing this and other neurodegenerative diseases naturally. Unfortunately, a campaign to get that important and potentially life-saving information out to the public at large has been shadowed by a giant ice bucket."
Original article "A Kauai County law requiring companies to disclose their use of pesticides and genetically modified crops is invalid, a federal judge ruled Monday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren ruled in favor of four seed companies seeking to stop Kauai's new law from going into effect in October. Syngenta Seeds, DuPont Pioneer, Agrigenetics Inc., doing business as Dow AgroSciences, and BASF Plant Sciences sued for a permanent injunction, arguing the ordinance unfairly targets their industry."
Original article In honor of the waning days of summer...
Government: Indicted (Book Review #6)
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Alex R. Knight III 2014-01-15 09:14
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR It’s now been almost 11 years since the publication and release of Marc Stevens’ first book, Adventures in Legal Land, a volume which has heretofore – along with Marc’s radio show – served as a primary point of reference for Voluntaryists and others seeking to stop bureaucratic attacks by The Man in his own government...
Statuses: Who Assigns Them?
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Paul Hein 2014-01-14 09:25
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR We all acquire numerous statuses as we move through life. Some of them are natural, like the status of white male, or mother. They simply reflect who we are by our nature; they are built-ins, so to speak. Others are the result of choices. I may acquire the status of pilot, for example, or Kiwanian. These statuses are chosen, and can be abandoned, renounced,...
A Brief Introduction to Speciesism
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Don Stacy 2014-01-14 09:13
Column by Don Stacy. Exclusive to STR Libertarianism, in its current state of development, does not present a definitive theory concerning the alleged rights of animals. However, the null hypothesis — the default viewpoint — is that animals do not have rights. The purpose of this essay is to briefly investigate the principal libertarian argument against animal rights, termed the...
The Law
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Paul Bonneau 2014-01-13 09:26
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR What are laws? They are the malodorous droppings left behind by the gang of self-serving, power-mad busybodies who populate our legislatures, meddling lowlifes who presume to know better how to run our lives than we do, ne’er-do-wells with whom decent people wouldn’t normally stoop to associate. There, I got it out of my system. The above is...
Money to Burn
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Jim Davies 2014-01-09 09:22
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR In December, the death occurred of one of Britain's most colorful characters: Ronnie Biggs. He was 84 and had suffered several debilitating strokes. He came to fame in 1963 as a member of a group of 17 professional crooks who held up the transport of used government money, being trained from Glasgow to London for incineration. I've not been able to...
A Glorious Event!
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Paul Hein 2014-01-06 09:08
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Day after day I’ve trudged to the mailbox, heart in my mouth. Yes, I know: I wasn’t allowing enough time since my application. But today--today!--they arrived. I knew as soon as I saw the envelope with the return address: Missouri Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Department. My hands trembled as I ripped it open--and there they were: glorious...
Peace, Spurned
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Jim Davies 2014-01-02 09:43
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR In October 1944, Christian Günther, the Swedish Foreign Minister, relaxed with a group of journalists and casually mentioned a telegram sent to him on June 17th, 1940 by Björn Prytz, then his envoy in London. When the news of his remarks reached London, it threw the then Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, into a tizzy: “It is most...
Vandals
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Alex R. Knight III 2013-12-31 09:24
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR This is one of those columns I’d hoped to never have to write, the kind that’ll probably get other libertarians pointing fingers at me and preaching about all the things I could’ve done differently, but here’s what happened – or has, so far. I moved to a different residence here in Vermont back in November, and along...
MYOB: As Important as NAP?
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Paul Bonneau 2013-12-27 09:21
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR If you have not yet read Eric Frank Russell’s classic And Then There Were None, it would help understand this article. “MYOB” means “Mind Your Own Business.” Of course, every libertarian and anarchist knows what “NAP” is (although I have always wondered why it has two names, “NAP” and “ZAP,...
Where?
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Paul Hein 2013-12-27 09:10
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I haven’t taken a poll, but if I did, I’m certain I’d find that most Americans would claim that they were free. Many would claim that they were living in the “freest” country in the world. To some extent, they’d be right. For example: I can take a walk after lunch, or a nap, if I prefer. I can go shopping when I please,...
The Complication Between State Education and a Young Anarchist: A Short Narrative
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Vaughn Bateman 2010-10-20 03:00
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 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...
'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...
Oh, Stanley MUST READ
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tzo 2011-03-30 03:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Stanley Milgram was an American social psychologist best known for his Milgram Experiment, a study conducted in the 1960s.   Dr. Milgram wanted to research the relationship between obedience and authority, and he was at least partly motivated to do so by the events of the Nazi Holocaust. It greatly troubled him that so many supposedly good people could...