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Monday, March 30

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photo courtesy of Tommie Hansen

Original article This article is comprehensive (17,000 words) and covers everything you need to know about why mass surveillance is dangerous (whether you "have nothing to hide" or not), what kinds of surveillance are happening now, and what dystopian surveillance mechanisms we may have in the near future.
Original article "A passphrase is like a password, but longer and more secure. In essence, it’s an encryption key that you memorize. Once you start caring more deeply about your privacy and improving your computer security habits, one of the first roadblocks you’ll run into is having to create a passphrase. You can’t secure much without one."
Original article End the ridiculous War on Some Drugs.
Original article "If you’ve noticed that the national security policies of Pres. Barack Obama’s administration are almost indistinguishable from those of the previous Republican administration and wondered why, Glennon has a “disquieting explanation” for you."
Original article "Google wants to attack independent news media, it seems to me, now, in order to prevent coverage damaging to the Obama government and other major world powers from individuals reporting the truth about war, espionage, and violations of civil liberties.  For what benefit?  Google wants more government influence, government contracts, power, and money, it seems clear, to me, from their actions."
Original article A great summary of the conflict and its geopolitical significance.
Original article "Rumours are flying that the owner of a beachfront mansion in Hawaii, which was once used to film the hit TV series “Magnum PI”, is none other than President Obama – the same President who warns us that global warming, and rising sea levels, are a greater danger to the future of America than Islamic terrorism."
Original article "The overwhelming majority of police brutality cases stem from the war on drugs. When so many people are tasked with finding and prosecuting those in possession of a substance deemed illegal, the interactions become more frequent and less cordial. If we end that, we get the state out of the private lives of most individuals. This will only serve to lessen the scope of police harassment, in turn lessening the instance of brutality and killings."
Original article "They are all welfare ranchers subsidized by US taxpayers, and you know who are the biggest welfare ranchers of all, grazing livestock on the hundreds of millions of acres of public grass and forest land, all assisted by public subsidies paid for by US taxpayers? Billionaires that populate Forbes rich lists."
Original article War is a racket, and bankers are the biggest winners.
Original article "And here we are today, in March 2015, just 3½ years after said “point of no return,” with the world at its low economic point of our lifetimes; debt not only at historic highs, but risingparabolically; the “final currency war” more explosive than ever; and global social discontent at unprecedented levels due to the inflation and wealth disparity caused by such suicidal monetary policies. Clearly, the root cause of this economic hell is the global fiat...
Original article "Former Internal Revenue Service employees have access to your sensitive financial information. So do current employees who aren't authorized to see such data. Even some visitors to IRS facilities may have access to sensitive material. Unless the IRS patches up its information security, warns a Government Accountability Office report, "taxpayers could be exposed to loss of privacy and to financial loss and damages resulting from identity theft or other financial crimes.""
Original article "Without a doubt, the core principles of that “paranoid” libertarian impulse were present to both motivate and justify their selfless defiance of bad laws. That “impulse” led them to actions that exemplify a historic unification of radical libertarianism and civil disobedience as underwritten by natural law, a potentially powerful combination of ideas if it is wielded responsibly and inspires others to follow suit."
Original article And once there is a viable one, it will be very, very difficult to stop.
Original article "Tutanota is Latin for “secure message,” at least if you separate the two words. The company was founded in 2011 and presently serves around 100,000 accounts. It is backed by two German private investors and has ambitions to expand into other areas, such as a secure calendar interface and a file sharing / storage service not unlike Mega."
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....
An Urgent Plea to Cliven Bundy
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Kevin M. Patten 2014-04-29 08:40
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }Mr. Bundy, You have given the country a rare opportunity, sir. Until very recently, the issue that drew both the ire of statists and the camaraderie of American patriots was your land dispute with the federal government. They were central questions that were asked at the dawn of our Republic, and needed a much...
The National Non-Debt
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Paul Hein 2014-04-28 07:22
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Let’s look at a familiar aphorism: If a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears it, does it make a noise? Now let’s modify it: If an obligation is settled with an IOU, which is never to be paid, is there a debt? In the first instance, we are asked whether there is a sound if no one hears it. In the second, if there is a debt if no one pays it...
A Pleasantly Filled Dungeon in My Backyard: A Police State Update, Part I
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Kevin M. Patten 2014-04-24 08:04
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR In existence, not 30 miles from my place of residence, is a modern day dungeon. For no mistake can be made in saying that the Los Angeles County Jail is an exemplary comparison of such in 21st Century America. On the 2200 floor, where I was recently housed for just over a week, a 24 hour lockdown was in effect; there was no mentionable selection of...
The Rights Stuff
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Tim Hartnett 2014-04-21 08:31
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR One of the few laughs in Michael Shaara’s book, The Killer Angels, comes when a Confederate prisoner tells captors his side was not fighting for slavery. They were defending their “rats.” The dumbfounded Yankees eventually figure out he really meant “rights.” But that still didn’t leave the Union troops much better off...
The Name Game
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Paul Hein 2014-04-14 08:23
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR An interesting phenomenon: You receive a letter, signed by a group of people unknown to you, asking you to send them a large check, and implying that if you don’t, there could be unpleasant consequences. You laugh, and throw it away. Perhaps, if you’re sufficiently annoyed, you could send a copy to the authorities, asking that they put a halt to...
The Urge to 'Do Something'
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Alex R. Knight III 2014-04-10 08:03
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR It’s virtually the mantra of the statist government-believers – those of the Left, Right, and Center – whenever there’s a perceived “crisis.” A mass shooting. Unemployment. A display of racism or gender-bias. A tax-financed school system that fails to actually educate (though why such should baffle anyone is beyond...
Defending the State?
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Alex R. Knight III 2014-04-09 08:13
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR I have to admit I’m rather perplexed by something I’m witnessing of late within the gun ownership community, and I’m going to do my best to try and dissect it. Here in Vermont, we’re fighting some proposed gun control laws, and one of the pillars of support for private gun ownership that is commonly deferred to is Article 16...
Going Unarmed Is an Antisocial Act
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Paul Bonneau 2014-04-08 08:32
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR All States provide protection. That is the primary justification for their existence. The reality can be a bit more complicated, of course. To be sure, there have been times and places where governments have actually provided protection. George Washington’s army actually provided protection against--well, I guess it was against the government that...
The Home Team
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Mark Davis 2014-04-07 08:29
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR Sports provide many benefits to society, not least of which are the many rich metaphors for life.  The understanding of social organization, establishment of rules, the dynamics of competition, individuals sacrificing for the team, learning accountability, commitment to a purpose and developing a work ethic in sports offers a range of wonderful...
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...
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...