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Monday, October 12

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Melinda Secor is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Mr. Brendel

Original article "The U.S. would be severely mistaken if it believes the sending of a warship through what China perceives as sovereign territory will be perceived as anything other than offensive aggression by an imperialist power. The U.S. is already engaged in proxy wars with Russia in Ukraine and Syria, which have the potential to devolve into an open conflict between the superpowers. Attempting to intimidate the Chinese in their own backyard seems like an extremely ill conceived move at this time....
Original article "A rationale for opposing Russia’s bombing of ISIS has been manufactured, and is now escalating – with a chorus of criticism citing the reported errors of Putin’s 'unprofessional' campaign, as Secretary Carter termed it....The world need not be convinced of these arguments, only enough Americans to show support in polls for U.S. forces operating directly in Syria, and meeting Russia on the battle lines as an enemy."
Original article "Here's something you probably never saw or heard about in the west. This is Putin answering questions regarding ISIS from a US journalist at the Valdai International Discussion Club in late 2014."
Original article "The old adage, 'desperate times call for desperate measures' appears to be the theme of U.S. officials these days. With Russia entering the fray in Syria, the United States’ ultimate goal of ousting President Bashar al-Assad is becoming much more elusive. So is that why U.S. officials and analysts essentially applauded this weekend when ISIS killed a top Iranian military commander in Syria?"
Original article "The US Treasury has recently opened an inquiry about the so-called 'Islamic State’s' (ISIS/ISIL) use of large numbers of brand-new Toyota trucks. The issue has arisen in the wake of Russia’s air operations over Syria and growing global suspicion that the US itself has played a key role in arming, funding, and intentionally perpetuating the terrorist army across Syria and Iraq."
Original article "Last year’s National Defense Authorization Act allocated half a billion dollars to train 'vetted,' 'moderate' rebels to attack ISIS in Syria and also to overthrow the country’s sovereign government. This schizophrenic policy goal not surprisingly produced a total (after the others were killed, captured, or willingly gave their weapons to ISIS) of four or five fighters. Even this micro force of five ultimately found itself in the depths of embarrassment as it...
Original article "As US attempts to extort a settlement in Syria built on regime-change, US senators and generals conspire to arm and back a new terrorist army aimed at Iran."
Original article "Fighting toxic spills is serious business."
Original article "According to an emergency plan recently distributed by St. Louis County officials, a fire at the Bridgeton Landfill is now within 1,000 feet of a nuclear waste dump. The landfill fire has actually been burning for over 5 years, and they have been unable to contain it thus far."
Original article "And just in case anyone wants to feel superior about China's decision to grade its entire populace on a mandatory curve, let's not forget that employers and loan providers are using applicants' social media interactions to determine their worthiness -- including who they're friends with and what those friends are posting to Twitter, Facebook, etc. The US government may not be calling for a 'citizen score,' but there have been pushes for a national ID, and...
Original article "The U.N. will be considering norms related to cyberspace security this month. A committee comprised of 20 nations published a proposal over the summer for the General Assembly to consider."
Original article "In recent weeks, the organization’s members have embarked on creative protests that encourage  current intelligence employees to follow their conscience and quit. Their latest stunt, over an NSA facility in Germany, involved a drone and fliers."
Original article "The New York Police Department is out of control, and the New York City prosecutors are right there with them. In a case of unbelievable police and prosecutorial abuse of power, the NYPD broke an NBA player’s leg last April for 'contempt of cop,' and prosecutors decided to ignore the evidence and slap Thabo Sefolosha with three criminal charges anyway."
Original article "Cigarette smoking and heavy alcohol use cause epigenetic changes to DNA that reflect accelerated biological aging in distinct, measurable ways, according to research. The researchers estimated biological age using a previously validated epigenetic 'clock' , calculated the difference between biological age and chronological age, and assessed the relationship between tobacco and alcohol use and premature aging."
Original article "The first ancient human genome from Africa to be sequenced has revealed that a wave of migration back into Africa from Western Eurasia around 3,000 years ago was up to twice as significant as previously thought, and affected the genetic make-up of populations across the entire African continent."
Original article A Photo Blog
The Limits of Philosophy
Paul Bonneau 2014-10-17 08:27
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR In an earlier article, I wrote to counter the notion of Matt Zwolinski that libertarians ought to dispense with the Non-Aggression Principle. I have since found another article countering Zwolinski by Jason Kuznicki coming from a different direction, as well as another supporting Zwolinski by Julian Sanchez. Not only do I not find Zwolinski convincing,...
Two Modest Suggestions
Paul Hein 2014-10-15 08:31
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR A long time ago, in a different galaxy, I offered a suggestion for the relief of the financial problems of the airline industry. My advice went unheeded, and today we see the sorry mess that constitutes that industry today. I told you so! My idea, as I’m sure you remember, was to enhance the profitable aspects of airline operation, while reducing the...
The State Is Out of Date: We Can Do It Better
Alex R. Knight III 2014-10-09 08:25
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR While there are many books both in and out of print designed to proselytize for a voluntary society to a layman audience, none perhaps have done so while retaining the kind of populist feel present in this offering from author Gregory Sams. Initially published in 1998 in a slightly less expansive form, earlier this year saw the latest edition of The...
Where Hoppe Goes Wrong
Paul Bonneau 2014-10-07 08:25
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }Sometimes I have to laugh at all the arm-waving that libertarian theorists display. The inclination to argue about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin must be irresistible. I’m referring in particular to Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s latest 9,600-word broadside, A Realistic Libertarianism. 1) It is amusing to see...
Who's On First--And Where Is It?
Paul Hein 2014-10-03 08:01
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I am bemused at the concern shown about the problem of illegal aliens, but perhaps that can be attributed to the fact that I live hundreds of miles from the border. There seems to be some controversy about the role of the federal vs. state governments. I think this would be an ideal situation to employ the principle of subsidiarity, which states that problems...
Paul Hein 2014-09-23 08:38
Column by Paul Hein.  Exclusive to STR Hillary is being coy about declaring her ambition to be president, and the first female Ruler of the World. While she dithers about the announcement, let me make mine: Once again I declare my candidacy for the presidency. You may recall that the last time I garnered 15 votes; this time I hope to get at least twice as many. The usual question is raised...
An Electrifying Event
Paul Hein 2014-09-11 08:21
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I’ll wager you don’t drive a Tesla, or know anyone who does. But you’ve probably heard of it--a pricey deluxe sedan powered by electricity, with a range of over 200 miles between charges. Tesla management wants to sell its cars direct to consumers, rather than to dealers who will then re-sell it to buyers, after adding their costs, plus...
A Review of Randy England's Book 'Free Is Beautiful: Why Catholics Should Be Libertarian'
Lawrence M. Ludlow 2014-09-10 08:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR Like the latter adjective in its title, Free Is Beautiful, this book—insofar as it is a clear and well-argued introduction not only to libertarian theory itself but also to the close correspondence of libertarianism with true Catholic teaching—is also beautiful. Consequently, Randy England was able to harmonize libertarianism with...
Crime and Punishment
Paul Hein 2014-09-03 08:05
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }About three decades ago, I was visiting a friend at the penitentiary in Jefferson City, where he was about at the end of his sentence for the ghastly “crime” of buying cigarettes cheap in a neighboring state, and selling them to his clients in Missouri. It was the practice at the time to allow soon-to-be-released...
The Good and the Bad of Constitutionalism
Paul Bonneau 2014-08-28 08:31
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR There are many, including myself who, having examined how and by whom and for what purpose the Constitution was used to overthrow the clearly superior Articles of Confederation, tend to throw up our hands at any notion of restoring it. Why bother? Our current police state can be traced directly way back to the 1787 Convention, it seems. However, it might...
Zionism, Collectivism, and the State
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!
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...