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Monday, May 23

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Melinda Secor is the guest editor today.

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Original article "A privilege, a special tax break, a rule, a prohibition, a piece of meat here, a piece of meat there… and soon the foxes are eating high on the hog.  But what’s meat for the foxes is poison for the economy."
Original article "As if the U.S. needed still more laws legislating political correctness, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Commission on Human Rights now claims city businesses and entities which ‘fail to address customers by their preferred gender pronouns,’ such as Mr. or Mrs., could face fines up to $250,000."
Original article "After Sean Davis put out an article on The Federalist about how men can’t get pregnant…Zach Ford, the LGBT editor over at Think Progress, decided to argue that the science on that actually wasn’t settled…Apparently, according to Ford, men do menstruate and can in fact get pregnant."
Original article "As government continues to expand, finding ever more ways to feed itself through taxation, it seeks to justify this burgeoning existence. Enter the Nanny State. New York is a leader in developing laws and regulations to protect us from ourselves, perhaps most famously with the Big Apple’s attempt to ban large-size sugary drinks. The Empire State has the highest cigarette taxes in the nation, which fuels a black market, and it places heavy restrictions on other 'sins.'...
Original article "When looking at this spending in context, the U.S. not only spends more than the next six countries combined, but spends almost triple the amount on military expenses than the second biggest defense spender in the world, China, according to data from the Stockholm International Peach Research Institute. These figures come on top of the recently announced $1 trillion dollar nuclear missile modernization program that has been curiously absent from public discourse, having not even been...
Original article “'Only Donald Trump (among the Presidential candidates) has said anything meaningful and critical of U.S. foreign policy.' No, that is not Reince Priebus, chair of the RNC, speaking up in favor of the presumptive Republican nominee. It is Stephen F. Cohen, Emeritus Professor of Russian History at Princeton and NYU, a contributing editor for The Nation, that most liberal of political journals."
Original article "Traditionally, the best way to keep track of future military deployments – absent unexpected events, of course – has been to follow key procurement contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense of mission critical offensive wartime equipment such as weapons and ammo, or, less followed, core defensive components such as kevlar, body armor and other forms of core personal protective gear. These usually take place shortly prior to major 'events' involving US armed forces...
Original article "Currently, it is believed the unmanned plane has spent the past year orbiting around Earth. The American government has, however, failed to give any tangible reason behind the deployment of X-37B to space, except saying it is for an experiment. As to the actual nature of the experiment, that still remains a mystery."
Original article "The role of government is to redistribute wealth, according to a course at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. A test, administered on April 29 in Professor John Traxler’s Healthcare Economics class, told students that '[o]ne of the main functions of government is income redistribution,' then asked them to explain what the statement meant. The correct answer was C: 'Taxing the wealthy and giving it to those in poverty.'”
Original article "We recently stumbled upon an image in one of the more obscure corners of the intertubes which we felt we had to share with our readers. It provides us with a nice metaphor for the meaningfulness of government activity."
Original article "Yesterday I spoke at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, NECSS, a 'celebration of science and critical thinking' held May 12-15 in New York City. Philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, whom I met recently, got me invited, and he might regret that, because I decided to treat the skeptics skeptically."
Original article "Replacing a common drying method boosts the performance of perovskite photovoltaics."
Original article "In the bird world, the color red has special significance. Many species use red signals to attract mates or deter rivals, adding the color to their beaks, feathers, or bare skin. Generally speaking, as far as many birds are concerned, redder is better."
Original article "Spotting native alligators and crocodiles in Florida is common, but anyone who sees a large reptile may want to take a second look -- human-eaters that can grow to 18 feet long and weigh as much as a small car have been found in the Sunshine State."
Original article "If you're a rattlesnake, you want to bring the right weapon to a squirrel fight. And that venomous weapon varies from place to place, evolutionarily calibrated to overpower the local squirrels' defenses, according to new research from The Ohio State University."
Original article A Photo Blog
Voluntaryist Schooling at Libertopia 2011 - Part 2: Why Intrinsic Motivation Works
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2011-08-25 00:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow Exclusive to STR At Libertopia 2011, visitors will have a chance to find out why a group of voluntaryists in San Diego are starting their own school. More specifically, from October 20th through 23rd, the folks from Summum Bonum Learning Center will demonstrate how a school based on intrinsic motivation and freedom can respond to the needs of the children in ways...
The Doctrine of Love and Freedom: Condensed, One-Word Edition
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Glen Allport 2011-08-24 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR   - 1 - The Word    **  Love. **   - 2 - Start of Commentary Section: The Word is Complete in Itself   Nothing more is needed, because love includes non-aggression: you don't aggress against others if you love them. The Doctrine of Love and Freedom is thus completely contained in the single word...
Let's Get It Over With
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Paul Hein 2011-08-23 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Last June, Missouri Congressman Todd Akin made a speech in which he said that liberalism involved “hatred of God.” Needless to say, the professionally touchy were inflamed, and the Congressman was quick to issue an apology. Some local pastors weren’t satisfied with that, however, and sought a face-to-face meeting with Akin at his office....
Just Call Me a Capitalist
6.5
Westernerd 2011-08-23 00:00
Column by Robert Taylor   Exclusive to STR   In the current media climate of talking heads, sound bites, and bumper sticker slogans from politicians, debate--both in public and in private--is severely hampered by a lack of proper definitions of the terms and ideas being discussed. One could definitely make the cynical argument that this process of dumbing down the language is done...
Voluntaryist Schooling at Libertopia 2011 - Part 1: The Summum Bonum Learning Center and Intrinsic Motivation
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2011-08-23 00:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow Exclusive to STR  In San Diego this October 20-23, visitors to Libertopia 2011 will have the very first glimpse of a new type of school – the Summum Bonum Learning Center. According to Joey Hill, director and co-founder of the school, “In the spirit of Libertopia, instead of waiting for liberty to happen at some time in the future, we decided to start...
The Doctrine of Love and Freedom
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Glen Allport 2011-08-16 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR   Almost unnoticed amongst the glitter and wonder of modern sci-tech is that the basic, foundational truths of classical liberalism are now exceptionally well supported by science. If you want a society that produces physically and emotionally healthy people and that fosters prosperity, innovation, and peace, you want – you need – both...
Government Regulation and Free Market Alternatives
9.5
Westernerd 2011-08-15 00:00
Column by Robert Taylor. Exclusive to STR The failure of the state to adequately provide the services that are supposedly the sole domain of government is everywhere evident and an unfortunate fixture of American life. Instead of creating order, it has imposed chaos, cages, and climbing crime rates. While piling up bodies in the name of peace, it had made all of us less safe. But it is in...
Inferno, Part II of II
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tzo 2011-08-15 00:00
Column by tzo.  Exclusive to STR Part II of II   Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita, (Midway upon the journey of our life,) Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, (I found myself within a forest dark,) Che la diritta via era smarrita. (For the straightforward pathway had been lost.)   Without realizing it, the citizen has gotten off the path that he intended to take. He looks around...
Strike The Root Can Teach Everybody Something
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jd-in-georgia 2011-08-12 00:00
Column by John Shelkop.  Exclusive to STR  On its 10th anniversary, it has been both a joy and an education keeping up with the links and commentary on Strike The Root. One month before thousands of Americans were killed on September 11, 2001, a site filled with links to stories and ideas of a classically liberal slant had begun. I will confess that I did not even know this site...
Inferno, Part I of II
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tzo 2011-08-12 00:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR Quoth Nietzche with regard to the State, “Yes, a hellish artifice has been created here, a death-horse jingling with the trappings of divine honors!”   The State is perhaps better understood in this industrial and technical era as a death-machine. The true ugliness within the guts of this meat grinder is hidden behind a well-crafted...
Cecil Was One of Us. No, Wait, He Was Just a Lion.
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Harry Goslin 2015-08-05 07:50
Column by Harry Goslin. Exclusive to STR The irrational, overly-emotional and childlike reaction to the killing of a lion in Africa is another example of why Americans will be forever in the dark about what’s important in the world and what’s not. It’s these kinds of silly, irrelevant stories that especially gets the lip-quivering left up in arms and unfortunately dominates the...
What About Peak Liberty?
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Alex R. Knight III 2015-09-17 08:09
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR In a prior column published some time ago, I outlined the sociologically necessary pre-requisite for the transition to a voluntary society: a full 10% minimum of the population dedicated to that ultra-libertarian goal, and nothing less. In short, at current estimated American population levels, roughly 33 million persons ready, willing, and able to...
Why Renters Are Screwed
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Paul Bonneau 2015-12-02 09:03
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Every now and then my wife and I get the itch to go into property rental. For example, we look at real estate listings on the Oregon Coast. A duplex would be nice, because we could take one unit for ourselves, and rent the other out. The renter could help watch our place while we were not around, and we might even work out a deal for him to do lawn mowing...
SPECTRE: Not Scarier Than the Newspapers
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Kevin M. Patten 2015-12-17 08:43
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR Spoilers. The newest 007 film is, all and all, a dud. Putting the summation first: It’s predicable, uninspired, disjointed. It sets itself up for real potential by attempting to give the secret agent a genuine backstory, and then fails miserably without much effort. It brings in supernova-sized casting, and then wastes the talent. It teases us...
The World Beyond My Time
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Alex R. Knight III 2016-02-16 09:46
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Some time ago, I wrote a piece here on STR about some of my experiences as a practicing alcoholic, and how my initial years of substance-abuse denial are directly analogous to the philosophical position of Statists. And I’m about to come out of denial again. In the 22 years now that I’ve been aware of it and involved, the libertarian...
A Candle in the Darkness
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Paul Hein 2016-03-03 08:32
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Those of us of a certain (old!!) age find it easy to be pessimistic about the future, and depressed by the present obvious disintegration of the America of our youth and young adulthood. Considering that garrulous gaggle of gangsters seeking the presidency is enough to ruin my day. The shrinking of the middle class--the productive class!!--convinces me that...
A Thought Experiment in Rights
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Paul Bonneau 2016-03-23 08:16
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR A thought experiment is a useful device for getting down to the truth of things. For example, Einstein discovered the Special Theory of Relativity through a series of thought experiments; certainly back in those days, there weren’t many trains actually running near the speed of light! I noticed in another forum, in one of my discussions about rights...
Not Surprised: Thoreau Pissed Off Some New Yorkers
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Douglas Herman 2016-04-26 07:24
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Years ago, while working in LA as a struggling scriptwriter, I observed that Hollywood is a Moronocracy:  movies made by morons, for morons and about morons.  Rainman, Forrest Gump, Waterboy, Dumb & Dumber, Batman vs. Superman, etc. You see the trend? Intelligent, insightful opinions, subtlety, cleverness, playful and caustic remarks have...
Bumper Stickers
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tzo 2010-08-10 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR     If there is one message that must continually be broadcast to people in order to improve the quality of life on this planet, it is this: Politics is aggression. Until this simple understanding becomes widespread, we will all continue to bog down in the mud.   Politics is aggression.   Recently while driving I noticed that the car...
Authority: God vs. Man
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Guest 2011-03-21 03:00
Column by new Root Striker Doug Carkuff. Exclusive to STR One of my guilty pleasures in life was watching the Showtime series “The Tudors.” It is great fun watching King Henry petulantly subjecting his subjects to his whims and hacking off heads and torturing people as it suits him. I have no idea with respect to historical accuracy of any of it except in the broadest sense...
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...