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Thursday, August 27

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Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR It’s something of an axiomatic view of history here in the Green Mountains that beginning in the early 1960s, the socio-political landscape of Vermont began to change, specifically because of an influx of young Baby Boomers seeking to create a haven based on leftist ideology. There is no question, at least, that quasi-Marxist Great Society ideals and ideas predominated the nouveau-garde of the era – or that the trappings of “...
Original article Make no mistake about it: virtually anything and everything is a crime nowadays (feeding the birds, growing vegetables in your front yard, etc.) to such an extent that if a prosecutor, police officer and judge were so inclined, you could be locked up for any inane reason.  
Original article Governments have long hated physical cash because it allows for untraceable purchases. But a bigger problem for governments is the fact that holders of cash can signal a lack of trust in central banks by removing all their cash from the financial system.  
Original article Bill Buppert's new book is out! "The abolitionist project is picking up steam and people are waking up and seeing that the chains are real and the shackles need to be sundered. I hope this book puts steel into the movement and provides a minor intellectual boost to feed the gathering storm."
Original article The democratic pluralism of the free market economy stands in stark contrast to the outcome that results from the political democratic process. The goods and services provided by government are not open to individual decision-making and choice. We cannot pick and choose among the government goods and services in terms of the relative amounts we would like to have. And we certainly cannot choose to completely reject some of those goods and services and not have them at all.  
Original article This correlation is not coincidental. The amount of rules, taxes and monetary inflation has a direct impact on prosperity. This is because any government activity constitutes a kind of “price fix” that transfers wealth away from those who use the capital most efficiently to those who are less able to use it effectively.  
Original article If being one of the largest members of the MIC wasn't enough, Lockheed actually uses welfare to lobby for more welfare.
Original article Progressives wants to "promote economic parity and social justice," then send code enforcers to evict the poor from their homes.  
Original article It’s commonly believed that taxation can combat inequality through progressive redistribution. Numerous studies, however, have shown that the economic and societal outcomes of income redistribution policies are inefficient. In other words, they destroy wealth in the process of transferring it.  
Original article So we are left with an intractable and very human problem. How do we reconcile our desire for safety with our knowledge that the universe is, in fact, uncontrollable? 
Original article When you recognize the vast power that jury nullification holds, you recognize why it would be so hated by statists and authoritarians across the land. That is precisely why this activist was arrested and charged with handing out information.  
Original article The state and political structure has no idea how to handle the rapid changes in technology that allow human beings to build freer, more decentralized peer-to-peer markets. Their only "solution" is to huff, puff, and use violence.
Original article Not only does the idea that marriage is irreducibly public represent a failure of imagination with respect to robust common law, it also resembles arguments made against privatization in other areas, such as currency, education, and health care. Just because we can’t always envision it doesn’t make it impossible.      
Original article The DoD’s 1,180 page Law of War Manual outlines provisions for military commanders to violate the rights of journalists who they disagree with in vaguely written legal speak...The manual states that they are not ruling out torturing journalists either.  
Who Paid for the Civil War?
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George F. Smith 2011-05-20 00:00
Column by George F. Smith.   When war broke out in 1861, the federal government was without its own money machine, though that would soon change. As expenses from the war mounted, the U.S. government once again issued Treasury Notes to help finance it. The Act of July 17, 1861 authorized Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase to issue notes at 7.30%, a rate chosen to make...
The Old Farm Shed
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Paul Bonneau 2011-05-20 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   I once owned a small farm that had gone to the weeds. On this farm was a shed, the kind one sees on working farms with one side open and tractors parked inside, or hay bales stacked. For some reason I woke up this morning, thinking about that shed.   When friends came over, we’d be out walking around and they’d invariably say...
More Government 'Investment' Means Less Returns All Around
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Harry Goslin 2011-05-19 00:00
Column by Harry Goslin.   Exclusive to STR   Whatever the challenge, you can usually count on Americans to demand more be done even though they're likely to get less returns on their "investment." From bombs to bailouts, disasters to schools, there seems to be no end to the funny-money available to "fix" all the problems facing the world. We can do it...
Wildcat Inflation Fighters
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George F. Smith 2011-05-16 00:00
Column by George F. Smith Exclusive to STR Summary: Though banking and government have had a corrupt relationship throughout history, the Suffolk Bank and Independent Treasury System, both of which were prominent during the “wildcat banking” era of the 19th Century, represent significant efforts at reform.    In his 1994 book, Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History,...
The Secret Ballot: A Tool For Tyrants
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Paul Bonneau 2011-05-12 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It’s funny how human beings can become so attached to a meme, that they can’t even imagine life without it. As the Wikipedia article on the secret ballot puts it, “Today the practice of casting secret ballots is so commonplace that most voters would not consider that any other method might be used.” It is somehow imagined to...
Nietzsche on the Origin of the State
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Michael Kleen 2011-05-12 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR   In the mind of 19th Century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, the growth of the State (Staat) was one of the most alarming developments of the modern world. Where others saw the promise of a new democratic age in which “the people” ruled, Nietzsche saw a “cold monster” that was, in reality, destructive of creative and...
The Narcissism of Politics
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Bob Wallace 2011-05-12 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace. Exclusive to STR “Nowhere are prejudices more mistaken for truth, passion for reason, and invective for documentation than in politics.  This is a realm, peopled only by villains or heroes, in which everything is black or white and gray is a forbidden color.”  ~ John Mason Brown, Through These Men (1956)   I sometimes entertain...
Never Volunteer
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Paul Hein 2011-05-11 00:00
Column by Paul Hein.  Exclusive to STR  In the spring of 2008, Senator Harry Reid gave an interview on television in which he stated that the income tax was voluntary. His remark caused quite a stir. Google “Harry Reid and voluntary income tax,” and see for yourself. His kindest critics thought him crazy, the less charitable used the word “idiot.” If the Senator...
Big Fat Lies: How Government Fear Campaigns Harm Children’s Health
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Carrie Burdzinski 2011-05-11 00:00
Column by Carrie Burdzinski. Exclusive to STR Yesterday while simultaneously eating lunch, working on a craft project, and solving a Sudoku puzzle, I turned on the TV for additional background stimulation. The program happened to be a children’s sitcom along the lines of “Hannah Montana.” As such, the commercials advertised toys, video games, and junk snacks popular among school...
Zenigma
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tzo 2011-05-09 00:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The Voluntaryist Master was addressing a new class of students.   "As a Voluntaryist, your mission will be to educate others about human freedom. But in order to spread the ideas of freedom, you must first become a free person. And in order to become a truly free person, you will need to learn, unlearn and relearn many things. But acquiring...
The State as Machine
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Bob Wallace 2010-06-14 03:00
Exclusive to STR   "The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies...." ~ Henry David Thoreau   "All machines are amplifiers" ~ Cooper's Law   That's a true saying: Machines are amplifiers, amplifiers of our inherent abilities.  Machines are not moral or immoral; they're amoral.  They can be used for good or...
Monetized Debt
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Paul Hein 2010-06-14 03:00
Exclusive to STR   The TV anchor--anchorette?--was interviewing her financial guru, who had just pointed out that the rapid growth of debt, if graphed, would be a virtually vertical line. Nothing like it had ever happened before in American history--at least not in living memory.   “How did we get in this mess?” anchorette asked. “How are we ever going to pay this debt...
History Repeats Itself: A Trip to Germany
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2010-06-21 03:00
Exclusive to STR    There is nothing like travel to remind us that “this happened before” – especially when it comes to examples of government running amok. I recently spent a few weeks in Germany, and I was reminded that individuals from that region are responsible for a staggering number of cultural contributions – in music, art, philosophy, theology,...
Porcupines
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Jim Davies 2010-07-07 03:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR     In June I had the pleasure of visiting PorcFest 2010, a friendly festival of freedom-seekers held in Northern New Hampshire; so far north that, had one traveled much further, one would have entered Her Majesty's jurisdiction. One of her subjects had in fact come south, from his freedomain somewhere near the North Pole, to enhance the Festival;...
Nietzsche and the State
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Michael Kleen 2010-07-15 03:00
By Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR    “Where the state ends—look there, my brothers! Do you not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the overman?”   Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) is one of the most famous of the modern philosophers. A prolific writer on just about every subject, his views on the modern state have been largely overshadowed by his...
Ten Briefly Described Problems of Egalitarianism
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Jakub Bozydar W... 2010-07-30 03:00
By Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski.   Exclusive to STR   I tend to agree with Isaiah Berlin and Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn that liberty and equality do not naturally go hand in hand. In fact, more often than not the choice between them is an either/or one. Let us make no mistake here – I am not referring to the kind of equality than no libertarian would hesitate to endorse, that is, the...
Corn Starch--The New 'Terrorist' Weapon
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Roger Young 2010-08-13 03:00
Column by Roger Young.   Exclusive to STR   The powers-that-be in Dallas are in a tizzy after several locations around the area received envelopes of white powder determined to be corn starch. The popular cooking ingredient was said to be accompanied by a “chilling note.” A spokesman reported that the note said “something to the effect of 'Al-Qaeda in the USA.’...
The Camel's Nose
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Paul Hein 2011-04-04 03:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   In considering how one might overthrow the state government, I have decided the safest course is by baby-steps, so to speak. Attacking the requirement to re-new your auto license yearly is a good initial procedure. Not too controversial, and without dire consequences if unsuccessful.   Don’t be put off by the term “overthrow....
No, Society, There Is No Santa Claus
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-11-15 01:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR  I know that I have likely irked some of you already by writing a Christmas-themed column before we have even gotten to Thanksgiving, but I can at least offer the caveat that it will likely not be near as onerous as the fact that the latest crop of political parasites (with all due respect to Ron Paul) have already ramped up their bids to be...
Of Dogs and Men
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Paul Hein 2011-12-14 01:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   We have two dogs. They are both miniature poodles, pure-bred, with papers (gosh!). What I am about to reveal now may make you despise me and my dogs, but at least give me credit for honesty: our dogs are defective. I cringe to admit it, but it’s true.   A poodle, I have learned from the appropriate authorities, may be any color (...
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...