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Wednesday, July 9

Guest Editor

A. Magnus is the guest editor today.

WANTED: A new guest editor for Saturdays.  A guest editor selects the external links for that day and then uploads them to STR.  If you're interested, please email me.

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photo courtesy of Moyan Brenn

Original article "As sequestration takes toll on the Pentagon’s budget, Defense officials must decide how to maintain superior military capabilities. A new study suggests that the Pentagon should focus more on a “great power conflict,” reflective of a newly aggressive Russia and rapidly modernizing China."
Original article "There may be more fiber in your food than you realized. Burger King, McDonald’s and other fast food companies list in the ingredients of several of their foods, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) or “powdered cellulose” as components of their menu items. Or, in plain English, wood pulp."
Original article "It seems not even The Pope's private bank can make money when its only allowed to do it the legal way. As The FT reports, profits at the Vatican bank plunged last year after thousands of accounts were closed as part of an overhaul of the scandal-ridden institution. The Vatican bank, officially known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), now has 17,419 customers, down from 18,900 in 2012 and net profit fell from EUR86.6m in 2012 to EUR2.9m last year. So - in sum - accounts fell 8% and...
Original article "On Saturday morning, the Greek government issued civil mobilisation orders to striking Public Power Corporation (PPC) workers, ordering them back to work by placing them under martial law. The order was issued after a ruling by the Athens Court of First Instance on Friday evening, which declared the strike illegal."
Original article "Want to hear the worst idea in the history of horrible ideas? How about we take the industry responsible for destroying the U.S. economy and wrecking the lives of tens of millions of people, and then allow it to create a “government-industry cyber war council.”"
Original article "The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee is refusing to cooperate with an insider trading investigation, saying its employees are “absolutely immune” from having to comply with subpoenas from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)."
Original article "In lieu of Weinstein’s promised anti-Second Amendment epic, “Cloverfield” director Matt Reeves produced a film with a distinctly anti-gun subtext. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is now in theaters and it has some Second Amendment advocates crying foul."
Original article "Thirty-eight journalism and open government groups today called on President Obama to stop practices in federal agencies that prevent important information from getting to the public. The national organizations sent a letter to Obama today urging changes to policies that constrict information flow to the public, including prohibiting journalists from communicating with staff without going through public information offices, requiring government PIOs to vet interview questions and monitoring...
Original article "The unspecified threat the DHS is reacting to has added a new requirement for passengers taking direct flights to the United States. In short, you’d better make sure all your electronics are charged before you reach the security checkpoint or you quite possibly won’t be going anywhere."
Original article "Marijuana dispensaries in Washington state began legally selling recreational weed on Tuesday morning, joining Colorado by officially becoming the second state in the country where adults can lawfully purchase pot. Customers formed lines outside retailers in the Evergreen State early Tuesday as select shops prepared to open their doors for the first time ever."
Original article "In recent days an estimated 30,000 Internet users have received emails containing copyright warnings and demands for cash settlements. The emails, which detail alleged infringements on content from EMI, Sony, DreamWorks and Paramount, are not only fake but also have a sting in the tail - a nasty trojan just waiting to be installed."
Original article "The Russian Government signed a draft agreement on the creation of a $100 billion pool of currency reserves that the BRICS countries are forming to guard against financial shocks. According to the document, the countries’ dollar reserves will remain on the balance sheets of their central banks. However, these reserves can be made available at the request of one of the parties."
Original article "A 'painful' restructuring of the Vatican’s scandal-ridden bank in order to weed out suspicious activity has resulted in a massive fall in profits and the closure of hundreds of customer accounts."  (Editor's pick)
Original article Song by Smoke Fairies.  (Editor's pick)
Original article For all our brothers and sisters withering and wilting in the heat...
There's No Better Government Like No Government
10
Guest 2011-02-24 04:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim.   Note: Cristian Gherasim plagiarized this column from here.   There is nothing the state can do, and which society needs done, that cannot be done far better by the market. Another point that is just as telling: No state empowered to do what is supposedly necessary will restrain itself to those things. It will expand as much as public opinion will...
Debt Madness
6
Mark Davis 2011-02-22 04:00
Column by Mark Davis.  Exclusive to STR  Finalist #1 in the "Odious Debt" essay contest   It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. ~ Henry Ford   Are you mad yet? Tired of all the odious bulldebt being dumped on your head out of...
Spend More, Print More, Tax Less
9.2
Guest 2011-02-22 04:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim. Note: Cristian Gherasim plagiarized this column from here.   Whether it's a bailout of subprime mortgage holders, large investment banks, or going to war, whether or not the resources exist to do these wonders rarely enters into the equation. Why is it that tax cuts don't curb the government? And why do politicians not feel the need to tax us more when they...
A Silver Lining Shines Within the Odious Debt
7
Marcel Votlucka 2011-02-22 04:00
Column by Marcel Votlucka. Exclusive to STR Co-winner (with Mark Davis) of the 2011 Strike the Root "Odious Debt" essay contest   Fourteen trillion, one hundred twenty-three billion, five hundred eighty-nine million, three hundred-seven thousand, one hundred ninety dollars and fifty-three cents.   That’s the total US national debt as of February 17, 2011. I figured I...
The Money Ceiling
5
Paul Hein 2011-02-21 04:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   4th place in the "Odious Debt" essay contest   Coincident with the swearing in of the newly elected Congressmen is the impending end of the present debt ceiling. It is a topic of much discussion, with various pundits weighing in with this or that recommendation. Universally, they deplore the necessity of raising the ceiling, but...
There’s No Such Thing as a Statist
7
Paul Bonneau 2011-02-21 04:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   Nor are there any minarchists or anarchists.   In this brouhaha stirred up by Per Bylund, some strange lines of argument have appeared. Here is an example:   ---------------- "There are a huge number who would reject abolishing the state while consenting to leave us alone." [quoted from previous comment] That is redundant...
Rejoinder on Evil Minarchism Recommended
7.66667
Per Bylund 2011-02-18 04:00
Column by Per Bylund.   Exclusive to STR   John deLaubenfels responds to my previous column on minarchists being “the enemy.” His response is a case in point. Even though it is surely not his intent, his “quick response” directly supports the thesis of my original column. This is also true with most of the e-mails and comments I have seen by those disagreeing...
A Quick Response to Per Bylund
6.4
John deLaubenfels 2011-02-17 04:00
Column by John deLaubenfels.   Exclusive to STR   Per Bylund's most recent column on STR is titled Why Minarchists Are the Enemy. That's a pretty strong statement, especially as it identifies minarchists not as AN enemy, but THE enemy, and the text of his column reinforces rather than softens the message. We read, for example, that (in some sense at least) "minarchist...
Plaguing Economic Thinking: Three Myths About Inflation, Consumption and Oil Prices
10
Guest 2011-02-17 04:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim.   Note: Cristian Gherasim plagiarized this column from here.   Inflation and the increase in energy prices are issues that have always created numerous economic myths. The following are some of the most common ones.   “Dependence on Foreign Oil"   This myth basically suggests that the problem with oil prices is due to America's "...
Why Minarchists Are the Enemy
6.88889
Per Bylund 2011-02-16 04:00
Column by Per Bylund.   Exclusive to STR   Libertarians want to roll back government to a much less oppressive size. In this goal, libertarian minarchists and anarchists often stand together and aim for the same goals, at least short term. In a limited sense, this may not be such a stupid idea. After all, pushing back the powers of government is a good thing, is it not?   But what...
The Most Important Jobs in the World--Education and Parenthood
8.5
livefreeretiree 2011-09-29 00:00
Column by Vahram G. Diehl.   Exclusive to STR   The essence of culture is formed by ideas that are passed down through the generations. Politics, religion, customs, language, etiquette, fashion, music, sports, cuisine, and every other ideology that distinguishes one place from the next constitutes culture. Everything about culture has developed respective to each group of...
The Great Fiction of Fiat Money Cornucopia
8.5
Jakub Bozydar W... 2012-02-22 01:00
Column by Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski. Exclusive to STR In this day and age of easy and equal access to a practically infinite supply of independent information, a serious economic crisis can potentially have intellectually beneficial consequences. It can make people start questioning the "mainstream consensus" on, say, the nature of central banks, ex nihilio credit expansions and fiat...
The Great Stagecoach Robbery Recommended
8.5
David Calderwood 2012-03-02 01:00
Column by new Root Striker David Calderwood.  Exclusive to STR  It’s Political Season and the airwaves are stuffed with Great Plans from Great Men, full of promises to Fix This and Fix That. I guess the goal is, “He who makes the Most Believable Promises Wins.”   Bah.   Does anyone else share my sense that I’m a passenger on a stagecoach that is being...
Discrimination
8.5
Paul Bonneau 2012-04-24 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR  The sign in the window said, “No Firearms Allowed Inside”. First thing that came to my mind was, “Great, now what am I supposed to do? Leave my gun out here lying on the sidewalk?” My next thought was, “I am trying to do business with morons.”   I was in front of the local office of my ISP provider, a company...
Beware the Swarm
8.5
tzo 2012-12-19 09:09
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR It has been said that government is merely an intangible set of ideas that influence how people interact with one another. It has also been called a belief system analogous to a religion in that it generally has its own creation mythos, a pantheon of idealized superheroes, and a set of superstitions grounded in faith instead of logic. While I don’t disagree...
Ed Schultz and His Alleged Middle Class Heroes Recommended
8.5
Greg Haley 2013-01-04 01:00
Column by Greg Haley. Exclusive to STR Ed Schultz has set quite the task out for himself. On his New Year’s Eve broadcast on MSNBC, he announced who his “Middle Class Heroes of 2012” are. Schultz is a self-styled liberal, so his recipients of the title “Middle Class Hero” are predictable and worthy of a certain amount of eye rolling. The general reverence for...
The Pugsley Plan Recommended
8.5
Jim Davies 2013-01-14 08:46
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Prior to Harry Browne's first run for US President in 1996, his friend John Pugsley wrote him a passionate “open letter” urging him not to. As far as I know, Harry didn't reply, but he did continue his campaign – and repeated it four years later. He got few votes more than the LP normally receives, but his platform and campaign were...
My Opposition to H. 124
8.5
Alex R. Knight III 2013-01-31 07:59
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Dear Vermont Legislators: It becomes increasingly difficult to know just where to begin since, no matter how many times those of you who repeatedly attempt to impinge upon one of the very foundations of human liberty are presented with a surfeit of facts and evidence demonstrating the counterproductive, dangerous, and frankly, arrogant nature of...
Respect for the Law
8.5
Paul Hein 2013-02-15 09:02
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR If you have any--that is, respect for the law--you ought to reconsider. We are controlled, after all, by psychology, and the “law” is a key player in the ploy. There is a division of the company called the State that writes down, solemnly, the desires of the company, and calls the finished product The Law. We are supposed to take this law very...
Building Bridges
8.5
Alex R. Knight III 2013-04-19 07:20
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Linda Waite-Simpson, an ultra-left, pro-government “state representative” here in Vermont, recently lamented to local press that her rejected bid to impose sweeping gun control measures upon the residents of the most gun-friendly tax farm out of the 50 was shot down (pun intended) because of the “strong libertarian bent in this...
'Obamacare Nightmare Edition' of Ringo's Law and the Healthcare System of Doom MUST READ
10
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
10
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
10
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
0
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
9
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
10
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
10
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...