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Friday, February 27

Guest Editor

Ken Kraska is the guest editor today.

WANTED: A new guest editor for Saturdays.  If you're interested, please email me.

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photo courtesy of Pai Shih

Original article "[With] very rare exceptions, there is no reason to believe that actors, directors, rock stars, and other such celebrities have any more insight into public policy than the average person on the street. ... [Although] Patricia Arquette might well be a good actress, it is unlikely that she has any special insight into the wage gap between men and women, or how best to deal with it."
Original article "We’re told that radar traps and so on exist not to extract dollars from our wallets but for 'safety.' If so, why do the cops squeal so loudly about Waze? After all, people slow down for the trap up ahead. Isn’t that the desired object? Obviously, not. The squealing erupts not because people are slowing down but because they slow down in time to avoid being hit with a fine for not slowing down. As they used to teach in journalism school: Follow the money. It is always about the money."
Original article "You know who else thought he was a sheepdog? George Zimmerman. How’d that work out? Sure, he was legally justified, but he ended up killing a guy who probably didn’t need killing, and has now had his life completely ruined. All because he was a 'sheepdog.' ”
Original article "For the most part, the portable computer is a dream machine for the few. The limitations come from what people actually do with computers, as opposed to what the marketers expect them to do. On the whole, people don’t want to lug a computer with them to the beach or on a train to while away hours they would rather spend reading the sports or business section of the newspaper. Somehow, the microcomputer industry has assumed that everyone would love to have a keyboard grafted on as an extension...
Original article The feds are seeking to contract for medical personnel at JFK airport to administer enemas and then dig through the resultant poo, looking for ingested dope.
Original article I find these polls to be of dubious reliability, given the failed Scottish independence referendum last year, but at least English succession from the mega-state is still being discussed.
Original article "The power to require permits is the power to prevent something from ever existing. This lovely movement would've never begun or spread if everyone who wanted to build a Little Free Library recognized a need to apply and pay for a permit. Instead they did good and asked permission never."
Original article "The many ways that corporations, special interests and political interests of all stripes exploit media and the Internet to perpetuate astro-turf [political movements] is ever-expanding. Surreptitious astro-turf methods are now more important to these interests than traditional lobbying of Congress." On this list most are funded by leftist billionaires.
Original article "Even though a DNA test proved Carnell Alexander is not the father of a child a woman claimed was his on a welfare benefits form, the state of Michigan [i.e., a judge] says he must pay $30,000 to settle the case – or go to prison." Go figure?
Original article "When speculating wildly about the source of these white freckles, we thought they could be evidence of cyrovolcanism or even icy geysers, but were confused how such an isolated, small world could be thermodynamically active enough to generate either of them."
Genesis
9.57143
tzo 2011-03-23 02:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The subjects were not happy. The royalty of the land were taking ten percent of all the voluntary exchanges made by the subjects, and then to add insult to injury, the subjects were not even allowed to complain about this injustice for fear of being kidnapped and thrown into a dank prison or perhaps even killed. This overt tyranny was quickly becoming...
Authority: God vs. Man
8.85714
Guest 2011-03-21 02:00
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...
Politically Incorrect Authoritarianism
10
R. K. Blacksher 2011-03-16 02:00
Column by R.K. Blacksher. Exclusive to STR In a recent column for the Center for a Stateless Society about Peter King's hearings on radicalization among American Muslims, Darian Worden writes:   "King says that backing down would mean giving in to that nebulous boogeyman called 'political correctness.'"   This is a perfect illustration of something that has become a very...
The State, Hubris and Obscenity
10
Bob Wallace 2011-03-10 03:00
Column by Bob Wallce. Exclusive to STR Richard Weaver once pointed out that the original sense of the word “obscenity” meant something that “should be enacted off-stage, because it is unfit for public exhibition.”   He wrote, “they included intense suffering and humiliation, which the Greeks, with habitual perspicacity and humanity, banned from the theater....
A Pragmatic Approach to Anti-Statism
8
Michael Kleen 2011-03-10 03:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR The modern state is the reality of the contemporary world. I say it is the reality because there are few things in the world that the state does not touch. There are few remaining frontiers (aside from perhaps the Internet) where liberty can be expressed in its fullest nature. Even the most adamant anarchist is forced to live within the state, to live by...
A Response to 'More on Minarchism as Evil'
9
Paul Bonneau 2011-03-09 03:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.  Exclusive to STR  Responding to Per’s recent column, I will quote a couple of passages:   “...I have argued exclusively that a full-scale alliance (in the sense of an integrated, all-encompassing, and unified movement) is both counterproductive and impossible.”   I have to agree, as far as that goes. But there are a few problems with...
Keep the Home Fires Burning
9.66667
Paul Hein 2011-03-09 03:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   As the economy collapses, and civilization disintegrates, increasing numbers of people are becoming aware of the corrupt, vicious, and arrogantly stupid nature of government—especially the federal government--and its role in the dissolution.   But wait! Do we really want to believe that government is the problem? Keep in mind...
Why Is Social Security Going Broke? Recommended
10
Glen Allport 2011-03-08 03:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR - 1 -   In plain language, there is no good reason for the unfolding Social Security nightmare. Yes, the Baby Boomers are retiring, but so what? It's a big group, but this same big group has been paying into Social Security their whole adult lives. It's not like the money hasn't been set aside or anything.   Right?   - 2 -   Of course,...
The Most Dangerous Addiction
9.5
R. K. Blacksher 2011-03-08 03:00
Column by R. K. Blacksher. Exclusive to STR One can often learn a lot about a person’s weaknesses by the qualities that he most loudly denounces in others. We are all familiar with the cases of “familyvalues” Republicanscheating on their wives and leaders of MADD being arrested on DUI charges. Examples from the world of politics are, of course, too numerous to count. Consider...
The Parable of the Lions and the Slaves
9.14286
tzo 2011-03-07 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The nature of lions is to kill, and so it is good that they kill because that ensures lion survival. If an individual lion loses his teeth, that is bad because he can no longer fend for himself. If all lions were to lose their teeth, that would be the end of lions.   Humans put some lions in zoos and feed them meat and get them to reproduce....
The Great Fiction of Fiat Money Cornucopia
8.5
Jakub Bozydar W... 2012-02-22 00:00
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 00:00
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 2012-04-23 23:00
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 08:09
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 00:00
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 07:46
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 06:59
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 08:02
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 06:20
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...
Logical Fallacies?
8.5
Paul Bonneau 2014-06-30 07:23
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I vaguely remember when I first discovered logical fallacies (hint: it was not in a government school); I recall being thrilled that there were some boundaries for argumentation that could be used to reject some poor arguments and help find the truth of things. I have long used Stephen Downes’ site as a particularly good exposition of them, since it...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
10
D. Saul Weiner 2015-02-13 08:13
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
10
Glen Allport 2013-10-30 07:02
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 05:52
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 07:12
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 07:44
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 2012-05-13 23:00
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 2012-03-25 23:00
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 00:00
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 00:00
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 02:00
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...