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Thursday, October 20

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Original article "Police in Lawrenceville, Ga., are investigating whether a Democratic National Committee campaign bus illegally dumped human waste there, according to multiple reports. The incident occurred on Grayson Highway early Tuesday, while the vehicle promoting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democratic Party was between campaign stops, CBS 46 News said."
Original article "Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who documented his torture and imprisonment in the 2015 Guantánamo Diary, on Monday was finally returned home to his native Mauritania. Upon his release, Slahi said, “I feel grateful and indebted to the people who have stood by me. I have come to learn that goodness is transnational, transcultural, and trans-ethnic. I’m thrilled to reunite with my family.”"
Original article "But the system goes one step further than this, to work out 'physical proximity between pairs of individuals' by looking at the Wi-Fi signals they both pick up. For example, the system can track when two users are picking up the same Wi-Fi signal which suggests that they are in the same place. The researchers suggest that the main privacy issue with the system will affect Android users."
Original article "One month ago, when we last looked at the Fed's update of Treasuries held in custody, we noted something troubling: the number dropped sharply, declining by over $27.5 billion in one week, the biggest weekly drop since January 2015, pushing the total amount of custodial paper to $2.83 trillion, the lowest since 2012. One month later, we refresh this chart and find that in the latest weekly update, foreign central banks continued their relentless liquidation of US paper held in the Fed...
Original article "The US military has dramatically increased the number of its airstrikes in Libya in less than a month, new data shows, further cementing President Barack Obama’s record of taking more military action than any other American president. American fighter jets and drones stationed aboard the amphibious assault vessel USS Wasp off the Libyan coast, have so far carried out 324 airstrikes in the country, according to data by the Pentagon’s Africa Command, which leads the operation."
Original article "A fresh pile of Wikileaks documents gives fuel to the fire that Soros, the “change agent” extraordinaire, is not only ordering State Dept.-backed regime change in the most contentious parts of the world, but that he is injecting cash into a basket of (deplorable) organizations designed to hijack the country, and keep a corrupt Democrat – like Hillary – in power for eight more years."
Original article "Note how differently The New York Times prepares the American public for civilian casualties from the new U.S.-backed Iraqi government assault on the city of Mosul to free it from the Islamic State, compared to the unrelenting condemnation of the Russian-backed Syrian government assault on neighborhoods of east Aleppo held by Al Qaeda."
Original article "As previously reported, Obama has made comments to the effect that he and Biden and their wives will still be involved in the next White House administration. It’s like he knows Hillary is going to win and he’ll get his third term after all, which means he knows that Donald Trump is set to lose. To that end, Obama is now downplaying the idea that the election could ever be rigged in this country, as if that’s not even a real possibility. It’s actually kind of hilarious in a sad reality sort of...
Original article I find Trump just as obnoxious as the harridan from the Clinton crime family but do enjoy the f*ck you attitude of the vote for Trump. Most don’t seem to realize that changing the meat puppets in DC does not a change make. But many are waking up to the reeking stink of corruption that is the entire collectivist swamp of Mordor on the Potomac. The leviathan will continue apace and the government will simply get bigger and more intrusive.  
Original article Raising teenage girls in the age of Snapchat exhibitionism is a challenging proposition – and it’s not made any easier by ambitious prosecutors seeking to criminalize unwise acts that fall within parental jurisdiction.  
Original article While politics is zero-sum and all-or-none, voluntary exchange is positive-sum and allows everyone to enjoy whatever they prefer and avoid whatever they don’t.  
Original article America's drug war is a global monster.
Original article From the state to private corporations, many groups benefit from marijuana prohibition. And, they will fight to keep marijuana illegal.    
Original article Onerous licensing laws make it harder for people to move from place to place. And less residential mobility means less economic mobility.  
Original article This is not simply about sound fiscal budgetary policy. Rather, it is about shouldering the burden of our wars and, in doing so, being open to learn from our mistakes. We all want to continue to “support our troops.” Sweeping the costs under the carpet is not the right way to do it.
Original article Being restrained and judicious in the use of military power does not show weakness, and it does not invite more aggression from would-be adversaries. It does foster more energetic support for American interests among our friends and allies. Regardless of who becomes the next commander in chief, let us hope he or she will acknowledge the superiority of this advanced way of thinking over today’s bankrupt definition of “leadership.
Original article protectionist arguments rest on the premise that your tomato-growing neighbor has some positive claim on your income.  If you are prohibited from buying tomatoes from Mexico, or – more commonly today – penalized with a tariff for doing so, the state is insisting that domestic tomato growers have an ethical claim on part of your income.  If you do not spend your income as the state, or as domestic tomato growers, deem best, you will be penalized.  Tomato-growers...
Original article Secret law denies us the ability to shape the rules that govern official conduct through the democratic process. It prevents us from holding the government accountable for violations, rendering such violations more likely. It weakens checks and balances, as both legislative and judicial oversight operate less effectively under the constraints imposed by secrecy.
Original article Economics teaches us that when prices are allowed to function and people are allowed to exchange goods and services, good things happen. People become better connected, have access to more goods and services, and are made wealthier. In many cases, private markets can make things happen where governments fails. 
Original article What happens when an electricity dependent society and economy has an extended loss of electrical grid and communications? One of the hidden realities of modern life is its fragility. For example, few people are aware of the precariousness of the supply chain that refills gasoline/petrol stations around the world every few days.
Original article The reality revealed in these emails is one of media collusion with powerful interests, which only serve to keep the American people in the dark about what is actually transpiring. The exact opposite of transparency.    
Original article For all intents and purposes, we’re all victims of a perverse, perverted, psychotic mindset that views the citizenry as lesser beings: lacking in value, unworthy of respect, and completely undeserving of the legal rights and protections that should be afforded to all Americans.  
Original article The corruption James O'Keefe exposed goes all the way to the top. 
9/11 and the Prospects for Liberty
R. K. Blacksher 2011-09-15 00:00
Column by R.K. Blacksher Exclusive to STR State propagandists are predictably marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with vulgar displays of collectivist self-pity and celebrations of the power and glory of the state and its uniformed agents. The evildoers hate us because we are so good and so free, we are told. There are terrorists hiding around every corner, inside every closet and under every...
Chinese Communism and America’s Free Traitors
gautry 2011-09-14 00:00
Column by new Root Striker Greg Autry. Exclusive to STR  Say it is a dictatorship, but we want to be associated with it. Say it is worthwhile being associated with the devil, as Churchill said, in order to defeat another evil which is Hitler. There might be some good argument made for that. But why pretend that Russia was not what it was? ~ Ayn Rand, testimony to HUAC, 1947   America...
How to Get a Job
Paul Bonneau 2011-09-12 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR  Most of us have grown up in an era of substantial job growth (funded largely by low interest rate-driven malinvestment, but no need go get into that now). Any fool could make a million. Well, the party is over, and mindsets that might have been workable then, have now become harmful to self-preservation. It’s time to examine this point.  ...
Government Steve, This Will Not Pass
Alex R. Knight III 2011-09-09 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III.   Exclusive to STR   There was a pretty good article back in June published at by David Weigel. The title was “Live Free or Move: Hanging Out With the Young Kids Who Want to Turn New Hampshire into a Libertarian Paradise.”    It’s a trite label for what was otherwise, in my opinion, a pretty good write-up. Not...
Aquacalypse Now: Some Reflections on Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont
Alex R. Knight III 2011-09-08 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III   Exclusive to STR   Good night, Irene. And good night, as well, to any number of roads, storm drains, bridges, businesses, and homes here in Vermont and some surrounding environs. In a roughly 24-hour period on August 28th, the landscape of the Green Mountains was radically transformed. It will be weeks and months before any semblance of full...
Not Enough Enemies? Let’s Create More!
Paul Bonneau 2011-09-08 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau Exclusive to STR  I was just reading how anarcho-syndicalists are so bad, that they are even worse than the state.   Wow, that is something else. We have no idea what things are going to come about at this end of empire, what our true enemies will be; but we are already searching for other dragons to slay. The more obscure, the better!   The article, by...
Homeschooling Is Easy!
Paul Bonneau 2011-09-07 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   I was reading Lawrence Ludlow’s excellent series on Voluntarist schooling when I came upon this statement: “For many busy parents, home-schooling is not an option – despite the extraordinary success of home-schooled children. Many parents do not have the time, skills, and resources needed by their children to flourish....
A Sign of Our Depravity
R. K. Blacksher 2011-09-02 00:00
Column by R.K. Blacksher   Exclusive to STR    Some people love to lament the popularity of violent video games and rap music. They view this as a sign of our depravity. Other people love to lament the popularity of NASCAR and professional wrestling. They view this as a sign of our stupidity.   Are they right? Does the popularity of these cultural phenomena emblemize the much...
A Rose By Any Other Name Is Still Vegetation
Paul Hein 2011-09-01 00:00
Column by Paul Hein   Exclusive to STR   Suppose you hired a landscape architect, and asked him to submit a plan to beautify your yard. He would ask you what you had in mind. “Well, how about some vegetation?” He might smile at that, or frown; but he would want you to be more specific. “What vegetation would you like?” “You know, green plants, maybe...
Voluntaryist Schooling at Libertopia 2011 - Part 3: Why We Need Summum Bonum Learning Center – Now!
Lawrence M. Ludlow 2011-08-30 00:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow   Exclusive to STR   The Failure of Conventional Schools   Parents and children are frustrated by public schools (85% to 90% of all students). Not only do they do not meet their needs, but they treat parents and children as if they were sick patients instead of as valued customers. Moreover, student needs are superseded by politically sensitive funding...
SPECTRE: Not Scarier Than the Newspapers
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...
Debt Bondage Or Monetary Freedom?
James Clayton 2016-02-11 09:31
Column by James Clayton. Exclusive to STR State-sanctioned monetary systems are instruments of control. The individuals who benefit the most will not be easily persuaded to change the arrangement and will attempt to prevent us from using alternative methods or media of exchange. Canada provides one example. The state, personified in the monarch, gives to the Parliament of Canada the exclusive...
The World Beyond My Time
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
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
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...
Self Interest
Paul Bonneau 2016-06-10 08:06
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It took me a long, long time to figure out how important self interest was, in motivating people. It’s essentially all there is. Humans do not appear to have much of a natural in-born tendency toward virtues such as truth or decency. As a parent, I try to warn my son about this; but he thinks I am being too cynical. I suspect that, even though we...
Slaves of the Law
Paul Bonneau 2016-08-18 08:18
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It’s been noted many times, that to obtain liberty, the first and most important thing that must be freed is one’s own mind. I don’t know who first recognized and stated it. Of course the reverse is true as well; the most important thing for the ruling class to do is to enslave people's minds. And the way that is done is to make those...
Ignorance of Bliss
Anarchoblake 2016-09-15 08:52
Column by Blake Bengtson. Exclusive to STR The cascading nature of human events is truly a sight to behold, amplified tenfold by the advent of technology's current level. We are simultaneously connected and disjointed from one another unlike any other time in history. There is division. There is camaraderie. Fear, love, anger and pain. All for the world to see at any given moment through...
Bumper Stickers
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
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
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...