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Friday, October 24

Guest Editor

Ken Kraska is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Kansas Poetry

Original article “ ‘On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.’ ” Of that prediction, made in the 1920’s, I’d say “mission accomplished”.
Original article A Manhattan tax lawyer has more in common with an SF tech start-up owner, a Vermont trustafarian, or an LA scriptwriter, than she does with the rural folk in the counties west of the Hudson.   
Original article “Focusing in particular on political speech, Truthy keeps track of which Twitter accounts are using hashtags such as #teaparty and #dems. It estimates users’ ‘partisanship.’ It invites feedback on whether specific Twitter users, [...] are ‘truthy’ or ‘spamming.’ And it evaluates whether accounts are expressing ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ sentiments toward other users or memes.”
Original article How the regulated become the regulators.  
Original article “So the ‘debate’ Comey calls for is phony, and we suspect he knows it. Instead, Comey wants everybody to have weak security, so that when the FBI decides somebody is a ‘bad guy,’ it has no problem collecting personal data.”  
Original article “[Amazon’s contractor] does not need to worry about workers' time, because that time, which is valuable to Integrity's efforts to prevent theft, costs them virtually nothing. Meanwhile, the value of this time to the employees has not changed. They're not home. They're not at their other jobs. They're not seeing friends. They are, as far as everyone else in their lives is concerned, still at work.”  
Original article In NYC 48% of independent convenience stores sell smuggled, un-taxed cigarettes as a matter of course.  
Original article Stoker’s work notes turned up in a museum archive.  
Original article "It was a dirty game by later standards, and no one played it better than Abraham Lincoln. He developed new stratagems as he rose from citizen to candidate to officeholder. Without abandoning his old methods, he developed new ones, more effective if no more scrupulous, as he got better himself (and better situated), for controlling what was written about him, his policies, and his adversaries."  
Original article “Longtime New Yorker Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff just launched a new series in which he breaks down the magazine's droll comics in a way that we can't exactly tell if it's sarcastic or not.”  
Original article "Listening to music at work increases accuracy and speed, a new study has found. The genre you should choose, from classical music to dance beats, depends on what your work involves." (Editor's pick)
David Holmes: A Capitalist's Eulogy
5
B.R. Merrick 2011-03-04 04:00
Column by B.R. Merrick.  Exclusive to STR  I was informed of David’s demise on Wednesday morning, December 15, 2010, just a few days before the same holiday that began my correspondence with this fascinating individual two years prior. It was my desire to get as much information as I could about David Lowden Holmes so that I could honor him the way he deserves. Sadly,...
How the Constitution Enabled Socialism and Fascism in America
9.6
Scott Lazarowitz 2011-03-04 04:00
Column by Scott Lazarowitz. Exclusive to STR  Even though Barack Obama is still president, the conservatives are already suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome, as they constantly label Obama a “socialist,” just as the left continue to label George W. Bush a “fascist.” This is strange, given that Bush is also a socialist and Obama is also a fascist. Go figure. But...
In Defense of Apathy
7.25
R. K. Blacksher 2011-03-03 04:00
Column by new Root Striker R.K. Blacksher.   Exclusive to STR   Apathy is one of the most commonly derided dispositions that an individual can possess. We are constantly inundated with pleas to “get involved” by friends, colleagues, teachers, politicians, and pundits. These pleas come from people of all political persuasions: liberals, conservatives, moderates, greens,...
More on Minarchism as Evil
10
Per Bylund 2011-03-03 04:00
Column by Per Bylund. Exclusive to STR My previous two articles on minarchism versus anarchism [1, 2], and why minarchism is “evil,” have stirred up quite a debate online.[1] This was expected, since minarchists desperately want to see themselves as radical (whereas compared to anarchists they clearly are not) and anarchists almost as desperately seek alliances and ideological kindred...
The Producers and the Parasites
8
Bob Wallace 2011-03-01 04:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   I have expended several thousand brain cells – which now means I am pretty much out of them – trying to figure out who are the producers and who are the parasites.   Are firefighters parasites? They don’t produce anything, but they are necessary. Are the police necessary? They don’t produce anything...
The Purpose of the State is to Turn You Into a Machine
10
Bob Wallace 2011-02-28 04:00
Column by Bob Wallace.  Exclusive to STR  A few months before I turned 12, I read H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. I was never the same. Since at that age I was very susceptible to science-fiction, the novel had a profound effect on my 11-year-old sensibilities (you should have seen what Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Fighting Man of Mars did to me – I read it at least...
Reflections on Public Sector Unions
10
Alex Schroeder 2011-02-28 04:00
Column by Alex Schroeder.   Exclusive to STR   Let’s say you and your friends are bored one evening, looking for a way to pass the time. You see there is a high school basketball game in which the hometown favorites will be playing their county rivals. You decide to attend and show up along with your friends and much of the town. The game begins. The crowd quickly realizes that...
Rights Are Santa Claus Recommended
7.44444
Dabooda 2011-02-24 04:00
Column by new Root Striker Dabooda. I question the usefulness of the idea that people have natural, god-given, inalienable human rights.  It's been given a fair trial over the last several centuries, and it doesn't work. As philosophers have noted, "rights" are a moral concept, without existence outside the human mind.  In the context of a particular moral code, one may...
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...
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...