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Monday, April 27

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photo courtesy of Terry Chen

Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR You are notified by a group of strangers that you must send them a large amount (by ounce? gram?) of money. The request is reasonably polite, although there is, in small print, or hushed, mumbled tones, a promise of unpleasantness should you decline the request. Or perhaps you learn, by TV or newspaper, that henceforth you will be required to do something which you had not previously been required to do: carry certain papers on your person at all times,...
Original article "In a series of articles, Eric Lipton of The New York Times examines the explosion in lobbying of state attorneys general by corporate interests and the millions in campaign donations they now provide."
Original article "American foreign policy has been the instrument of the corporate class since the turn of the last century. This is what empires are all about – and, as imperiums go, ours is in a class of corruption all by itself."
Original article A brief critique of some lesser known selections from Marx.
Original article "Some 900 people from Libya may have died when their boats capsized in the Mediterranean Sea as they fled the barbaric chaos that the Obama administration helped unleash in Libya in 2011. Yet, the mainstream U.S. media has amnesia about the bloody American hand in this tragedy, writes Robert Parry."
Original article "Turse has unearthed a continent’s worth of bad behavior, even as U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) went out of its way to obstruct his reporting and the documents he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act were so heavily redacted that ink companies must be making a fortune."
Original article "The growing 1,200-file record is comprised of 8,900 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the files of various FBI informants and government employees engaged in “domestic intelligence work” since the 1950s."
Original article The real problem is the belief that all our social problems can be solved with force.
Original article "It's a strange demand to make on a political philosophy -- that it instantly fix everything that the opposing philosophy has broken. Moreover, I'm concerned that some libertarians, in their justifiable enthusiasm for "the market," inadvertently lead nonlibertarians to think that this unrealistic expectation is part of their philosophy. Of course, that is not good because nonlibertarians won't believe that the market would make all things right overnight, and so they...
Original article "In a landmark 2009 report, the National Academy of Sciences concluded that, aside from DNA, there was little, if any, meaningful scientific underpinning to many of the forensic disciplines. “With the exception of nuclear DNA analysis … no forensic method has been rigorously shown to have the capacity to consistently, and with a high degree of certainty, demonstrate a connection between evidence and a specific individual or source,” reads the report."
Original article "But in hindsight, there’s a giant, glaring problem with my educational experience: I hardly did any real thinking, and I didn’t really give a damn about learning. At least not for most of that time. For the vast majority of my “education”, I wasn’t asking deep, probing questions; I wasn’t generating original ideas about the topics at hand; I wasn’t engaging in creative problem-solving; I wasn’t imagining multiple perspectives or...
Original article "Why in the world has JP Morgan accumulated more than55 million ounces of physical silver?  Since early 2012, JP Morgan’s stockpile has grown from less than 5 million ounces of physical silver to more than 55 million ounces of physical silver.  Clearly, someone over at JP Morgan is convinced that physical silver is a great investment."
Original article "Reflecting on the diverse ways in which libertarians seek to reduce the states impact in our lives, a general theme emerges. When previous revolutions have been loud, confrontational and very often violent, the libertarian revolution in its myriad forms is all about evading, creating and finding more ways in which we can avoid conflict. It is not about resisting but simply not complying, which may make it the quietest, and best, revolution to date."
Original article Some of the history and business models of various blockchain startups.
Original article Will recent breakthroughs in computer science make truly free markets a reality?  
Original article "Since early in 2013, Darkcoin has been a permanent fixture in the daily digital currency news. From Darkcoin’s initial meteoric rise, quickly reaching a USD value of $15, to the level of security and innovation it provides for privacy seekers, to the failures and triumphs of the “Masternode Network”, Darkoin has been almost as interesting and intriguing as Bitcoin itself. And 2015 is shaping up to be a year of rebirth for Darkcoin, which is now Dash. We discuss...
Original article Learn how to use PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) to protect your communications.
Libertarianism Pure and Simple
9
Jakub Bozydar W... 2011-03-30 03:00
Column by Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski. Exclusive to STR I noticed that several of my libertarian friends have recently been following quite keenly the development of the blog called “Bleeding Heart Libertarians.” I must confess that I found the name itself somewhat off-putting, since I associate the “bleeding heart” slogan with sanctimonious whiners, expert at being loudly...
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...
Hubris Followed by Nemesis
9.6
Bob Wallace 2011-03-29 03:00
Column by Bob Wallace. Exclusive to STR The worst problem in the world – the one that causes more violence than anything else – is the revenge created by feelings of humiliation. Thousands of years ago both the Greeks and the Hebrews noticed that pattern. The Greeks called it Hubris, the god of arrogance, lack of restraint, insolence and wanton violence, followed by Nemesis, the...
Consideration
10
NonEntity 2011-03-29 03:00
Column by NonEntity. Exclusive to STR The definition of a citizen is a member of the body politic who grants an allegiance thereto in exchange for a guarantee of protection. As various Supreme Court decisions have made clear, however, there is no obligation on the part of the government to do anything. Much is made of the claimed "social contract." Often it seems that the...
Eliminating Waste, Fraud and Abuse
9
R. K. Blacksher 2011-03-25 03:00
Column by R.K. Blacksher. Exclusive to STR  There has been a lot of political grandstanding lately about the need to eliminate "waste, fraud, and abuse." The U.S. government’s official “economic stimulus” website has a page where people can report instances of “waste, fraud, and abuse.” There are similar “waste, fraud, and abuse” hotlines...
A Journey of a Thousand Miles
8
Paul Hein 2011-03-23 03:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   Yes, it starts with a single step. That’s so obvious that it’s easily overlooked, but it’s worth considering when confronted with the realities of life today--especially if what you’re confronted with are the growing challenges to your life, liberty, and property.   In shaking off the rule of George III, the...
Genesis
9.57143
tzo 2011-03-23 03:00
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 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...
Politically Incorrect Authoritarianism
10
R. K. Blacksher 2011-03-16 03:00
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 04:00
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....
About Strike The Root: A Terror and a Wonder
8.5
Lawrence M. Ludlow 2011-08-10 00:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow.   Exclusive to STR   I have encountered a range of responses to material that appears on the website Strike-The-Root.com. Some people dislike the vitriol that rises to the surface of some of the columns. Some say the topics are too specialized. Others complain that an article was of poor quality. All of these criticisms can be partially true at times, but...
A Rose By Any Other Name Is Still Vegetation
8.5
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...
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...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
10
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
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...