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Thursday, June 22

Guest Editor

Robert Taylor is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Original article In a discussion with Edward Snowden, Ron Paul and the former NSA contractor trace the genesis of the so-called Deep State, and discuss how the US intelligence community uses covert programs like those exposed by Snowden in 2013 to trample individual freedoms.
Original article Not that anyone in a position of power seems to notice, but there’s a simple rule for American military involvement in the Greater Middle East: once the U.S. gets in, no matter the country, it never truly gets out again.
Original article Jeff Sessions's war against marijuana legalization will do nothing to fight crime or improve health.  
Original article Some 16 years on, the Middle East is on fire; dangerous power vacuums abound; American safety has not been enhanced; our civil liberties have been undermined; and this litany of failures has been accomplished at enormous expense.
Original article “No people who lost their character kept their liberties."
Original article Here is yet another crisis that has been caused and ratcheted up by our alleged “allies,” who have succeeded in getting the US to front for their interests. As for American interests, they don’t come into the equation. So much for “America first.”  
Original article Whatever economic freedom we enjoy in the world today is due, to a great extent, to the ideas and efforts of the classical liberals and economists of the first half of the nineteenth century. Inspired by the eighteenth-century writings of the French Physiocrats and Scottish Moral Philosophers (for example, David Hume and Adam Smith), they forcefully and insightfully demonstrated the errors and inefficiencies in Mercantilism (the eighteenth-century system of government planning and regulation).
Original article We live in times of hypersensitivity. One way in which collectivism acts against individual freedom is by declaring morally reprehensible—and oftentimes prohibiting—what is deemed “offensive.” The expression “political correctness” has come to define this assault on free speech that hides behind the mask of respect for the sensibilities of others.
Original article Putin described the current accusations against Russia, by the U.S. government, as a deceitful and fictitious tat, which ignores the very real and longstanding American tit, of CIA and other U.S., meddling in the electoral processes of foreign countries.    
Original article The president rolls back some of Obama's "completely one-sided deal with Cuba," reasserts that America will be a champion of liberty in "our hemisphere."  
Original article Corporate bailouts and the government’s emphasis on obsessively rescuing some of the most degenerate people in our society shows how completely rigged and sleazy the U.S. economy really is. As you might expect, it only got worse under Obama’s oligarch-coddling policies and will surely continue to deteriorate under Trump (Goldman Sachs is not your friend).
Original article Legally owning a gun in America could get you killed by a government agent.
Original article Ideally in moments like this we should be silent, honour the memory of those who died, and simply be human. But the acrobatic building of a narrative by which whatever bad happens in this world is due to "neoliberalism" doesn't stop for anything, death included. 
Original article Now I understand (somewhat) why so many people are anxious today.  (video clip, Editor's pick)
Original article Another victory for the market!  (Editor's pick)
Original article Song by Over The Rhine.  (Editor's pick)
Traffic Laws and Spontaneous Order
9.5
Westernerd 2011-10-18 00:00
Column by Robert Taylor. Exclusive to STR When making the case for a truly free and stateless society built on the principles of the voluntary market order, one of the most common objections is the production and maintenance of roads. Roads, say the statists, are a public good that are essential for transportation and commerce and must be socialized, regulated, and controlled. It is true that...
The Spinnerians
10
Leonidas 2011-10-17 00:00
Column by new Root Striker G. Asher. Exclusive to STR   Let’s imagine a group of high minded, socially conscious, wealthy individuals. They form a charitable social group called The Spinnerians.   The Spinnerians energetically do all manner of kind works. They diligently raise money for children’s hospitals. They help the elderly. The feed and house the homeless and get them...
An Open Letter to Hank Williams, Jr.
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Mark Davis 2011-10-17 00:00
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR   Dear Mr. Williams,   You are the man! Standing up to the corporate media like you did was heroic. I know that heroic is a word that gets way overused these days, but I can’t remember the last time an entertainer stood their ground when assailed by the self-appointed politically correct Gestapo that polices the airwaves. ...
Fun and Gun
10
Mark Davis 2011-10-13 00:00
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR  I’ve had enough of the emotional handwringing about the evil of guns and the chastising rhetoric about gun owners. Of course, inanimate objects like guns can’t be evil or good; they are just tools that can be used for good or evil. Further, gun owners are no more inherently wicked than people who own knives, hammers, shovels or...
Prohibition and the Birth of the National Security State
0
Michael Kleen 2011-10-11 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR  In his recent column, “Prohibition Did Work, Sort Of,” Bob Wallace raised an interesting point. If not for the National Prohibition Act of 1919, he argued, Joseph Kennedy would never have profited (as much) from liquor importation and thus become a multi-millionaire. Therefore, he would not have bequeathed the political dynasty that gave...
Blurring the Line Between Citizen and Slave
9
Westernerd 2011-10-10 00:00
  Column by Robert Taylor.     Exclusive to STR  There has been a substantial amount of discussion concerning President Obama's drone attack in Yemen that killed Muslim Cleric Anwar Al-Awlawki. Awlwaki, who was born in the United States and was therefore an American citizen, was killed without the 5th Amendment provisions guaranteed to him by the US Constitution. The...
Prohibition Did Work . . . Sort Of
0
Bob Wallace 2011-10-07 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   Several pundits (among them William Bennett and Ann Coulter) have claimed Prohibition worked. They’re right. It did work…sort of.   Alcohol consumption dropped by 50%, cirrhosis of the liver by 63%, admissions for alcohol psychosis by 60%, and arrests for drunk and disorderly, by 50%.   That’s the good news....
American Christian Fascists
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Bob Wallace 2011-10-03 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   If fascism ever comes to America, it won’t be through insignificant groups such as American Nazis or the KKK, both of which together could field a couple of softball teams. It’ll come through “Christians,” specifically the blood-thirsty ones who support war.   This kind of Christian supports the State, and...
A Roadmap for the Lost Generation
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Westernerd 2011-09-30 00:00
Column by Robert Taylor.   Exclusive to STR   "Society is a contract between the living, the dead and those who are yet to be born."  ~ Edmund Burke For the first time in history, the amount of student loan debt now exceeds the amount of credit card debt in America. For centuries, the US government has been heavily subsidizing student loans and propagating the myth...
The Oldest Institution
9.85714
Paul Hein 2011-09-29 00:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   No, I’m not referring to the oldest occupation--assuming it IS the oldest. I am speaking of a social institution which must have begun when Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden, and which has flourished ever since. It is slavery.   In its most obvious and elemental form (which is the only way most people think of it), it consists of...
A Candle in the Darkness
9
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
9
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
9
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
9
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
9
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...
Nuclear Warheads as Hostages
9
Paul Bonneau 2016-11-16 08:16
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR In earlier times, victors in a war would take the sons of the vanquished rulers back home, to raise them as their own. This provided incentive for the rulers of the now-vassal states not to raise Hell any more (after all, it is the rulers, not the people, who start wars). I wonder if a modification of this hostage concept could not be applied to...
Bumper Stickers
8.85714
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
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...
Dehumanizing People is Fun
8.85714
Paul Bonneau 2012-03-13 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It is clearly fun to make fun of people. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be such a popular pastime.   One can imagine why we are prone to this kind of behavior. For example, in the old days, if you wanted to slaughter another tribe and steal their women and take all their stuff, dehumanizing them first was eminently sensible. It erases all inhibitions...
Ron, Reviewed
8.83333
Jim Davies 2011-11-14 01:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR  It's been a great pleasure to see media mention every day recently of the man who once said in my hearing that the IRS is "the world's largest terrorist organization." The mere possibility that Ron Paul could actually get elected President is enough to make any liberty lover salivate. That he should already have stacked up some straw-poll...
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...