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Wednesday, December 13

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A. Magnus is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Original article "A bounty of three million Turkish lira, or nearly $800,000, was placed on the heads of former Pentagon official Michael Rubin and former top CIA official Graham Fuller for what Erdogan's allies claim is their role in a 2016 failed coup that nearly toppled Erdogan's ruling government."
Original article "The National Rifle Association (NRA), which fancies itself a champion of the Second Amendment and gun rights, is nowhere to be found as state governments are moving to confiscate firearms from medical marijuana patients."
Original article "I wouldn’t invite the Amazon Echo or the Google Home into my home. These smart speakers listen to everything that happens around them. Ostensibly this is to make shopping, playing music, and finding information easy. But the internet of things presents way too many risks to our privacy."
Original article "Google is escalating its campaign of internet censorship, announcing that it will expand its workforce of human censors to over 10,000, the internet giant announced on December 4. The censors’ primary focus will be videos and other content on YouTube, its video-sharing platform, but will work across Google to censor content and train its automated systems, which remove videos at a rate four times faster than its human employees.
Original article "British Airways, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Porsche are among five large companies that have been identified as having paid corporate intelligence firms to monitor political groups that challenged their businesses, leaked documents reveal. The surveillance included the use of infiltrators to spy on campaigners."
Original article "A group of local investors who failed in their bid to secure a state license to grow medical marijuana on Monday announced plans for a statewide ballot issue that would fully legalize marijuana. Jimmy Gould, chairman of Cincinnati-based Green Light Acquisitions, has proposed an Ohio constitutional amendment that would allow anyone 21 or older to grow marijuana in their homes for personal use or commercial cultivation."
Vermont's Raw Arrogance
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-11-17 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Of course, it’s already common knowledge for the most part that Vermonters have the temerity to carry firearms without any form of government say-so – even neighboring “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire will not suffer such uppitiness from the mere non-governmental hoi polloi. But another freedom – albeit not nearly...
There’s the Law, and Then There’s The Law
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tzo 2011-11-17 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!   If this is true, it is a serious fact...
Lemmings and Pied Pipers
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Paul Hein 2011-11-16 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Suppose, for a minute, that several of your neighbors came to your door and presented you with a paper on which they had written, in quite formal language, their intent to build a playground for neighborhood children, and that this enterprise was to be funded by a “contribution” from you, among others. “No thanks,” you tell them....
No, Society, There Is No Santa Claus
8.66667
Alex R. Knight III 2011-11-15 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR  I know that I have likely irked some of you already by writing a Christmas-themed column before we have even gotten to Thanksgiving, but I can at least offer the caveat that it will likely not be near as onerous as the fact that the latest crop of political parasites (with all due respect to Ron Paul) have already ramped up their bids to be...
Ron, Reviewed
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Jim Davies 2011-11-14 00:00
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...
Ethics and Morals and Law, Oh My!
9.25
tzo 2011-11-08 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   "It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words." ~Syme, 1984   Ah, words.   Philosophy is the pursuit of knowledge distinguishable from other methods by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.   When we discuss the organization of society, we are in the realm of political philosophy....
Tools for Tyrants: Hatred, AKA 'Divide and Conquer'
9.2
Paul Bonneau 2011-11-03 23:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR   The next tool we are going to examine is the tyrant’s use and encouragement of hatred among those he wishes to govern. This is a part of the “divide and conquer” or “divide and rule” strategy.   Of the elements mentioned in the Wikipedia article, the most important are 1) creating or encouraging divisions among...
Heartless Libertarians Recommended
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tzo 2011-11-02 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   The specter of the heartless libertarian arises when it is suggested that society could perhaps be better organized without a coercive government at its core. The proponents of this shocking scheme are dismissed as being either blatantly naïve or else accused of being calculating, soulless monsters who don’t want to be bothered with the less...
To Vote or Not to Vote? I’d Rather Go Fishing
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Alex R. Knight III 2011-10-30 23:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III.   Exclusive to STR   There resides here in southern Vermont a radio personality and newspaper columnist who prefers to simply go by the handle of “Fish” (no, it’s not Abe Vigoda living out a retirement fantasy in the Green Mountains), who in the October 26th edition of the Brattleboro Reformer began his column titled “To Vote or...
Gadaffi Is Dead, But Tyranny Lives
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Westernerd 2011-10-25 23:00
Column by Robert Taylor. Exclusive to STR  Gadaffi is dead. After 40 years of strongman rule, he was finally found hiding from angry rebels, dragged into the street as a prize, and shot in the back of the head. Libya is finally free, thanks to the benevolent power of the mighty US government, air power, and NATO allies.   The media has jumped all over this story, and one could...
A Candle in the Darkness
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Paul Hein 2016-03-03 07:32
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
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Paul Bonneau 2016-03-23 07:16
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
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Paul Bonneau 2016-06-10 07:06
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
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Paul Bonneau 2016-08-18 07:18
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
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Anarchoblake 2016-09-15 07:52
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
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Paul Bonneau 2016-11-16 07:16
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...
Men, Women and Automobiles
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Paul Hein 2017-06-23 08:55
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR It comes as no surprise that “mater,” (Latin for mother) forms the root for “MATERnal.” But it also forms the root for “MATERial.” That’s significant, I think, suggesting that the woman’s world is the world of stuff, of things. Men, on the other hand, live in a land of ideas, abstractions, and dreams. How nicely...
Bumper Stickers
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tzo 2010-08-10 02:00
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
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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...
Dehumanizing People is Fun
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Paul Bonneau 2012-03-12 23:00
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...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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...