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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Back during the American Revolution there were a lot of radical ideas floating around, one of which was “no standing army.” In those days before police existed, the army was what the rulers used to plunder the productive and keep the people under the rulers’ thumbs: “the sharp point of the spear.” The Crown used it that way in Boston. So naturally, the people were having none of that. Of course one of the first things the...
Original article To understand the marketplace, it is not necessary to believe in the existence of a selfish, profit-maximizing human.    
Original article War, what is it good for? In America, the answer is that, much of the time, you’ll probably never know what it’s good for – or, in some cases, even notice that we’re at war. 
Original article Unaffected by elections. Unaltered by populist movements. Beyond the reach of the law. Say hello to America’s shadow government. A corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country, this shadow government represents the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry.  
Original article Not unlike the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—where private military contractors fed, trained, equipped, and protected U.S. military forces “on the ground” in unprecedented numbers—an escalation of hired security forces in a hot spot like Syria would likely boost the presence of U.S. “boots” without causing the political heartburn of putting more actual soldiers and Marines in harm’s way.
Original article If this election season does not cure you of voting at any level in a statists enterprise, you have been paralyzed from the neck up in a skiing accident. When you pull that lever, it is a declaration of war on your neighbor. Use this time to tend to your preps.
Original article In the middle and later decades of the eighteenth century arguments began to be made questioning the Mercantilist conception of society and the economy. Two leading centers for this change in ideas were France and Scotland. These ideas undermined the rationales for government regulation and control of economic activities in society. In its place there arose a conception and vision of a free society based on individual liberty, free trade, and market-based and directed prosperity. 
Original article Financial systems, like economies generally, are organic entities. They must be allowed to flourish in a natural way.  Financial innovations will, no doubt, lead to occasional troubles even absent government interference. But those troubles will in turn sponsor further innovations aimed at correcting them. Over time, a stable and highly efficient system tends to develop. 
Original article People imagine that they own themselves and that they are free. But don’t tell that tale to the tax men. They know who really owns you.    
Original article The government’s decision to centralize doesn’t imply a solution to the infinite information problem. It only reveals the state’s presumptuousness.
Original article Social network loosening community standards for newsworthy events instead.  
Original article A recent Wikileaks dump reveals, for the first time, the precise financial flows between the Clinton Foundation, Doug Band’s firm Teneo Consulting, and the Clinton family’s private business endeavors.  
Original article Thanks to Wikileaks, we now have the smoking gun email irrefutably proving not only did President Barack Obama know about Hillary Clinton’s non-government-issued email account, he used it in correspondence with her.    
Original article Snowden tweeted this week, saying that "no matter your opinion" of the site or the founder, "censorship is never the answer."   
Original article Officially, of course, the national bird of the United States is that half-a-peace-sign that Philadelphia sports fans like to hold up at opposing teams. But unofficially, the film "National Bird" has it right: the national bird is a killer drone.  
Discovering True Laws
Bob Wallace 2011-07-01 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace. Exclusive to STR It is unfortunate there has to be a distinction between “true law” and “false law.”  True law is discovered; false law is made up.   No one trained in any hard science believes law can be made up.  None of them will tell you that you can take cyanide without harm, or jump out of an airplane without a parachute.  ...
Desire Is the Mother of Necessity
B.R. Merrick 2011-06-30 00:00
Column by B.R. Merrick. Exclusive to STR Necessity is the mother of invention. ~ ascribed to Plato   This alleged Platonic nugget may very well be true, but it does not take into account something that I believe is far more important, since it gets closer to the root of why we invent. If necessity is what leads to invention, what, if anything, leads to necessity?   I suppose any...
Reform Sucks. Or Where Do We Go From Here?
Per Bylund 2011-06-30 00:00
Column by Per Bylund. Exclusive to STR I recently participated in an online discussion on gay marriage, an issue that was stated to be “such a sure thing” that my views could be dismissed at the outset. And, I suspect, laughed at. Why? Because, it was argued, government’s opening up the state-enforced institution of marriage to gay couples “decreases” discrimination...
Paul Hein 2011-06-29 00:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has been convicted on 17 of 20 counts of extortion and other forms of corruption, centering mainly around his attempt to sell the senate seat of Barack Obama to the highest bidder. Shame on him. His behavior was typical of Illinois politicians, or even politicians in general. He should go to jail!  ...
Against State-Sponsored Gay Marriage Recommended
R. K. Blacksher 2011-06-29 00:00
Column by R.K. Blacksher. Exclusive to STR In an 1877 essay titled “Against Women’s Suffrage,” Lysander Spooner wrote, “Women are human beings, and consequently have all the natural rights that any human being can have.” These natural rights, Spooner argued, do not include the “right” to use the power of the state to engage in theft and coercion against...
In Defense of Incrementalism
Michael Kleen 2011-06-29 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   In any political or social philosophy, there are those who believe that they can achieve everything they want all at once or in a series of large jumps, and those who believe that broad-based change should be (or is most rationally) achieved through incremental changes. The advocate of incremental change, I believe, is the more pragmatic of...
Patriot Pauls and Patriot Acts, Part II of II Recommended
tzo 2011-06-28 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Part II: Get Real   Reality check: There is little I can do to change society as it is currently configured, and the Constitutionalist must come to grips with the fact that he is in an identical situation. The Voluntaryist is ridiculed for holding a position that hardly anyone understands or is aligned with, but the same may be said of the Ron Paul...
How Can You Hate Hitler?
Alex R. Knight III 2011-06-28 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III Exclusive to STR And not just in contrast to other tyrants and butchers of the 20th Century, when modern warfare and weaponry for the first time made the extermination of human beings possible on such a massive scale – I’m referring to Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and a few others who were at least indirectly responsible (after all, it was ultimately the masses...
The Good, the Bad and the Half-Asleep
Bob Wallace 2011-06-27 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   It was Aristotle who observed there are two kinds of ignorance: when you’re ignorant and know it, and when you’re ignorant and don’t know it. The second kind of ignorance is the dangerous kind, because people who are ignorant and don’t know it usually think they’re smarter and more knowledgeable than everyone else...
Obama, Where's the Contract?
Alex R. Knight III 2011-06-27 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III   Exclusive to STR   Of course, the more popular question these past three years or so has been, “Where’s the birth certificate?” – so much so that Barack felt obliged to produce a Hawaiian “long-form” piece of paper alleging his 1961 birth took place there. Others contend that this is a forgery, and that the...
Cyprus, v.t.
Jim Davies 2013-09-09 07:57
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Last month in The Thirteenth Year, I suggested a few dreadful government actions that would make 2013 memorable. I missed one: mea culpa. This was the year in which a minor government in the Mediterranean turned an island into a verb. Its subject is a government, its object is the money someone holds in a bank in its jurisdiction, and its meaning is that the...
Legitimacy of the State
Per Bylund 2003-08-31 16:00
Whether the state can be legitimized is a core concern in political philosophy and ideology. If it cannot, what is the alternative?
Fee Speech
tzo 2009-10-08 16:00
Exclusive to STR The heavy-handed tactics used recently by police against G20 protesters in Pittsburgh has Constitutionalists up in arms once again about the government's infringement upon the human right of free speech, which is protected by the First Amendment. If anyone knows anything about America, it is supposedly this—all Americans have the right to free speech. But just when, exactly...
A Theory of Natural Hierarchy and Government
tzo 2010-01-05 04:00
Exclusive to STR   Introduction   There was a time here on Earth when human beings did not yet exist, and now here we are. From this simple observation, it logically follows that X created human beings.   But who or what is X? That is the million-dollar question that I am absolutely not interested in answering here.   Because whether the answer is God, Tao, Mother Nature,...
Between Barack and a Hard Place
Mark Davis 2010-06-14 03:00
Exclusive to STR   Socialism (noun)-   1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.   2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.   3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the...
Resist the Collectivist View of History Recommended
Roger Young 2010-06-14 03:00
Exclusive to STR   After reading Anna Morgenstern’s Memorial Day: Remembering the Dead, I was struck by a common (though understandable) error that even the most ardent anarchists and voluntaryists make. Though Anna’s description and analysis of war gangsterism is dead on accurate, I find her views on the (misnamed) Civil War and WWII surprisingly statist.    I...
Where Have They Been?
Paul Hein 2010-06-15 03:00
By Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR     It would be difficult to watch television news for more than five minutes without some mention of the debt “crisis.” Economists are interviewed, and express deep concern about the fact that Uncle Sam is printing money at an unprecedented rate. And, yes, they are very worried about this mountain of debt, and how it can be paid....
Hope in the Age of Darkness
Per Bylund 2010-06-29 03:00
By Per Bylund   Exclusive to STR   These are troublesome times: the police state is literally only months away (if not here already), Big Brother already has full control of what everybody’s up to, and governments wage numerous wars while taxing their poor populations to ridiculous degrees. Yet in the midst of all this darkness, after a century of endarkening, there are signs of...
Booing the Goose
Jim Davies 2010-08-17 03:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR   Chapter 8 of my Transition to Liberty shows that I foresee the time--in the mid-2020s, for reasons it explains--when widespread civil disobedience will play a valuable part in hastening the end of the government era. It will be a period when around one in four of the population has learned what liberty means (and what government means) and so is eager...
Voluntary and Peaceful
Duane Colyar 2010-09-09 03:00
By Duane Colyar.   Exclusive to STR   Early in his political career, Abraham Lincoln once described his politics as “short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance.” Without going into the ultimately disastrous consequences of many of Lincoln’s policies, it is fair to say that most readers of this daily forum also share a short and sweet political outlook--we...
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...