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Friday, April 21

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Ken Kraska is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Original article A survey of assorted schemes to reform California politics and boundaries from an LP perspective and which is better than nothing, especially if you don't live in the L.A., S.J./Sac, or S.F. Bay metro regions and are fed-up with their current stranglehold on government in the Golden state.  
Original article The eastern and northern parts of California aren't really a good match for the emergent coastal-based People's Republik of Kalifornia, and so the California independence movement is itself breaking up into factions that don't wanna be ruled by the coastal population centers any longer. Go figure?  
Original article "Venezuela enacted stricter and stricter gun controls over the period of the Chavez/Maduro regime.  Venezuela banned the commercial sale of guns and ammunition in 2012. [...] But making guns illegal for most of the people is only half of the equation. As Venezuela is falling apart, unable to feed its people or to keep crime under some control, the dictator Maduro has decided to arm those he thinks are loyal."  
Original article "Political behavior does not exist in abstractions, such as the 'state' or the 'government,' or a 'constitution,' but is activity engaged in by such men and women who find the machinery of state power a useful device for accomplishing ends that they value."  
Original article Hollywood bigshots hate the fact that anonymous reviews posted on opening day can bomb a film that they poured their blood, sweat, & tears into (as well as lots of their studio's money). Bottom line: The  establishment opinion gatekeepers don't have the juice they used to.  
Original article "[...] Justices resolve cases, both important front-page controversies and less publicized back-page ones, through a combination of personal preferences, life experiences, partisan politics, and values writ large, where traditional legal norms play only a marginal role in generating (as opposed to explaining) their decisions."  
Original article "First, let's keep in mind that none of this would be possible without Cobb County, Georgia, taxpayers kicking in more than $400 million. More accurately, none of this would have been possible without one of Cobb County's former top government officials negotiating a secret deal with the Atlanta Braves to have taxpayers pay that amount for a new stadium, and without the rest of the Cobb County commission voting to approve the stadium deal at a supposedly public hearing where...
Original article A father was pissed that his son was caught cheating on a test and to teach him lesson made him get out of the car and told him to walk home (less than a mile). Then cops.. (Just watch the video).  
Original article Some good advice. Just because it's cheap doesn't make it a good choice. (video)  
Original article Sheesh. And this is just the stuff we hear about too. TSA operations are security theatre all the way through.
Original article Crony socialism finally does some good, however inadvertant. UK parlimentarian should add Venezuela to that list as well.
How Can You Hate Hitler?
9.83333
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
6
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?
0
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...
Patriot Pauls and Patriot Acts, Part I of II
9.5
tzo 2011-06-24 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Wow. Lots of buzz lately about Rand and Ron Paul and the Patriot Act. It's got me to thinking...   This is for all the Paul supporters out there who believe that their Constitutional vision of returning the nation to the noble framework laid out by Thee Founding Fathers™ is the end to be attained. This is for all those who are disillusioned, dissatisfied...
The (Re)birth of A(nother) Nation
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Harry Goslin 2011-06-22 00:00
Column by Harry Goslin. Since October 26, 2001, the United States has undergone several transformations. That's the date the original version of the PATRIOT Act became law and marked the beginning of Police State America.   Whenever "key" provisions of the Act were scheduled to "sunset," we have been bombarded by warnings from Congress and the executive branch of...
The Absurdity of Hating Walmart...and Not Government
8.33333
Alex R. Knight III 2011-06-10 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III   Exclusive to STR   It seems to invoke the ire of the dogmatic leftists to no end, the largest corporation on earth; this homegrown business, now global in scope, second in size only to the U.S. federal government. They inveigh against it as if this department store chain were the summary of all total malfeasance – a horrible capitalist-pig...
The Great Game of Government™
7.75
tzo 2011-06-10 00:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Imagine you are going to participate in one of those chess games in which actual people occupy each of the 64 stations on a large board. If you agree to play, and you are assigned the role of bishop, then you can move only diagonally. Furthermore, you can only move when and how far the player who controls the army of which you are a part decides....
Taking the Bull by the Tail
6.83333
Duane Colyar 2011-06-08 00:00
Column by Duane Colyar. Exclusive to STR While reading news reports in a local daily that is now so small it would barely cover the bottom of a birdcage, my mind wandered over the dark scenes of modern-day America: endless wars of dubious constitutionality and military occupations spawning future wars; hit squads flying uninvited into a sovereign nation; the spectacle of police dressed in...
Pay? How?
9.75
Paul Hein 2011-06-06 00:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   I can’t stand it any longer. For days--weeks, even--the chatter on the TV news has dealt, almost exclusively, with the debt “crisis.” Despite the thousands of words uttered about it, none have hit the mark. The problem, as any Monetary Realist could tell you, has little or nothing to do with the way money is spent, or saved, or...
The Triumph of the Bankers
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George F. Smith 2011-05-25 00:00
Column by George F. Smith. Exclusive to STR   In spite of its success in bestowing wealth on some men while funding an unnecessary war, [1] the National Banking System proved unsatisfactory to financial leaders. Even with laws discouraging or restricting redemption, crises still occurred, and banks had to contract and deflate to survive. They were unable to inflate their way out 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...
Logical Fallacies?
8.5
Paul Bonneau 2014-06-30 08:23
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I vaguely remember when I first discovered logical fallacies (hint: it was not in a government school); I recall being thrilled that there were some boundaries for argumentation that could be used to reject some poor arguments and help find the truth of things. I have long used Stephen Downes’ site as a particularly good exposition of them, since it...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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...