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Monday, January 21

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Original article "Following what the Washington Post has described as 'the highest-profile misstep yet for a news organization during a period of heightened and intense scrutiny of the press,' mass media representatives are now flailing desperately for an argument as to why people should continue to place their trust in mainstream news outlets."
Original article "How do you know the government is too big and expensive? When public workers are earning more than those who are paying their salaries. Another way to determine its largesse and swelling price-tag? When a partial government shutdown has very little impact on the population’s day-to-day lives. Yet, we’re hilariously told by the left how integral civil servants are to society, and that they’re selflessly sacrificing themselves to serve the public. Because of this...
Original article "During this partial government shutdown, it’s become nearly impossible to avoid news articles, and segments on television and radio outlining the many ways that federal employees are apparently suffering financially as a result of the partial government shutdown."
Original article "The veteran investigative reporter writes that George H. Bush, as vice president, ran a covert operations team in the early 1980s that even the CIA didn’t know about. As a former CIA director, Bush had the experience to oversee activities. Hersh says the vice president’s team ran 35 counterterrorism, counternarcotics and assassination operations between 1981 and 1985."
Original article "The reality-show that is American politics has increasingly depended on institutionalized reverse psychology – where a notion that fundamentally appeals to Americans of all political persuasions is passed through 'Trump' to create automatic and irrational aversion in at least some segments of the public. A US withdrawal from an expensive, antiquated, and repeatedly abused military alliance allegedly created to keep in check a Soviet Union that no longer exists is one...
Original article "A suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria has reportedly killed 19 people including four Americans, two of whom were US soldiers and two of whom worked with the US military. ISIS, which has an extensive history of falsely claiming responsibility for attacks it had nothing to do with, has claimed responsibility for the attack. Despite the fact that ISIS would claim responsibility for a housewife stepping on a Lego block, and despite the complete absence of evidence that it had anything to do with...
Original article "Do we want to live in an America where credit card companies watch our buying habits and then block purchases for ideological reasons? Not long ago, the left side of the American electorate would have shouted 'hell no' the loudest. Not anymore."
Original article "America’s war against al-Shabaab is one of the longest-running conflicts in U.S. history, simmering quietly for a dozen years in the desert landscape of the Horn of Africa."
Original article "Within hours of President Trump’s announcement of a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, equipment at that base was already being inventoried for removal. And just like that, arguably the most important American garrison in Syria was (maybe) being struck from the Pentagon’s books — except, as it happens, al-Tanf was never actually on the Pentagon’s books. Opened in 2015 and, until recently, home to hundreds of U.S. troops, it was one of the many military bases...
Original article "Living on the side of a mountain is nice, but it raises some interesting challenges to gardening. Since the land my house sits on was literally carved out of the mountain, the soil is blasted rocks and dirt, leaving much to be desired when trying to garden. My solution to this issue was to stay above ground, using pots and barrels as well as building a raised bed more than a foot off the ground."
Original article "Natural disasters like hurricanes, Nor’easters, and winter storms can cause you to be stuck in your home for days (or even weeks) on end – and stuck eating whatever you currently have stashed in your pantry and freezer."
Original article "The benefit of growing sprouts, particularly in winter when most garden vegetables are dormant, goes far beyond their flavor."
Original article "Are you considering home food drying? Want an easy way to store and preserve food? Need a food storage method that doesn't take up much space and requires very little equipment? Want to make healthier snacks for your family to enjoy at home or on the go? Looking for portable food for camping or backpacking? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, you should learn about home food drying."
Original article A Photo Blog
Assumptions, Assumptions
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Paul Hein 2016-12-16 08:16
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Our trash is picked up on Tuesdays. Well, I should not simply say “trash,” because only one of the containers holds officially defined trash. The others are for recyclables and yard waste. (Ah, the carefree days of my youth, when trash was trash, and not analyzed and segregated.) Recently, while writing out the check for these services, which are...
To Manage and Steer the Peons
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Paul Bonneau 2016-12-02 08:41
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR An alternative news site, Breitbart, had an interesting post today about comments Angela Merkel had made. It’s rare to see such a frank admission of what the ruling class is about: "Digitisation is a disruptive technological force that brings about deep-seated change and transformation in society. Look at the history of the printing press...
Fundamentals
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Paul Hein 2016-11-30 08:47
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR There doesn’t seem to be any debate about the fact that things are seriously wrong in America. The octogenarians among us--present writer included--can recall a vastly different America, with no “checkpoints” or rioting, or SWAT teams, or invasions of foreign countries which had not—and could not--attack us. But why has this happened...
The Life Story of a Simple Old Chair
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Douglas Herman 2016-11-16 07:45
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR The fine craftsmen of High Wycombe, in northern England, who made me in 1880 are no longer of this world but of the next. Their young flesh and strong muscles, sinew and tendons turned the pieces, assembled the shaped elm seat to the chair legs, pressed the beech wood rods and rails to the fine figured armrests you see. And then they took their evenings...
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...
Clintonism, Unplugged
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Kevin M. Patten 2016-10-30 20:44
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR “Yes, that is what I would have said, and because there is no cosmic point to the life that each of us perceives on this distant bit of dust at galaxy’s edge, all the more reason for us to maintain in proper balance what we have here. Because there is nothing else. Nothing. This is it. And quite enough, all in all.” ~ Gore Vidal,...
Why the Ruling Class Likes Crime
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Paul Bonneau 2016-10-27 06:25
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...
Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Pussy Control
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2016-10-26 07:26
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR By referencing Prince’s song, Pussy Control, I intentionally draw a link between politics and the intentional trespass of bodily boundaries. And it really does boil down to bodily integrity and respecting boundaries when you closely examine the concept of human rights – something the political process is designed to destroy. On one hand,...
Backing Bunk
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Paul Hein 2016-10-26 07:03
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR A monetary system that has replaced money with non-redeemable notes that can only enter circulation as a loan is doomed to collapse, and many have warned of that fate regarding our own system of ever-growing debt. Our situation is not unique, however. Governments all over the world have realized the advantage--temporary, of course, of issuing IOUs--never to...
Damage Control: The Panacea of Politics and How Voluntaryists Are Falling Prey to It
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Alex R. Knight III 2016-10-14 07:18
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR There’s been a trend of late, among both more and less visible “voluntaryists” in social media, the blogosphere, and elsewhere, to simply backpedal:  To retreat to the conclusion that, since a voluntary society isn’t happening any time soon, it’s best – in the name of what “progress” can “...
Hooray for the TSA! Recommended
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Paul Bonneau 2010-11-18 03:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   It’s just funny what a complete cluster-f*ck government can make of something if you simply let them have their way. I suppose that is normal with all parasitic organisms; they could live just fine if they knew when to stop their depredations--but they never do. They literally cannot avoid the self-destructive course.   The latest...
FDR Turned a Blind Eye to the Holocaust
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Robert L. Johnson 2010-11-19 03:00
Column by Robert Johnson. Exclusive to STR November 16, 2010 marked the 77th anniversary of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the United States government turning a blind eye towards the Holocaust of the Ukrainian people. On November 16, 1933, the United States formally recognized the Soviet Union for the first time with an official pact.   The pact was brought about not by Roosevelt negotiating...
Reflections on the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear
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Michael Kleen 2010-11-19 03:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR On a beautiful autumn day at the end of October, an estimated 210,000 people gathered in the National Mall to watch television for four hours. At least, that’s what it felt like from my position behind the sound stage in front of one of two giant flat screen TVs that flanked the main stage at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. As the crowd...
TSA Should Offer Travelers Search Options
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Emiliano Antunez 2010-12-03 03:00
Column by Emiliano Antunez.  Exclusive to STR If you boarded a plane over the holiday weekend, I am sure you weren’t very comfortable exposing your “privates” on a screen or having a “highly trained” TSA employee feel your “junk.” The TSA should explore giving flyers options in order to make these invasive procedures more bearable or constructive....
Laughing Terrorists
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Paul Hein 2010-12-15 03:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   Do terrorists have a sense of humor? If not, perhaps that’s what makes them so terrible. But if they do, how they must be laughing!   Their use of box-cutters on 9/11 resulted in heightened security for anything sharp--even such things as nail clippers and nail files. Not surprising, of course, although slightly ridiculous. It did...
Between Monsters and Gods
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Bob Wallace 2010-12-17 03:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   "Mankind is poised midway between the gods and the beasts," wrote Plotinus. A similar theme runs through most of the older mythologies: Did we come from the beasts or from the gods? Are we merely more evolved animals or fallen angels?   The answer, refined through millennia, is this: We're part beast, but far better...
A Conversation With Vox Day
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Michael Kleen 2010-12-20 03:00
By Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR Vox Day is a Christian libertarian opinion columnist and author of "The Return of the Great Depression." He is a member of the SFWA, Mensa and IGDA, and has been down with Madden since 1992. Visit his blog, Vox Popoli, for daily commentary and spirited discussions open to all. His commentary has appeared on World Net Daily since 2001, and an archive of...
Sneering as a Tactic: The Campaign Against WikiLeaks Recommended
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Glen Allport 2010-12-21 03:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR - 1 -   Be very cautious when hearing any argument against someone that relies on a sneering tone. To put it bluntly, decent people don't use such tactics.   On the web are blog posts and columns that attempt to link Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks organization to Israel, or to the Rothschilds, or to the CIA. WikiLeaks, these pieces insist, is a...
The Welfare Binge: Lessons from Europe
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Guest 2010-12-22 03:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim. Exclusive to STR It is often said that keeping a strong European welfare system is mandatory for retaining stability and social cohesion. Is there any backing to this statement? The Gini coefficient, the one measuring income dispersion, jumped in the US from 32% in 1980 to 40% in 2000. The same goes for the UK, where inequality has risen from 29% in 1980 to 34% in...
Some Christmas Reflections for Our Rulers
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Paul Hein 2010-12-23 03:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   Dear Missouri Legislators, Administrators, Adjudicators, and various other employees:   Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! At this time of year, one’s thoughts turn toward giving, and it occurs to me that I have been remiss in expressing to you, my rulers, my appreciation of what you have given me, over these many years of my long...
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
9.625
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...