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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."
Not Surprised: Thoreau Pissed Off Some New Yorkers
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Douglas Herman 2016-04-26 06:24
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Years ago, while working in LA as a struggling scriptwriter, I observed that Hollywood is a Moronocracy:  movies made by morons, for morons and about morons.  Rainman, Forrest Gump, Waterboy, Dumb & Dumber, Batman vs. Superman, etc. You see the trend? Intelligent, insightful opinions, subtlety, cleverness, playful and caustic remarks have...
A Method For Achieving Panarchy (Part 1)
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Paul Bonneau 2016-04-22 06:50
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I wrote up a recipe for achieving Panarchy, and posted it on a forum frequented by anarchists. It was intended as a focus for discussion more than an actual plan of events. This is a slight re-write, version 2. *What is Panarchy?* Panarchy is that condition, when people are affected by, and can only affect, those political institutions and structures in a...
What's a Public Purpose?
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Paul Hein 2016-04-21 07:08
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The next time you’re in Missouri, go to the penitentiary in Jefferson City. As a visitor, of course: a tourist. The penitentiary is now retired from active duty, and its conscriptees confined to a newer facility some distance away. But the original building, grim and grey, is open for tours. I’ve toured Alcatraz, which held about 500 prisoners at...
A Place Somewhere Beyond 'White Man's Burden' and 'I Hate N*ggers'
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Paul Bonneau 2016-04-21 06:38
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The typical arguments about race are so common and predictable, I wonder why people can’t find something different to talk about. It’s funny how similar the two seemingly disparate positions are, if you think about it. The so-called “liberal” position, AKA “White Man’s Burden,” is in agreement with what “...
Top Ten Reasons to Love Airbnb
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Retta Fontana 2016-04-15 06:30
Column by Retta Fontana. Exclusive to STR For the uninitiated, Airbnb.com is an online network for connecting people who have spaces in their homes, apartments, or castles to rent out temporarily and travelers who are looking for accommodations. Airbnb is secure and worldwide, although obviously more available in some places than others. It is an idea whose time has come. Here are my top ten...
Funny Non-Money
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Paul Hein 2016-04-01 06:41
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR There is the possibility, as pointed out by writers on subjects financial, that the government, which is in debt up to, and beyond, its ears, might seize the retirement funds of its subjects. By this means, we are told, our Rulers might reduce their debt by paying off at least part of it with the stolen--er, taxed--funds. In truth, in seizing its subjects...
Cash Is King
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Retta Fontana 2016-03-31 06:44
Column by Retta Fontana. Exclusive to STR “What do we want?” “Freedom!” “When are we taking it?” “Now!” After a lengthy sabbatical, it’s great to be back at the keyboard! I’ve been through seven lean years of transition. (Hopefully to be followed by seven fat ones.) During my sabbatical from writing, I pushed a pencil, sold...
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...
Caterpillars to Butterflies
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Retta Fontana 2016-03-07 08:26
Column by Retta Fontana. Exclusive to STR My brilliant daughter scored 4.0 in her science classes in college! I'm feeling so happy and proud. This, however, is not about grades. It's about transformation. When she was a small child in school, she often seemed anxious. For a long time it was worry over what to be when she grew up. Telling her that she could be anything she wanted...
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...
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
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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
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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...