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Monday, March 30

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Government Denies Knowledge is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Tommie Hansen

Original article This article is comprehensive (17,000 words) and covers everything you need to know about why mass surveillance is dangerous (whether you "have nothing to hide" or not), what kinds of surveillance are happening now, and what dystopian surveillance mechanisms we may have in the near future.
Original article "A passphrase is like a password, but longer and more secure. In essence, it’s an encryption key that you memorize. Once you start caring more deeply about your privacy and improving your computer security habits, one of the first roadblocks you’ll run into is having to create a passphrase. You can’t secure much without one."
Original article End the ridiculous War on Some Drugs.
Original article "If you’ve noticed that the national security policies of Pres. Barack Obama’s administration are almost indistinguishable from those of the previous Republican administration and wondered why, Glennon has a “disquieting explanation” for you."
Original article "Google wants to attack independent news media, it seems to me, now, in order to prevent coverage damaging to the Obama government and other major world powers from individuals reporting the truth about war, espionage, and violations of civil liberties.  For what benefit?  Google wants more government influence, government contracts, power, and money, it seems clear, to me, from their actions."
Original article A great summary of the conflict and its geopolitical significance.
Original article "Rumours are flying that the owner of a beachfront mansion in Hawaii, which was once used to film the hit TV series “Magnum PI”, is none other than President Obama – the same President who warns us that global warming, and rising sea levels, are a greater danger to the future of America than Islamic terrorism."
Original article "The overwhelming majority of police brutality cases stem from the war on drugs. When so many people are tasked with finding and prosecuting those in possession of a substance deemed illegal, the interactions become more frequent and less cordial. If we end that, we get the state out of the private lives of most individuals. This will only serve to lessen the scope of police harassment, in turn lessening the instance of brutality and killings."
Original article "They are all welfare ranchers subsidized by US taxpayers, and you know who are the biggest welfare ranchers of all, grazing livestock on the hundreds of millions of acres of public grass and forest land, all assisted by public subsidies paid for by US taxpayers? Billionaires that populate Forbes rich lists."
Original article War is a racket, and bankers are the biggest winners.
Original article "And here we are today, in March 2015, just 3½ years after said “point of no return,” with the world at its low economic point of our lifetimes; debt not only at historic highs, but risingparabolically; the “final currency war” more explosive than ever; and global social discontent at unprecedented levels due to the inflation and wealth disparity caused by such suicidal monetary policies. Clearly, the root cause of this economic hell is the global fiat...
Original article "Former Internal Revenue Service employees have access to your sensitive financial information. So do current employees who aren't authorized to see such data. Even some visitors to IRS facilities may have access to sensitive material. Unless the IRS patches up its information security, warns a Government Accountability Office report, "taxpayers could be exposed to loss of privacy and to financial loss and damages resulting from identity theft or other financial crimes.""
Original article "Without a doubt, the core principles of that “paranoid” libertarian impulse were present to both motivate and justify their selfless defiance of bad laws. That “impulse” led them to actions that exemplify a historic unification of radical libertarianism and civil disobedience as underwritten by natural law, a potentially powerful combination of ideas if it is wielded responsibly and inspires others to follow suit."
Original article And once there is a viable one, it will be very, very difficult to stop.
Original article "Tutanota is Latin for “secure message,” at least if you separate the two words. The company was founded in 2011 and presently serves around 100,000 accounts. It is backed by two German private investors and has ambitions to expand into other areas, such as a secure calendar interface and a file sharing / storage service not unlike Mega."
Bumper Stickers
8.85714
tzo 2010-08-10 03:00
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...
Bankers on Trial
9.25
Jim Davies 2010-08-10 03:00
Column by Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR     Several of my friends insert the two letters "st" in the middle of the word, to express the view that bankers make up a large, organized criminal class. Here, I'll follow the principle that people are innocent until proven guilty, and check some of the evidence, but meanwhile leave those letters out.   At root, a bank...
Government Securities
8.75
Jim Davies 2010-08-02 03:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR     Those who lend money to the government participate in a fraud, for all of them know that it has only one way ultimately to pay either interest or principal: by stealing it. So if they ever lose it (and they will, as below) there will be no sympathy from this quarter.   They do the lending by purchasing municipal bonds and Treasury Bills,...
Ortega and the State
9.66667
Michael Kleen 2010-08-02 03:00
By Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR    José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955) was the preeminent Spanish philosopher of the first half of the 20th Century. A complex figure, he was at the same time an elitist, a classical liberal, and a republican. He was born into a wealthy bourgeois family, became the Chair in Metaphysics at Complutense University in Madrid in 1910, and he was...
Ten Briefly Described Problems of Egalitarianism
8.66667
Jakub Bozydar W... 2010-07-30 03:00
By Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski.   Exclusive to STR   I tend to agree with Isaiah Berlin and Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn that liberty and equality do not naturally go hand in hand. In fact, more often than not the choice between them is an either/or one. Let us make no mistake here – I am not referring to the kind of equality than no libertarian would hesitate to endorse, that is, the...
The Philosophy of Authority
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tzo 2010-07-30 03:00
By tzo.   Exclusive to STR   “Authority” is one of those words that is commonly used but less commonly understood. It may be claimed that a person has the authority to decide what to do with his own life and property, and it may also be claimed that a police officer has the authority to arrest a person who has broken the law. How does the concept of authority properly apply...
The Anti-American American Empire
9.5
Tony Pivetta 2010-07-29 03:00
By Tony Pivetta.   Exclusive to STR   The Roman Empire produced few exportable goods. Material innovation, whether through entrepreneurialism or technological advancement, all but ended long before the final dissolution of the Empire. Meanwhile, the costs of military defense and the pomp of Emperors continued. Financial needs continued to increase, but the means of meeting them steadily...
Envy, Guilt and Self-Destruction
0
Bob Wallace 2010-07-28 03:00
By Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   Oh, if only the Left was right and people were infinitely malleable blank slates! My heart would soar if it was true. All the differences between men, women, races and ethnic groups – if they were all environmental, just twiddle some societal knobs, and presto-chango! We’d get just about as close to Heaven on Earth as we...
Avaunt, Anabaptist Atavists!
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Tony Pivetta 2010-07-22 03:00
By Tony Pivetta.   Exclusive to STR     You’ve really done it this time, Dr. Rand Paul. Our thought crime stands exposed! Your impolitic utterances have confirmed what our fascio-socialist elites (motto: “Forced to be Free! Hooray, Dumb-Ah-Crah-Cee!”) have long suspected; namely, that we Neanderthal devotees of do-nothing government uphold the right to...
Who Are the Real Terrorists?
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Per Bylund 2010-07-21 03:00
By Per Bylund.   Exclusive to STR   What is fascinating in this day and age is how the definition of previously well-known concepts mysteriously have changed. I’m not thinking of e.g. the word “defense,” which nowadays seems to have a much broader meaning and includes waging wars, occupying foreign nations, and having permanent military bases in almost 200 foreign...
Extortion/Bribery
6.33333
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!  ...
Voting Is Even More Worthless Than You Think
6.25
Paul Bonneau 2010-11-01 03:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   I wonder how many of our readers ever participated in an election, in which their vote was the decisive one? The chances are pretty small, mathematically. But they are actually even smaller than the math predicts!   Let’s imagine a race between Statist Candidate A and Statist Candidate B, and in the vote count, they differ by only...
Was Ayn Rand a Proto-Fascist?
6.14286
Bob Wallace 2011-04-26 03:00
Column by Bob Wallce.   Exclusive to STR   What a philosophy claims and what it delivers are often two different things. Marxism was supposed to create a heaven on earth but instead created a hell. I think Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, would also create a hell on earth.   Rand divided people into two groups: her perfect John Galtian heroes, and everyone else...
Handouts
6
Jim Davies 2009-11-15 17:00
Exclusive to STR  One of the debates among liberty seekers is about the extent to which it's morally right to accept or reject government handouts. In my opinion, it's one of a rather small number of issues still open to valid debate, and for sure there are good, sincere people on both sides of it and I respect all of them. Although these remarks come down clearly on one side, that respect...
Quake
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Jim Davies 2010-03-15 03:00
Exclusive to STR Among the welter of news reports about the recent tragedy in Haiti, I noticed a couple that were quite perceptive. As it happens, they both broke surface on the PBS News Hour.   One came a few days after January 12th from David Brooks, the Hour's token conservative. He observed that a slightly more severe earthquake had hit San Francisco and Oakland in 1989, which brought...
Debt Madness
6
Mark Davis 2011-02-22 04:00
Column by Mark Davis.  Exclusive to STR  Finalist #1 in the "Odious Debt" essay contest   It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. ~ Henry Ford   Are you mad yet? Tired of all the odious bulldebt being dumped on your head out of...
The Good, the Bad and the Half-Asleep
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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...
Rothbard vs. LeFevre
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Jim Davies 2014-02-17 23:06
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR The Complete Libertarian Forum (CLF) is a massive work, and by not hurrying I'm making some slow but satisfying progress. I'm up to October 1973, and at Kindle location 25370 there are some remarks by Murray Rothbard about Robert LeFevre. Apparently this libertarian scholar and apologist wasn't quite to Murray's liking, for I'd seen...
God Save the Police and America With Honest Criminal Prosecutions
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Tim Hartnett 2015-01-16 09:50
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, two NYPD officers killed by maniac Ismaaiyl Brinsley on December 20, didn’t stand much of a chance against a random attack on their uniforms. Likewise, the two of them couldn’t even reach room temperature before being honed into weapons in the battle to stir public rage. Patrolman’s Benevolent Association...
In Defense of Incrementalism
5.83333
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...
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
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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
10
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
9
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
10
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...