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Wednesday, April 16

Guest Editor

A. Magnus is the guest editor today.

WANTED: A new guest editor for Saturdays.  A guest editor selects the external links for that day and then uploads them to STR.  If you're interested, please email me.
 

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photo courtesoy of phil_theone

Original article "Some gun owners have long threatened to ignore a requirement to register assault weapons under the SAFE Act, a set of strict gun laws approved by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers last year. With the registration deadline set for Tuesday, they'll soon have their chance."
Original article A summary of the new book Taxed To Death: A Citizen’s Guide to How the Income Tax and IRS Harm EVERYONE in America, by Lawrence Hunter.  (Editor's pick)
Original article "The 63-year-old former narcotics investigator with the LAPD, shot himself after a final radio show broadcast, a friend reported." (Editor's pick)
Original article "The use of chemical weapons is not really in question since both sides of the conflict – the Syrian government and the death squad forces – are reporting their use. However, both sides are also blaming each other for the deployment of the poison gas."
Original article "Thirty Venezuelan military officers of different ranks, including several generals, have been arrested for alleged conspiracy to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro, a leading national newspaper has reported."
Original article "A Bay Area federal judge says the Obama administration can keep secret a memo spelling out the legal rationale for a 2011 drone attack in Yemen that killed a U.S. citizen and alleged terrorist mastermind. The Justice Department was entitled to withhold the memo on the grounds of national security and lawyer-client confidentiality, Chief U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of Oakland said Friday."
Original article "New images of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy’s tense standoff with the Federal Bureau of Land Mangement (BLM) on Saturday afternoon reveal how the armed agency’s military operation configured to forcefully engage Bundy cowboys and their supporters who sought to liberate federally confiscated cattle over the weekend."
Original article "Three months following Colorado's decision to legalize the production, sale, possession and use of recreational marijuana — a vote that Denver city officials including Mayor Michael Hancock, among others, fought kicking and screaming — guess what's happened to Denver crime rates in 2014? According to new data, they've fallen across the board. Property crime is down 14.6% compared to the same period in 2013. Violent crimes are down 2.4%."
Original article "Thanks to documents released by Snowden, it is now well known that the NSA is sucking up and storing practically all traffic on the Internet using its various spying tools, including the XKeyscore tool. The ability to obtain the private keys from servers using the Heartbleed bug means that the NSA can decrypt all past traffic encrypted to the keys it obtains, even traffic from years before the bug was introduced."
Original article "The best-yielding, most affordable crop varieties to "feed the world" are non-GMO, says a retired team leader for the Environmental Protection Agency's biosafety program."
Original article "CNN's coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has reached such astounding stupidity in the past five weeks that it accomplished something previously unimaginable: uniting Bill O’Reilly and Rachel Maddow on the same side of an issue."   Looks like US 'Mainstrean' Media is about to have a 'Pravda' moment...
Original article "Last year, it was revealed that the IRS was claiming the right to read taxpayers' email and private information on social media accounts without first getting a search warrant. After a brouhaha from civil liberties groups, citizens, and lawmakers, the IRS announced the no-warrant-required policy would be ditched for email, but it did not make the same commitment for other private electronic communications."
Original article "On February 11, Christian Stanfield, a 15-year-old sophomore at South Fayette High School, recorded seven minutes of the bullying on his iPad. His mother showed school officials the footage the next day. The school officials, including Principal Scott Milburn and Superintendent Bille Pearce Rondinelli, took immediate action. They contacted police for a possible violation of wiretapping laws." Ben Franklin must be rolling in his grave...
Original article "Next time you see on the TV screen / There's a man talking about sh*t he's never seen / Change the channel and ignore the fool / Get out on the streets / Then you go to school"
Original article If you can't make it out west, at least you can enjoy some of the views before the Caldera erupts next...
Socialism
10
Jim Davies 2013-09-19 08:11
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Famously, in 1922 Ludwig von Mises predicted the ultimate failure of socialism, for the good reason that in a planned economy, freely-moving prices are outlawed, while freely-moving prices are the only valid signal of what is wanted, where, when and in what quantity. It took a while – and a dreadful war – but in 1990 he was proven right. The...
Got Atrocities?
0
Don Stacy 2013-09-17 07:44
Column by Don Stacy. Exclusive to STR Ascertaining the volume of State aggression required to horrify an acquaintance is a crude yet clever way to determine if your companion is a political friend (a libertarian opponent of aggression) or a political foe (a non-libertarian proponent of aggression). A discussion about current events is an ideal method to achieve this end. I recommend the use of...
How Much Do You Value Government?
9
Paul Bonneau 2013-09-16 07:41
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I was reading Mama Liberty’s recent blog post about downsizing government. It occurred to me that it could be determined how much any given individual valued government, by asking them how much they would pay in taxes for it, if taxes really were voluntary. For example, Joe Blow pays a total of $20,000 this year in taxes. If asked what he’d...
Propaganda 101: An Introduction and Case Study
9
Mark Davis 2013-09-12 08:25
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR "A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper...
Political Remedies and Global Warming
0
Lawrence Samuels 2013-09-11 07:45
Column by L.K. Samuels. Exclusive to STR The article below contains excerpts from L.K. Samuels’ new book, In Defense of Chaos: The Chaology of Politics, Economics and Human Action. Groucho Marx came up with a memorable witticism concerning the contorted nature of politics. He quipped, “Politics is the act of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and...
An Appeal to NSA Engineers
9.5
Paul Bonneau 2013-09-10 08:17
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I have been discussing with others the Snowden revelations, and an article by industry professional Bruce Schneier came up, which is well worth the read. It brings to mind an event in my own past. I was once a computer hardware designer for a small company that put out state-of-the-art machines for scientific processing, dealing with collecting and...
Cyprus, v.t.
8.66667
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...
Everything Voluntary (Book Review #5)
0
Alex R. Knight III 2013-09-05 08:13
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR While there are certainly many superb libertarian/voluntaryist anthologies in publication, both past and present, most tend to be unitopical in nature. This is why Everything Voluntary: From Politics to Parenting, a 2012 offering from editor Skyler J. Collins, is not only instantly distinguishable, but perhaps of broader utilitarian value in terms...
Anna Karenina Meets Anarcho-Capitalism
10
Lawrence M. Ludlow 2013-09-04 08:12
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR The first line of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina reads as follows: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” How about this adaptation? “In their unwavering respect for humanity, voluntaryists are all alike; every advocate of coercive governance is irrational in his or her own way.” Why? We...
Rights
7.75
Jim Davies 2013-09-03 08:19
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR They mark limits on government power. If you or I have some right or other, it means government is excluded. If we own some property by right, its agents may enter only by permission – or else by force, violating the right. If we have the right to remain silent, its agents may not rightly oblige us to speak. Government really, really doesn't like...
Vox Dei?
10
Jim Davies 2010-12-26 04:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Michael Kleen's Conversation with Vox Day was an unusual article for Strike The Root, but gave a valuable insight into why theists may become good branch-trimming libertarians, but seldom ax-wielding, anarchist root-strikers. I had noticed Mr. Day at the masthead of that highly Statist, conservative publication World Net Daily, with its 24-point...
The Treasonous U.S. Government Recommended
10
Scott Lazarowitz 2010-12-28 04:00
Column by Scott Lazarowitz. Exclusive to STR The ongoing WikiLeaks affair has been an exposé of who really understands the principles that define America, and who is truly confused. The “classified” leakers and their publishers (who include the New York Times and the Guardian) are merely attempting to expose the State and its crimes as well as its outright ridiculousness and...
On Social Contracts Recommended
10
Mark Davis 2010-12-31 04:00
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR “The great political superstition of the past was the divine right of kings. The great political superstition of the present is the divine right of parliaments. The oil of anointing seems unawares to have dripped from the head of the one on to the heads of the many, and given sacredness to them also and to their decrees.” ~ Herbert Spencer...
The Myth of a Middle Class
10
Guest 2011-01-05 04:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim.   Exclusive to STR   Almost a year ago, during the State of the Union address, President Obama came up with another plan to ease the economic burden among middle-class families. No news here. In fact, he gave the same “do or die” speech that makes the case for big government: The middle class has been under assault for a long time[…]...
Rights--and Wrongs
10
Paul Hein 2011-01-10 04:00
Column by Paul Hein.  Exclusive to STR  In a letter written in 1816 to Francis Gilmer, Thomas Jefferson set forth his idea of a proper government:   Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights . . . and to take none of them from us. No man has a natural right to commit...
Check Your Premises
10
tzo 2011-01-11 04:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Apologists for government, along with uncritical government participants (most citizens), claim that just governments exist by way of a social contract. The idea is that the people voluntarily cede a portion of their freedom to government in exchange for social order secured by the government’s rule of law. The members of government, who are...
Talking Gibberish: A Look at Statist Rhetoric
10
Guest 2011-01-13 04:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim. Exclusive to STR  The rhetoric of statism fosters a cult of experts, of wise, all-knowing politicians and government bureaucrats able to identify exactly what the public wants, even when the public remains silent. They are the real life action men of our time. Nothing’s too complicated for them. They have their charts and numbers telling how to run even the...
A Few Words About Bankruptcy and Bailouts
10
Guest 2011-01-18 04:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim.   Note: Cristian Gherasim partially plagiarized this column from here.   There are signs of another massive bailout coming Europe’s way. On Monday the European Central Bank intervened to prop up the eurozone bond markets as political leaders and bankers warned the debt crisis was deepening amid fears that Portugal was edging close to an...
The Need For Plural Property
10
Guest 2011-01-19 04:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim.   Exclusive to STR   The communist regime was quick to define property as something indestructibly linked to an abstract entity: the people. Everything belonged to the people, and people’s property came to explicitly deny the right to individual property. Belonging to everyone, communist property was in fact owned by no one.   After the fall of...
Fortuna and the Free Market
10
Michael Kleen 2010-01-21 04:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   “And thus does Fortune's wheel turn treacherously And out of happiness bring men to sorrow.” ~ Geoffrey Chaucer   Imagine you and another man are standing around a roulette wheel at a high-end casino. You place $50 on black and the other man places $50 on red. The ball had landed on a black or red number the past dozen times...
'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
10
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...
Oh, Stanley MUST READ
10
tzo 2011-03-30 03:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Stanley Milgram was an American social psychologist best known for his Milgram Experiment, a study conducted in the 1960s.   Dr. Milgram wanted to research the relationship between obedience and authority, and he was at least partly motivated to do so by the events of the Nazi Holocaust. It greatly troubled him that so many supposedly good people could...