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Friday, February 27

Guest Editor

Ken Kraska is the guest editor today.

WANTED: A new guest editor for Saturdays.  If you're interested, please email me.

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photo courtesy of Pai Shih

Original article "[With] very rare exceptions, there is no reason to believe that actors, directors, rock stars, and other such celebrities have any more insight into public policy than the average person on the street. ... [Although] Patricia Arquette might well be a good actress, it is unlikely that she has any special insight into the wage gap between men and women, or how best to deal with it."
Original article "We’re told that radar traps and so on exist not to extract dollars from our wallets but for 'safety.' If so, why do the cops squeal so loudly about Waze? After all, people slow down for the trap up ahead. Isn’t that the desired object? Obviously, not. The squealing erupts not because people are slowing down but because they slow down in time to avoid being hit with a fine for not slowing down. As they used to teach in journalism school: Follow the money. It is always about the money."
Original article "You know who else thought he was a sheepdog? George Zimmerman. How’d that work out? Sure, he was legally justified, but he ended up killing a guy who probably didn’t need killing, and has now had his life completely ruined. All because he was a 'sheepdog.' ”
Original article "For the most part, the portable computer is a dream machine for the few. The limitations come from what people actually do with computers, as opposed to what the marketers expect them to do. On the whole, people don’t want to lug a computer with them to the beach or on a train to while away hours they would rather spend reading the sports or business section of the newspaper. Somehow, the microcomputer industry has assumed that everyone would love to have a keyboard grafted on as an extension...
Original article The feds are seeking to contract for medical personnel at JFK airport to administer enemas and then dig through the resultant poo, looking for ingested dope.
Original article I find these polls to be of dubious reliability, given the failed Scottish independence referendum last year, but at least English succession from the mega-state is still being discussed.
Original article "The power to require permits is the power to prevent something from ever existing. This lovely movement would've never begun or spread if everyone who wanted to build a Little Free Library recognized a need to apply and pay for a permit. Instead they did good and asked permission never."
Original article "The many ways that corporations, special interests and political interests of all stripes exploit media and the Internet to perpetuate astro-turf [political movements] is ever-expanding. Surreptitious astro-turf methods are now more important to these interests than traditional lobbying of Congress." On this list most are funded by leftist billionaires.
Original article "Even though a DNA test proved Carnell Alexander is not the father of a child a woman claimed was his on a welfare benefits form, the state of Michigan [i.e., a judge] says he must pay $30,000 to settle the case – or go to prison." Go figure?
Original article "When speculating wildly about the source of these white freckles, we thought they could be evidence of cyrovolcanism or even icy geysers, but were confused how such an isolated, small world could be thermodynamically active enough to generate either of them."
The Last Days of Government
10
Jim Davies 2014-02-25 08:03
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR At about 7.35 p.m. ET on February 22nd, the NBC News TV reporter grabbed my attention with the following, as well as I can recall it: “Government has disappeared.” and “The are no policemen to be seen. Not even traffic cops.” This, again, was 2014 – not 2027. And it was not a spoof, like the alien invasion one in 1938. The...
Trade Unions
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Jim Davies 2014-02-24 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR On February 14th the UAW took another kick in the teeth; employees of Volkswagen at its plant in Chattanooga voted 712 to 626 not to join. Trade unionists everywhere were buzzing like demented hornets; on The Guardian website I offered a little comfort (“The union lost. Boo-hoo. Get over it. Unions are parasites.”) but, alas, I was heavily...
A Minor Office
10
Paul Hein 2014-02-19 08:08
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The advertisement headline read: “President increases amount seniors can get from reverse mortgages.” Imagine the astonishment that the Founding Fathers would experience if they could read that! “What in the world does the president have to do with mortgages, whether forward, reverse, or sideways?” They would be flabbergasted to hear...
Rothbard vs. LeFevre
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Jim Davies 2014-02-17 22:06
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...
Some Reasons for Libertarians to NOT Reject the Non-Aggression Principle
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Paul Bonneau 2014-02-12 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneua. Exclusive to STR I just came across Matt Zwolinski’s article, Six Reasons Libertarians Should Reject the Non-Aggression Principle. I think he does point out some problems, but comes to the wrong conclusion. His conclusion: "There comes a point where what you need is not another refinement to the definition of 'aggression' but a radical paradigm shift...
Against the Cutlery Culture: A Few Questions Worth Asking
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Kevin M. Patten 2014-02-07 00:00
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR While appearing on William F. Buckley’s Firing Line in 1969, the already renowned linguist and anti-war critic Noam Chomsky told a nationwide audience that there was no longer any debate on the Vietnam War. In his view, no question remained that the United States was the ultra-violent aggressor against an innocent people, and that our government...
The Rules
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Paul Hein 2014-02-06 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR It’s a familiar aphorism: You’ve got to play by the rules. There’s no picking up the puck and running with it; no using a tennis racket in handball. Golfers are not to use baseball bats. And there are penalties for violations. It’s not only sports, of course. If you’re a Rotarian, you’re expected to observe the by-laws of...
A Monster in the Making
9.8
Jim Davies 2014-02-04 22:16
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Last month, I splurged a whole 99 cents on the download of an 89-year-old book. Worth every penny, it's a non-fiction horror story: James Murphy's 1939 English translation of Adolph Hitler's Mein Kampf. Its sheer blandness and apparently reasonable, normal prose is what sets it apart, in the light of what arose from it a decade or two later....
A Review of the Historical Novel 'Abducting Arnold', by Becky Akers
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2014-02-04 00:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludow. Exclusive to STR This book has everything you want in historical fiction but never seem to get. As a novel, the suspense carries you all the way to the finish, and the characters have their own motives for their actions; they don’t just hang like puppets suspended from the author’s plot-line. In addition, the characters grow with the story – enabling...
What Libertarians Can Learn From Dexter
0
Steve 2014-01-28 08:33
Exclusive to STR   At this stage of libertarian evolution, we have less a need to refine the theory than to evangelize it, but libertarian propaganda efforts seem overwhelmingly aimed at waking "sleeping libertarians” (if not preaching to the choir) rather than convincing our ideological adversaries. Increasingly often, one hears libertarians dismissing even the possibility of...
Vox Dei?
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Jim Davies 2010-12-26 03:00
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
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Scott Lazarowitz 2010-12-28 03:00
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 03:00
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
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Guest 2011-01-05 03:00
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
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Paul Hein 2011-01-10 03:00
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
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tzo 2011-01-11 03:00
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
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Guest 2011-01-13 03:00
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
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Guest 2011-01-18 03:00
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
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Guest 2011-01-19 03:00
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 03:00
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...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
10
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
10
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
10
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
10
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
0
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
9
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
9.5
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...