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Wednesday, June 3

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A. Magnus is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Theophilos Papadopoulos

Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Becca Balint, a state senator here in Vermont who is an ardent supporter of gun control and also publishes a fairly regular column in a local newspaper, quoted Heidi Halverson – a psychologist at Columbia University – in a recent write-up. The quote itself is in reference to the fact that people fear change, but that this is also not the full picture. Here’s the quote: “It’s also that they genuinely believe (often on...
Original article "Think that since you “aren’t breaking any laws,” police brutality doesn’t affect you? Well, that’s certainly not the case in one Michigan city. Instead of violent cops paying for their own wrong-doings, the legal expenses associated with police brutality will come directly from taxpayer pockets. The city of Inkster is giving residents a one-time tax hike to pay for the massive settlement for Floyd Dent, a man brutally beaten during a traffic stop."
Original article "McBean was shot by Broward County Deputy Peter Peraza. Police documents show that Peraza insisted to a homicide detective that there was nothing in McBean’s ears that would have prevented him from hearing officers ordering him to drop his rifle. The detective told the family that officers at the scene “confirmed” that, reports NBC. But a woman who witnessed the shooting noticed something that may explain why McBean didn’t drop his gun: he had earbuds in his ears at the time of the incident."
Original article "A federal lawsuit has been filed claiming ‘excessive force’ was used after a police dog attacked a teen’s genitals as he was trying to surrender. The suit, filed by Javarius Ragin and his mother against the Hialeah police department, claims Ragin’s penis was “literally ripped open” and he was not afforded timely medical care immediately after, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald. The family’s attorney, Rod Vereen, said doctors stitched up the injury which left extensive scarring."
Original article "Sheriff Victor Hill, who is facing misdemeanor charges in connection with the recent shooting of a real estate agent in Gwinnett County, is headed to Israel later this month. Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter said he was notified about two weeks ago of the Clayton County sheriff’s travel plans in an email from Hill’s attorney."
Original article "Tyranny is not a wholly definable condition. There are many forms of tyranny and many levels of control that exist in any one society at any given time. In fact, the most despicable forms of tyranny are often the most subtle; the kinds of tyranny in which the oppressed are deluded into thinking that because they have “choices”, that necessarily makes them “free”. Tyranny at it’s very core is not always the removal of choice, but the filtering of choice – the erasure of options leaving only...
Original article "The Obama administration is once again planning to do by executive action what it could not accomplish legislatively through Congress. The Hill reports that the Justice Department will move forward with more than a dozen gun-related regulations. The first round is expected to be finalized by November, with the rest implemented by the end of Obama’s term in office."
Original article "The head of the National Electoral Institute said the government will not install voting stations if the security cannot be guaranteed. With midterm elections in Mexico less than a week away, social movements have followed through on their threat to disrupt the elections through an active boycott, with three different restive states registering incidents Monday. Some social movements and trade unions throughout the country are steadfastly opposed to the holding of elections, claiming the vote...
Original article "Much to the surprise of the general public, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of expanded the ability of law enforcement to search without warrants. Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority of the court which ruled 6 to 3 that “when occupants of a residents disagree on whether they will admit police without a warrant, the objecting occupant must be physically present,” the Washington Post reported. “That doesn’t change if police have removed the objector,” the court added."
Original article "Few industries will face a greater struggle targeting these new consumers than banks, who seem wholly unprepared with what to do with us. Indeed, if ever there was a dark evil in the world that millennials as a whole would probably like to see completely destroyed like San Francisco in San Andreas, it is the banking industry. The banks aren’t ignorant. Jamie Dimon, the head honcho of JPMorgan Chase, told shareholders this year that “Silicon Valley is coming” with “...
Original article "Yes, after op–eds in the New York Times (£), a popular crowdshaming Tumblr campaign and a series of public service ads from the Metropolitan Transport Authority, 'manspreading', or 'sitting with your legs slightly too far apart', as it used to be known, has apparently become a criminal offence. According to a recent report from the Police Reform Organising Project, at least two men have been arrested and charged on grounds of the M–word, "presumably because they were taking up more than one...
Original article "The Senate has approved the USA Freedom Act, which will alter the way U.S. agencies conduct surveillance and gather data. A final vote on the bill came late Tuesday afternoon, after amendments to the bill failed. Update at 9:30 p.m. ET: Obama's Signature. Following an expedited enrollment process, President Obama signed the bill into law late Tuesday."
Original article Check it out before they build a strip mall beside it...
The Home Team
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Mark Davis 2014-04-07 08:29
Column by Mark Davis. Exclusive to STR Sports provide many benefits to society, not least of which are the many rich metaphors for life.  The understanding of social organization, establishment of rules, the dynamics of competition, individuals sacrificing for the team, learning accountability, commitment to a purpose and developing a work ethic in sports offers a range of wonderful...
Der Uber-Americans
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Tim Hartnett 2014-04-03 08:14
Column by Tim Hartnett. Exclusive to STR Things always look a lot clearer from behind the beltway curtain. It’s nothing like the haze your average American rube sees trying to watch developments along the Potomac. So Washington keeps a crew spinning round the clock to set the story straight, narrow and well off the course of the blogosphere. We call them lawyers, lobbyists, bureaucrats, PR...
A Remarkable Document
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Paul Hein 2014-04-02 08:45
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR From time to time, we hear our rulers refer to the Constitution, in such solemn tones and with such serious demeanor that we might think they took it seriously. For example, some of them have expressed outrage that the NSA should violate the people’s right to privacy. Good for them; it IS an outrage. Some of the rulers are indignant that the...
Liberty: Rooted in Rights
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Jim Davies 2014-03-31 08:57
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Everyone wants to be free, to make his own decisions without interference. That's a no-brainer; if there are any exceptions beyond those unhappily born without the ability to manage for themselves, they are very few. I never met anyone who said “Rule me, please!” Libertarians, however, add one crucial and distinguishing feature to that: We...
I Don't Have Rights; Nor Do I Want Any
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Paul Bonneau 2014-03-26 08:18
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Ever since I can remember, I have questioned. I suppose I am a contrarian. Whenever a herd of people goes off in one direction, that is prima facie evidence that the direction they are going needs to be questioned even more. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect,” as Mark Twain nicely put it....
Vlad's Oscar
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Jim Davies 2014-03-24 08:12
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Everything they say, these Pols, is scripted and rehearsed. I find it really, really difficult to tell whether their endless stream of dicta is serious, or just theater. It's always theater, of course, but sometimes it's also truly meant, and that usually means big trouble, but how does one know when they're kidding and when, not? Clearly,...
A Review of Becky Akers' Novel 'Halestorm'
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2014-03-20 07:58
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR Becky Aker’s novel Halestorm is a perfect companion to her other work of historical fiction, Abducting Arnold, and it takes the reader on a wild ride of suspense—girded about by a powerful sexual prohibition that threatens to crumble under the pressure of an even deeper passion shared by the two main characters, Nathan Hale and his half...
Favorite Local Boondoggles
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Paul Bonneau 2014-03-19 08:20
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The town government just got done patting themselves on the back for a renovated library. I notice in the “key numbers” sidebar, they left out “Money stolen from taxpayers.” In the story, though, it’s explained that it cost $9.5 million dollars; but if I am not mistaken, this bought not a single book. This sort of thing is...
On the Institution of Marriage
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PSYCHOTICNUT 2014-03-19 08:05
Column by new Root Striker Steven Holman. Exclusive to STR Intro This has been a long time coming. Recently, many of my friends and family have been getting engaged and married, so I thought I would report my understanding of the institution. First, I’d like to say that I love my friends and family and support them in their life choices, and wish nothing but happiness for them. I don’...
What's Mine Is Yours--If You Say So
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Paul Hein 2014-03-18 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Reading the newspaper this morning, I got the impression that the purpose of the paper is to obscure, rather than present, the news. The front page headline, for instance, was a piece about a local hockey player, and his rise to fame. Succeeding pages concerned local school board problems, and other such trivia. Not until page seven was there any information...
The Treasonous U.S. Government Recommended
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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...
Trade Unions and Bad Economics
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Guest 2011-01-21 04:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim. We are all familiar with the power gained by trade unions in present-day Europe. Lately, it seems that they have also gained the privilege to turn to violence each time their demands aren't met. It's safe to say that a union's decision has become as important as a governmental decree.   Trade unions set wages, working time, retirement age, and social benefits;...
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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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...