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Friday, November 24

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Serenity is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Original article What we call Reality is a hall of mirrors. It reflects itself back and forth and builds up a consensus.
Original article Many Anarchists scorn Statists that distract themselves arguing over politics, presidents, parties, etc. Yet, likely out of unconscious habit, follow in their footsteps in that they argue over what I want to call anarchist politics. And I don’t mean friendly arguments that seek new conclusions.
Original article Oftentimes when government officials insist that a certain freedom needs to be eliminated or a new law enacted in order to advance the cause of “public safety,” it’s merely a smokescreen for some other covert agenda
Original article What does it mean to be “free”? To me, being free or having freedom simply means living one’s life free from threats, demands, orders, coercion, or claimed authority emanating from other individuals or entities. It means that no one has the right to stop you from thinking, saying, or doing whatever you want so long as your actions do not constitute aggression against other people.
Original article Fascist ideology has crawled its way into the mainstream yet again. Amidst this resurgence is a concomitant escalation of paramilitary brownshirts deploying a rhetoric of “free speech” and using it to justify ever increasing violence against perceived enemies. While the ability to freely express oneself is a critical part of a thriving society, there are other freedoms at play as well.
Original article There is one important area of American life where no effective freedom of speech or the press does or can exist under the present system. That is the entire field of radio and television. In this area, the federal government, in the crucially important Radio Act of 1927, nationalized the airwaves.
Original article While political correctness is typically associated with the American Left, modern conservatism has its own sacred totems that dare not be criticized. Like its progressive counterparts, the Right’s choices of sanctification fit together like an elegant jigsaw puzzle to form an internally consistent worldview. Police, Military, Bible, and Flag are all symbols of the Right—each embodying order, tradition, and Americanism to varying degrees.
Original article If ‘society’—whoever that’s supposed to be—were to push for any values, equality shouldn’t be among them. Equality only exists before the law. People are unique, and therefore naturally unequal. We’re not like ants or blades of grass. Equality is not only impossible, it’s not even desirable. A proper goal to strive for is freedom, which is possible and desirable." Doug Casey
Original article Vermont’s use tax is meant to make sure that Vermont citizens don’t shop online or across the border to avoid the state’s sales tax. Currently, only about 10 percent of people pay the 6% use tax according to Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom.
Original article The high-technology revolution is not normally associated with farming. Yet some of the most impressive advances in automation are occurring in agriculture. New breakthroughs in the information and life sciences threaten to end much of outdoor farming by the middle decades of the coming century. The technological changes in the production of food are leading to a world without farmers, with untold consequences for the 2.4 million people who still rely on the land for their survival. (what use...
Original article Unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, commonly known as drones, have become an effective, reliable tool to help commanders gather battlefield intelligence. They have also exploded on the commercial market, flooding toy stores and hobby shops with inexpensive, multi-propeller drones.
Original article GREENVILLE, NC—Aiming to accommodate family members’ preferences and avoid any frustration, local parents Melissa and Ron Walters officially designated the upstairs television for anybody who did not want to watch the Thanksgiving football games on Thursday, sources reported. “You can use the TV in the guest room if you don’t want to watch football,” said Melissa Walters,  (the onion) 
SPECTRE: Not Scarier Than the Newspapers
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Kevin M. Patten 2015-12-17 07:43
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR Spoilers. The newest 007 film is, all and all, a dud. Putting the summation first: It’s predicable, uninspired, disjointed. It sets itself up for real potential by attempting to give the secret agent a genuine backstory, and then fails miserably without much effort. It brings in supernova-sized casting, and then wastes the talent. It teases us...
A Panarchist Take on Borders and Immigration
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Paul Bonneau 2015-12-09 08:24
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Bionic Mosquito has written a thoughtful piece on the border/immigration issue. The money quote? “So what does culture have to do with maintaining a libertarian order? This, to me, is quite simple: the less conflict, the less chance that some self-proclaimed and self-pitying disadvantaged group will look to a savior to deliver them from their...
Why Renters Are Screwed
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Paul Bonneau 2015-12-02 08:03
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Every now and then my wife and I get the itch to go into property rental. For example, we look at real estate listings on the Oregon Coast. A duplex would be nice, because we could take one unit for ourselves, and rent the other out. The renter could help watch our place while we were not around, and we might even work out a deal for him to do lawn mowing...
The Complementarity of Love and Freedom
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Glen Allport 2015-11-18 07:55
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR Complement: add to (something) in a way that enhances or improves it; make perfect     ~ Apple's OS/X on-disk dictionary, ver. 2.2.1   – 1 – Interdependent   Yin and Yang. Heart and head. Female and male. Complementary elements, forces, and qualities are everywhere in the natural world.   Wikipedia puts it...
Why Participate in a Rigged Game?
0
Paul Bonneau 2015-11-17 08:31
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Oregon has vote-by-mail, and in due time we recently received our ballots in the mail along with a voter’s guide. Since it is an odd-numbered year, all that was on the November ballot were two tax levies, one for libraries, the other for cops. Like many other states, Oregon has not only the usual dates for primary and general elections, but also some...
I Don't Get It
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Paul Hein 2015-11-16 08:11
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }There are things I simply do not understand. I hesitate to mention it, because I seem to be the only person who is puzzled by these things, thus indicating that I possess the savvy of a turnip. Still, I have reached--and surpassed—an age where I don’t much care what other people may think...
Weltschmerz, Anyone?
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Paul Hein 2015-10-27 07:55
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The Germans have a knack, if that’s the word for it, of making new words by putting old ones together. So “weltschmerz” is a conjunction of two words meaning, literally “world pain.” The term refers to the frustration, depression, etc., that one experiences on appreciating the difference between the way things are, and the way...
America the Failed Experiment: "I Don't Think That's a Word" and Other General Folly
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Alex R. Knight III 2015-10-26 07:35
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Did you know that America has the smallest constitution of any other tax-farm on Earth? It was, of course, ostensibly designed to produce the most limited and least intrusive State in all of history. Yet, the American State is now the largest empire to ever exist in all the time humans have walked the world, with the hugest, most destructive military...
Renaissance Und Kulturkampf
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Alex R. Knight III 2015-10-15 06:53
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR As perhaps a counterpoint to one of my recent essays, I thought I might try to escalate the level of optimism by comparing and contrasting the modern Voluntaryist movement with some observable historical parallels. During the High Renaissance in the late 15th Century, the philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola wrote the following: “You,...
A Paradise Lost
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Anarchoblake 2015-10-13 06:51
Column by new Root Striker Blake Bengtson. Exclusive to STR Paradise is a difficult thing to define. For some it could mean a fancy hotel in a tropical climate. For others it could be a bustling metropolis with an active nightlife and booming culture. Paradise to me is an absence. An absence of people, an absence of noise, an absence of thought. My personal paradise would be one surrounded by the...
Trade Unions and Bad Economics
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Guest 2011-01-21 03:00
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;...
Ah, Sweet Mystery of...Taxation
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Paul Hein 2011-01-24 03:00
Column by Paul Hein.   Exclusive to STR   Does anyone really understand taxation? For that matter, does anyone really understand anything?   Well, of course, there are many people who understand--really know the truth about--many things. Still, it seems that, regarding taxes, there is a degree of ignorance that surpasses that of the general level of ignorance!   If, for...
Where's the Beef?
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Michael Kleen 2011-01-28 03:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   By all accounts, Taco Bell is a story of success. Since Glen Bell opened the first Taco Bell in Downey, California in 1962, the franchise has expanded to 6,446 restaurants with over 175,000 employees worldwide. In 2009, the company (which is currently owned by Yum! Brands) brought in $1.9 billion in revenue. It is no secret why this...
The Profit Mechanism in a Free Market
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Guest 2011-02-02 03:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim.   Note: Cristian Gherasim plagiarized this column from here.   When a firm's revenue is greater than its costs, that firm earns a profit. When a firm's costs are greater than its revenue, that firm suffers a loss. Fair enough. But what do profits and losses mean? Are they the product of blind chance? What useful information can possibly be contained in...
Privatizing Airport Security
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Guest 2011-02-04 03:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim.   It may seem kind of odd associating an invasive, property denying measure like frisking with the principles of a free market. In fact, there’s little room for individual sovereignty when it comes to national security. At least that’s how the government thinks and acts: we are guilty until proven innocent; individuals aren’t rational enough to...
The Free Market Never Happened
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Guest 2011-02-08 03:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim.   Note: Cristian Gherasim plagiarized this column from here.   The argument goes like this:   Until now we've lived in a world of laissez-faire capitalism, with government and policy intellectuals convinced that the market should rule no matter what. Recent events, however, have underscored the limitations of this dog-eat-dog system, and reveal that...
The Pathocracy Unmasked MUST READ
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Glen Allport 2011-02-11 03:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR - 1 - Exposed as Criminals and Psychopaths, the Coercive Elite are Desperate to Stop the Flow of Honest Information     "When Bush cancelled his trip to avoid prosecution, the human rights groups who prepared the complaints made it public and announced that the Bush Torture Indictment would be waiting wherever he travels next." CCR...
Become Dangerous (Part 2)
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Paul Bonneau 2011-02-14 03:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I thought I’d update the previous article I wrote on this subject. This was prompted by, among other things, an article about “Shooting on a Shoestring" also posted at lewrockwell.com.   The author likes the SKS for a defense carbine. They certainly qualify for shooting on a shoestring, and there is an undeniable utility in a semi-...
The Moral Hazard of Central Banking
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Guest 2011-02-15 03:00
Column by Cristian Gherasim.   Note: Cristian Gherasim plagiarized this column from here.   Virtually all economists agree on the proximate cause of the current financial world crisis: institutionalized moral hazard in the financial industries. Banks and other firms operating as financial intermediaries have a tendency to behave irresponsibly. They display an exuberant bias in their...
Where’s my Flying Car and Disintegrator Ray Gun?
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Bob Wallace 2011-02-16 03:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   I’ve been a little miffed since I was 12 years old because I didn’t have a flying car, and most especially, a disintegrator ray gun.  They existed in the movies, books, and on TV, but as for real life, forget it.   I can’t remember the first time I encountered both of them.  I do remember a TV program about...
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
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
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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
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...