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Saturday, January 31

Guest Editor

Lloyd Ritchey is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Pai Shih

Original article The old spy master is out, and his replacement has been selected. He's reputedly not known for "innovative thinking," and for that we might end up being grateful as the end results of innovative spy masters is the erosion of civil liberties.
Original article The U.S.' last innovative spy master, Michael Hayden, recently argued against the Fourth Amendment.
Original article SOCOM's top brass recently stated that they receive about 1.8 percent of the DOD’s budget--turns out the figure's a bit higher than that.
Original article The official confirmed that suspects were quizzed at base on Diego Garcia (an atholl in the Indian Ocean) and says British 'must have known' what happened to passengers on rendition flights.
Original article They're planning on using license plate readers to collect information on even lawful activity that they don't like...assuming they haven't already done so.
Original article Unsurpirsingly, the implementation of this system of standardized exams, rubrics, standards, and curriculum did not follow the process as laid out in the Constitution.
Original article J. Edgar Hoover and Joseph McCarthy soon to rise from their graves shouting "I told you so!"
Original article Joseph S. Diedrich highlights some of the more common stages in this philosophic development.
Original article The statist paradise of the fifteen dollar minimum wage isn't done solving people's problems for them.
Original article The training mission has been the subject of plenty of discussion among US policy makers for months, and the United States has already earmarked $19 million to help build the Ukrainian National Guard. Unlike our own National Guard, these guys will likely prefer packing Vodka instead of Natural Light in their rucksacks.
Money to Burn
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Jim Davies 2014-01-09 08:22
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR In December, the death occurred of one of Britain's most colorful characters: Ronnie Biggs. He was 84 and had suffered several debilitating strokes. He came to fame in 1963 as a member of a group of 17 professional crooks who held up the transport of used government money, being trained from Glasgow to London for incineration. I've not been able to...
A Glorious Event!
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Paul Hein 2014-01-06 08:08
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Day after day I’ve trudged to the mailbox, heart in my mouth. Yes, I know: I wasn’t allowing enough time since my application. But today--today!--they arrived. I knew as soon as I saw the envelope with the return address: Missouri Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Department. My hands trembled as I ripped it open--and there they were: glorious...
Peace, Spurned
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Jim Davies 2014-01-02 08:43
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR In October 1944, Christian Günther, the Swedish Foreign Minister, relaxed with a group of journalists and casually mentioned a telegram sent to him on June 17th, 1940 by Björn Prytz, then his envoy in London. When the news of his remarks reached London, it threw the then Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, into a tizzy: “It is most...
Vandals
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Alex R. Knight III 2013-12-31 08:24
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR This is one of those columns I’d hoped to never have to write, the kind that’ll probably get other libertarians pointing fingers at me and preaching about all the things I could’ve done differently, but here’s what happened – or has, so far. I moved to a different residence here in Vermont back in November, and along...
MYOB: As Important as NAP?
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Paul Bonneau 2013-12-27 08:21
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR If you have not yet read Eric Frank Russell’s classic And Then There Were None, it would help understand this article. “MYOB” means “Mind Your Own Business.” Of course, every libertarian and anarchist knows what “NAP” is (although I have always wondered why it has two names, “NAP” and “ZAP,...
Where?
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Paul Hein 2013-12-27 08:10
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I haven’t taken a poll, but if I did, I’m certain I’d find that most Americans would claim that they were free. Many would claim that they were living in the “freest” country in the world. To some extent, they’d be right. For example: I can take a walk after lunch, or a nap, if I prefer. I can go shopping when I please,...
Progress in 'The Capitalist Tool'
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Jim Davies 2013-12-24 08:18
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Last week Forbes magazine ran an article by one Peter Reilly, to assess the merits of Irwin Schiff's stand against the alleged income tax, and drawing extensively on remarks made by his son Peter Schiff, the investment advisor. To call the article “fair” would over-rate it, but it did bring that debate to the attention of some highly...
'The Lone Ranger' as Horror Film
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Glen Allport 2013-12-24 07:58
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR I bought “The Lone Ranger” on Blu-Ray this week and enjoyed it even more than I had in the theater – it's a fun, big-budget summer action movie. Then as the credits rolled, I sat and cried for about 15 minutes.   “The Lone Ranger” has been a financial disaster for Disney, despite the fabulous Johnny Depp performance...
Public Education Works After All: A Nation of Double-Thinking Sheep
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Lawrence M. Ludlow 2013-12-24 07:37
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow. Exclusive to STR So finally, even the White House admits that the NSA’s wide-ranging program of pervy-voyeurism and spying and prying and snooping and sniffing has had no significant impact on the so-called War on the Word, otherwise known as the War on Terror. According to Geoffrey Stone, a University of Chicago law professor who was one-fifth of the five-...
Why We Need Libertarian Journalists
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Don Stacy 2013-12-23 08:08
Column by Don Stacy. Exclusive to STR A December 15, 2012 article in The ASCO Post entitled "The Ethics of Rationing Cancer Care" is a distressing illustration of a healthcare journalist missing several opportunities to deliver not only interesting information to readers, but also genuine knowledge. I shall not name the offending columnist in this critique, for the mistakes of this...
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...
'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...
Oh, Stanley MUST READ
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tzo 2011-03-30 02:00
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...