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Monday, May 23

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Melinda Secor is the guest editor today.

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Original article "A privilege, a special tax break, a rule, a prohibition, a piece of meat here, a piece of meat there… and soon the foxes are eating high on the hog.  But what’s meat for the foxes is poison for the economy."
Original article "As if the U.S. needed still more laws legislating political correctness, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Commission on Human Rights now claims city businesses and entities which ‘fail to address customers by their preferred gender pronouns,’ such as Mr. or Mrs., could face fines up to $250,000."
Original article "After Sean Davis put out an article on The Federalist about how men can’t get pregnant…Zach Ford, the LGBT editor over at Think Progress, decided to argue that the science on that actually wasn’t settled…Apparently, according to Ford, men do menstruate and can in fact get pregnant."
Original article "As government continues to expand, finding ever more ways to feed itself through taxation, it seeks to justify this burgeoning existence. Enter the Nanny State. New York is a leader in developing laws and regulations to protect us from ourselves, perhaps most famously with the Big Apple’s attempt to ban large-size sugary drinks. The Empire State has the highest cigarette taxes in the nation, which fuels a black market, and it places heavy restrictions on other 'sins.'...
Original article "When looking at this spending in context, the U.S. not only spends more than the next six countries combined, but spends almost triple the amount on military expenses than the second biggest defense spender in the world, China, according to data from the Stockholm International Peach Research Institute. These figures come on top of the recently announced $1 trillion dollar nuclear missile modernization program that has been curiously absent from public discourse, having not even been...
Original article “'Only Donald Trump (among the Presidential candidates) has said anything meaningful and critical of U.S. foreign policy.' No, that is not Reince Priebus, chair of the RNC, speaking up in favor of the presumptive Republican nominee. It is Stephen F. Cohen, Emeritus Professor of Russian History at Princeton and NYU, a contributing editor for The Nation, that most liberal of political journals."
Original article "Traditionally, the best way to keep track of future military deployments – absent unexpected events, of course – has been to follow key procurement contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense of mission critical offensive wartime equipment such as weapons and ammo, or, less followed, core defensive components such as kevlar, body armor and other forms of core personal protective gear. These usually take place shortly prior to major 'events' involving US armed forces...
Original article "Currently, it is believed the unmanned plane has spent the past year orbiting around Earth. The American government has, however, failed to give any tangible reason behind the deployment of X-37B to space, except saying it is for an experiment. As to the actual nature of the experiment, that still remains a mystery."
Original article "The role of government is to redistribute wealth, according to a course at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. A test, administered on April 29 in Professor John Traxler’s Healthcare Economics class, told students that '[o]ne of the main functions of government is income redistribution,' then asked them to explain what the statement meant. The correct answer was C: 'Taxing the wealthy and giving it to those in poverty.'”
Original article "We recently stumbled upon an image in one of the more obscure corners of the intertubes which we felt we had to share with our readers. It provides us with a nice metaphor for the meaningfulness of government activity."
Original article "Yesterday I spoke at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, NECSS, a 'celebration of science and critical thinking' held May 12-15 in New York City. Philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, whom I met recently, got me invited, and he might regret that, because I decided to treat the skeptics skeptically."
Original article "Replacing a common drying method boosts the performance of perovskite photovoltaics."
Original article "In the bird world, the color red has special significance. Many species use red signals to attract mates or deter rivals, adding the color to their beaks, feathers, or bare skin. Generally speaking, as far as many birds are concerned, redder is better."
Original article "Spotting native alligators and crocodiles in Florida is common, but anyone who sees a large reptile may want to take a second look -- human-eaters that can grow to 18 feet long and weigh as much as a small car have been found in the Sunshine State."
Original article "If you're a rattlesnake, you want to bring the right weapon to a squirrel fight. And that venomous weapon varies from place to place, evolutionarily calibrated to overpower the local squirrels' defenses, according to new research from The Ohio State University."
Original article A Photo Blog
Social Justice Warriors Are Assholes
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Paul Bonneau 2016-05-20 08:16
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The Social Justice Warrior (SJW) phenomenon has gotten a lot of discussion lately. There is more to it than first appears. SJWs operate primarily through social disapproval, although like almost any interest group they also enlist government in their cause, if they can. An example of the latter is telling landlords who they must rent to. Of course there...
A Vital Religion: Automatic Voter Registration in Vermont
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Alex R. Knight III 2016-05-19 08:04
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Recently joining the proud tax farms of Oregon, Commiefornia, and West Virginia, bureaucrats of Vermont, desperate to muster support for the continuation of the statist cause, recently enacted a measure that will automatically register all “eligible” applicants for driver’s licenses (a government tracking and identification device...
10,000 Miles Alone Around America by Bicycle
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Douglas Herman 2016-05-19 07:28
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “A voice said to him, Why do you stay here and live this mean, moiling life, when a glorious existence is possible for you?” ~ Henry David Thoreau   Imagine taking a 10,000 mile bicycle trip around North America today without a cellphone, credit cards or keys. No sponsors or support vehicles either, and never more than $100 in cash....
Rich: A State of Mind
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Paul Hein 2016-05-18 08:23
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Many years ago, when I was young and foolish enough to believe that the truth mattered, I would lecture interested groups about our money, or, rather, what passes for money today. In the question and answer period following my remarks, one of the attendees would invariably raise the question: What does it matter what we use for money? The other attendee,...
May A Libertarian Take Money From The Government? A Modification To Block's Argument
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floppytilleyhat 2016-05-16 07:20
Column by new Root Striker David Rogers. Exclusive to STR Back in August 2015, Walter Block and Bob Murphy debated on the Tom Woods Show whether a libertarian could rightly take government money. Bob Murphy's argument was simple and effective: the government stole the money from taxpayers, and that libertarians who take money from the government knowingly receive stolen wealth. Walter Block...
Tyranny Hits the Road Running
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Retta Fontana 2016-05-13 07:58
Column by Retta Fontana. Exclusive to STR Early humans were as free as anything imaginable. They learned that living in loose bands and tribes provided some warmth and protection against predators and the elements. As long as they didn’t violate someone else’s space or challenge a stronger person for any possession, every living thing was free to roam. It was the unquestioned norm -...
The Aborted Fetus of American Fascism?
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Kevin M. Patten 2016-05-07 15:37
Column by Kevin M. Patten. Exclusive to STR As of late April, the remnants of an enthralling legend still stand within the hills of Pacific Palisades. Down here, some seventy years ago, a potential Fascist headquarters was being cultivated for the day that Adolf Hitler announced victory in World War Two. Afterwards, the Third Reich would make its way across the ocean to the shores of Los Angeles...
The First & Last Tabloid Presidential Elections?
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Douglas Herman 2016-05-05 07:17
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Our Republic Reels from Absurdity to Obscene in Prez Selection 2016   Maybe I’m getting old. At 66, I certainly don’t recall another presidential election so entertaining in a sleazy, openly corrupt sort of way.  I don’t recall Nixon vs. Kennedy with such rancor and mud-slinging.  I was ten at the time, in 1960. ...
Light, Metal, Shadow: The Freedom of Welding
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Alex R. Knight III 2016-05-03 08:07
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR I suppose my first serious exposure to the trade, craft, and art of welding came during a brief five-month stint I did working for a railroad company. Technically, my job title was that of forklift driver, loading and unloading rail cars when freight came in to a small ex-airport on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River. On days when no such...
Not Surprised: Thoreau Pissed Off Some New Yorkers
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Douglas Herman 2016-04-26 07:24
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Years ago, while working in LA as a struggling scriptwriter, I observed that Hollywood is a Moronocracy:  movies made by morons, for morons and about morons.  Rainman, Forrest Gump, Waterboy, Dumb & Dumber, Batman vs. Superman, etc. You see the trend? Intelligent, insightful opinions, subtlety, cleverness, playful and caustic remarks have...
Taoism and Anarchy
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Mark Gillespie 2003-10-21 16:00
I have studied many religions in my search for truth. In my searches, I embraced a few. I was a nominal Christian for many years and converted to Islam about six years ago. Of course, I have left all of those religions behind, in my never-ending quest for truth. However, there is one "religion" that I studied that seemed to contain more truth than any other. That way is Taoism.
An Open Letter to the Peace Movement
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Roderick Long 2003-03-10 17:00
Dear Peace Activists:All honour to you. In your opposition to the United States' impending war on Iraq, you represent a welcome voice for sanity and civilisation, lifted up against the incessant baying of the dogs of war.But I want to urge you to follow the logic of your position just a bit further.Much has been said, and eloquently so, about the need, in dealings between nation and nation, to...
How I Said No to the Automatic Social Security Number
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Scarmig 2003-12-11 17:00
This is the story of how I successfully refused to accept a Social Security Number for my child. I simply said 'no.' Really. That's how easy it was. I just said no, again, and again. On the Texas Application for Birth Certificate, which I was unable to get a copy of for this article, there is a check box down at the bottom of the page. It says, and I'm paraphrasing, 'Check here to have your...
Supreme Court Lets Dogs Go Fishing...for Drugs
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Rex Curry 2005-01-25 17:00
A new Supreme Court case states that cops can take dogs fishing. Dogs can go fishing for drugs in Illinois vs. Caballes. As an attorney, I am often consulted by people victimized in searches by dogs trained to smell drugs. A drug dog's skills are often overestimated because people anthropomorphize dogs. A humanlike quality that dogs have is that they are natural libertarians with no interest in...
Radical Solidarity and Moderate Anarchism
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Anthony Gregory 2005-01-27 17:00
Libertarians, and especially anarchistic libertarians, are known for their principles and strong ideology. This has often been, but does not have to be, a double-edged sword in the fight for freedom. To be a libertarian, one must embrace the Non-aggression Principle, or at least come to the same policy conclusions as one would based on the principle. Some libertarians say they don't like the...
The Suppression of Dissent
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Jim Davies 2005-10-25 16:00
Exclusive to STR The jury is still out, as I write these words. Its verdict may be in by the time you read them, and there's a blog with the latest news--but that's okay because the point of this article is not to comment on the trial's outcome but to show what government had to do, in order try to silence an influential advocate of freedom. Its conclusion will be that government is wholly unfit...
The Power of One
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Jim Davies 2005-11-21 17:00
Exclusive to STR Nobody is better qualified than my friend Per Bylund to propose, as he did in a recent STR article, that we who yearn for liberty "save the world through saving [our]selves." Per is not only a brilliant thinker and prolific author (in two languages!) he founded an anarchist website before many of us got our brains in gear and has engaged in debate there all comers from...
Be Free
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Mark Davis 2005-07-10 16:00
The state has grown too big and powerful and conversely the individual appears small and powerless. Libertarians of all stripes can debate endlessly on why this has come about and where we should ideally be instead. When the question of what to do about it comes up, there is typically a moment of silence and perhaps a chuckle or two coupled with some frustrated cynicism. After this moment of...
Utopia vs. Liberty
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Richard Rieben 2005-07-18 16:00
In his insightful analysis of the Dark Side, STR writer Jonathan David Morris notes that, "The Dark Side of the Force is not evil for evil's sake. It's evil because it believes the ends always justify the means . . . .
The Preamble Reconsidered
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Jim Davies 2006-05-17 16:00
Exclusive to STR The Preamble to the United States Constitution is surely one of the most sublime paragraphs ever written. Before this dissection begins, let's prop it up and admire it in all its glory: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure...
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
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...