The Hapless Consumers’ Whine: “I know a few people who have gone broke over Bitcoin…”

Christopher…I admire you ability to explain but still Bitcoin is no go for me…science of money is much more complex then crypto…a legal tender of a sovereign nation is different from a non entity posing as alternative money…look there is no way I will invest in fad….fiat currency is scary enough for me……BTW I know a few people who have gone broke over Bitcoin and others who cannot get back what ever is left of their investments. I wish you the best my friend….

I’ve been paying attention to Bitcoin since 2011, mining since 2012, and actually buying since the exchange rate was at $6. My motivation as a resource of information about it is not to try to convince people of to do something in which they are not fully versed. It sounds as though your friends who went broke didn’t understand what they were getting into and broke the main rule of this type of ‘gambling’, never invest more than you are willing to lose. Half-jokingly, I don’t consider anyone really serious about Bitcoin until, like me, they’ve held through at least two “crashes”, only then are they a “‘coiner”.

The saddest thing about US’s indoctrinated consumers is how they buy high and sell low; this is why workers continually sell their labor at a loss and spend their meager wages at premium retail prices. One thing the Bitcoin Protocol forces us to do is imagine a future wherein humans exist in a society with electricity and some form of internet; consumers, think in terms of immediate gratification as a part of their programming, and are typically unable to imagine a future too much past the next paycheck, the most urgent bills to pay, and the later buying spree sure to follow with the leftovers.

When they do invest in something, led by the loudest, cheerleading pump-and-dumper like CNBC or Fox Business Channel, insiders “naked sell” them an IPO (which is a true ‘fad’) at a top dollar figure dreamed up out of thin-air by a barking broker on a telephone. As the price immediately drops, consumers panic, as all weak hands do, and they’ll sell at a loss every time. They end up selling right back to the same brokers who are using the money just given to them. The fraud of “naked selling” is the brokers never actually owned what they sold to the hapless consumer; essentially, it was a human, believing in “their shot at being ‘rich’” but not properly researching, handing their money over to someone promising that they’d turn that money into more money. Consumer-investors suffer from “Gamblers’ Paradox” which says that after a series of losses, a win is due; however, it never happens if they never realize that the people promising to make more money out of their money are the same people who are the only ones winning.

Without a fundamental understanding of the Bitcoin Protocol and only looking at the volatile exchange rate, a consumer is incapable of understanding anything past the mainstream stories meant to sow Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD); stories written by ignorant mouthpieces of the same powers who stand to lose from even the tiniest amount of adoption of bitcoins as a transaction medium.

Indeed, it seems there are many on the right and left sides of the political spectrum who stand to “lose” from any other future outside of a dystopian hellscape which is supposed to be just around the corner. There is a concept called “normalcy bias” which describes how humans tends to conceive the future as being similar, if not exactly the same as the present and recent past. By taking advantage of this bias, certain elements in society successfully herd the masses with, as Thatcher put it, “there is no alternative”.
To be clear, no money originated because a government or a king created it; if it had, we’d have some historical record of the event and/or hold that king in very high regard for this invention. Economics is a social science and Currency/Money is a social institution that lubricates transactions between indivduals, and thus it was invented by humans who desired a more efficient means of exchange. The magic property possessed by, as you put it, “legal tender of a sovereign nation” is its blessing by the central authority to remit taxes using it; that and the fact that more can printed at any moment. One property of bitcoins, being outside of the normal modes of manipulation by the central bankers, is its ability to absorb the inflation created by excess printing of fiat currencies. This isn’t the only reason driving up the exchange rate, but I believe its one the main reasons why the central bankers, used to hiding evidence of their fraud, hate it so much.

Let me sum it all up by paraphrasing Mr. Clif High of halfpasthuman, it turns out that markets in which real humans are the participants are actually very volatile; something for which a lot of humans who rely on stability of manipulated markets and centrally planned economic roles don’t have the stomach.

Welcome to the 21st Century! Fun, ain’t it?

 

 

A Response to: “I am staying away as far as possible from Bitcoin and all other crypto….they are not real…”

The best thing about Bitcoin is that it is completely voluntary and no one who doesn’t want to deal with bitcoin is forced to, unlike other fiat-based currencies and the fraudulent financial transactions that create dollars. As Paul Krugman pointed out, the dollar’s value comes from the fact it is backed by men with guns to enforce their use.

The Bitcoin Protocol is an open-source, peer-to-peer communications network not controlled by any company, centralized body, or individual. Its like email, there are hundreds of email clients, yet there is no central ‘email processing’ authority; therefore all the clients agree to use the same protocol to efficiently transfer messages across different networks, servers, and operating systems. An individual could say they refuse to use email because they aren’t “real” letters, however even without corporeal form, emails are collections of electronic bits of information arranged in such a way as to be decoded or “read” in the same manner as written letters are, provided the sender and receiver write in the same language and agree to trade information to one another voluntarily. With each email transaction, value is traded in the form of the ideas or directives it contains; some information is more valuable to some than others.

Bitcoin Protocol is a trustless system of accounting of value units, which also bears the name ‘bitcoin.’ The invention as a technology and the insight of the decentralized blockchain as a superior means of record-keeping are very real and won’t be going away anytime soon. The invention has already pushed the computer chip industry to create even smaller connectors so that calculations will travel shorter distances and require lass energy. It is quietly creating a center of gravity into which the future of institutional money transmission is getting inevitably pulled.

One way to imagine where the value comes from is to think about the electricity that is getting burned in your house; what if there was a way to capture the electricity in a form you could trade with others? The millions of computers that are processing the math involved in finding blocks and adding to the blockchain are basically converting electricity into store-able units which can be traded from one person to another person anywhere on the planet regardless of coercive governments or regressive, middleman money transmitters.

The entrenched, centralized legacy banking system is basically a zombie. A hollow shell of reality, the banking system which controls the dollar is built on erroneous debt for which the risk has been transferred from the instigators to those who can least afford it nor defend themselves from it. Gone are the days of traditional banking, wherein the capital of depositors’ deposits were the basis for loans that built up businesses and community projects. In reality, deposits are bankers’ liabilities; their income is derived by a convoluted system of fraud which removes the wealth of communities and destroys capability for generating wealth.

The Bitcoin Protocol makes this fraud impossible because it does not allow a secretive body of connected families to create as much or as little dollars into the economy as suits them. There will only be about 21 million bitcoins created by the protocol, but the “currency app” of the blockchain is only one, and the first application that is developing. Notary service, decentralized automated corporations, and indestructible establishment of contracts and creative content are other applications that will revolutionize the authoritarian systems of coercion and control.

Bitcoin is still very much an experiment and everyone involved is a voluntary participant in the experiment. Its much like the internet was in 1994, when Unix was required and everything was command-line interface. AOL came along which connected millions of people to each other and provided a portal to the “internet” via spiders and web-crawlers. Then Netscape came along and suddenly it didn’t matter if you knew what tcp/ip was or not… you used it because the browser did… and you are still using it even if you’ve never heard of tcp/ip or http or even www. There will very likely be a day when the tangible credits you trade as money spend part of their existence in the electronic form of bitcoins.

Once Upon a Time on the Internet — “Bonsai Kitten”

Once upon a time on the internet, there was a site dedicated to showing pictures of kitties who’d squoze themselves into glass bottles. The site’s creator satirically created a narrative that the kitties were put there purposefully, and their growth filled the containers. The joke was following the designer-food trend from Japan, where cube-shaped watermelons were being sold by using the same technique.

Someone saw the site and didn’t get the joke, and so many complaints were filed, many shriekers shrieked, and many pleading emails were spammed out to garner support in shutting down said website which promoted such cruelty to animals.

It was all a “hoax”, but it illustrated the power of ignorance turned activism for which the internet has become famous.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonsai_Kitten

Bitcoin Meme Attack! Sports Vector Success!

http://i.imgur.com/q1aR9Ee.jpg?1 Oh my god! Check this out, here’s an human interest story! http://i.imgur.com/q1aR9Ee.jpg?1 So this college kid was shown on College Gameday this morning holding a sign saying, “Hi Mom- Send Bitcoin.” And he caught the attention of redit: http://reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1rs2zf/on_college_gameday_this_morning_new_way_for/ Well, 83 transactions later, the kid has amassed a princely sum of 22.35289752 Bitcoin! The current exchange average for bitcoin to dollars is at $1200 per bitcoin! https://blockchain.info/address/1HiMoMgBaAikFHgAt3M4YJtetp4HrnsiXu I haven’t read through to the end of the thread yet, but one of my twitter followers says the kid is donating his bounty to Sean’s Outpost, a homeless relief organization in Florida that is powered by Bitcoins. http://seansoutpost.com

Bitcoin Article BINGO

As we’ve read the latest “coverage” of Bitcoin by the mainstream press outlets, we’ve been inspired to create a little game to help bitcoin veterans make it through all the tedious re-hashing (pun intended) of all the points ‘the powers that be’ would want the media consumer to remember about our favorite cryptocurrency.’

Sandra created this game card; if you think of more terms or create your own cards, please let us know! And please donate for more content like this. bitcoinbingo

My Favorite Column on Tweetdeck

Twelve Hour Days and Twelve Hour Nights – How Fast does Your Part of the Planet Spin?

moon-earth-sun-08

From Ecuador Destiny Unbound:

Its time again to change the clocks this weekend. This will be our last ‘time change’, the crude ritual observed throughout North America where everyone (except parts of Indiana and Arizona) changes their clocks back an hour in the Fall. This is followed by the corresponding springtime ritual of changing the clock forward an hour. Being raised in North American, I have a vague understanding of the rationale, but my favorite joke about “Daylight Savings Time” is by Steven Colbert, “Daylight Saving’s Time is for lazy farmers who can’t wake up on time unless the clock changes by an hour.” Of course we know that’s not true, but it makes a funny joke; in reality, farmers are the most annoyed by DST. “Adding daylight to afternoons benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours,[3] but causes problems for farming, evening entertainment and other occupations tied to the sun.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time

Sky Time verses Clock Time

I’ve always been aware of the skies and celestial events, but I was still disconnected…I  never felt like I was standing on a round, spinning ball traveling through space.

That changed in 1997 when I was able to experience the world and observe the skies from the vantage point of Central America in March and then from 45 degree North of the equator in Maine the following September. The important celestial phenomena that was occurring that year was the Vernal and Autumnal equinoxes and the Summer and Winter Solstices were all coinciding with Full Moons at perigee. So the Full Moons were closer to earth in its orbit than during the rest of the month.

The difference that struck me, and changed my perspective forever, was watching the sunset in northern Maine while a full Moon was rising in the East.
From Costa Rica, at approx 15 degrees, one can observe the visible 1/2 of the sun at almost halfway around the horizon while the visible 1/2 moon comes around the eastern horizon.

But from the vantage point being closer to the axis of the Earth in Maine, one can observe the Full setting sun to the ‘southwest’ while SIMULTANEOUSLY observing the Full rising moon in the ‘southeast’. An amazing, humbling sight that is burned into my rods and cones, and I’m so grateful for that, this missive is just a shadow of the profound affect the event had on me.

What I also observed was not simply two round disks in the sky ‘above me;’ I suddenly realized that my vantage point was like the edge of the planet, and I wasn’t looking ‘UP’, but rather ‘OUT’ at these two-three dimensional objects.

Buckminster Fuller once asked a room full of scientists if any of them had observed the sun coming up in the East and going down in the West; almost all them, naturally responded that they had. Bucky was a funny old man with a manic style of speech, as though he had so much to say, he didn’t have time to pause his banter as normal humans do. So I imagine there wasn’t much of a pause in the room after the scientists confidently affirmed that the sun comes up in the east and goes down in the west, that Bucky silenced them by informing them that they had just demonstrated that their thinking is over 500 years old and called ‘Flat-Earth Theory.’ Indeed, the sun neither goes up nor down, but rather comes AROUND from the east to the west.

What is “UP”? If “up” is relative to the Earth perpendicularly “towards” the sky, then does that mean that “UP” is different depending from what planet begins the measure? Actually, starting from the ground and going towards the sky is “OUT” not “UP”. Are you still with me? Jumping ‘up’ into the air is really jumping ‘out’ from the surface of the planet. If this hasn’t confused you, then I have a better one coming up.

The other more esoteric revelation I had by observing the Earth and skies from such distant points within such a short period of time was how the experience of time passing is so different. While in a Latin American culture near the equator, I learned that days and nights were almost exactly twelve hours and work generally started much earlier than in the US; and here was, of course, the commonly known “siesta” time after lunch. There was also a difference in attitude when it came to when ‘NOW’ is, such as, ‘ahora’ in Spanish means ‘NOW’, but that kind of ‘NOW’ could mean within the next few minutes or the next few days… you know, the eternal Now that’s going to happen. I saw more than one expat and tourist in San José turning red-faced after being told that they’d get whatever sorted out ‘ahora’ and then they were just left alone. The subtle difference they’d not picked up was ‘ahorita’, “Right NOW”. By using one well placed “ahorita” in their request, the tourists or expats would have saved themselves many hours and nerves. But the point goes to show that North Americans, living on a part of the planet which experiences fluctuating daylight hours throughout the year due to seasonal migration of, as well as relative distance to the sun, have a sense of urgency when they are moving through their daily actions. This sense is not exactly shared by people living on the part of the planet with stable daylight hours. But let’s think about this using our new brains that see the sun coming around the horizon as the planet we are on is spinning to give that appearance.

Imagine the planet Earth as stack of disks. There is a small disk on the bottom at the South Pole with many, slightly larger disks stacked on top of each other to form a three-dimensional globe. There may be thousands of the disks, but the largest of the stack are at the center and the smallest are on the ends. Now, visualize two points, one right on equator at 0 degrees and the other point about halfway between the North Pole disk and the Equator disk directly north of the other point, that is 45 degree mark and representative of the place I was standing on in Maine in 1997. Imagine now that the globe made of the disks is slowly spinning; the two points keep their relative positions disappearing and reappearing around the horizons.

Now, remove all the disks in the stack EXCEPT for the ones with our points. The points on the two disks are still aligned, but what we see is the disk at 45 degrees is half as large as the disk at 0 degrees. If we measure around the perimeter using our points as the start and end points, we’d observe that the northern point is traveling a shorter distance in 24 hours than the equatorial point.

So in effect, people living around the Equator are traveling FASTER as the planet spins in 24 hours than people to the north or south are traveling on their bit of the surface of Earth! What does this tell us about how different cultures positioned on different parts of the planet’s surface experience time passing? Well, I don’t know! lol. I just know its different. Perhaps there is an explanation for why people are being drawn to equatorial countries like Ecuador; people who ‘feel’ the Earth spinning are being drawn to the fasted moving part because of a cosmic centrifugal force pulling them out to the edge!

North America has been described in such terms too; the US has been likened to a big pool of water… all of the excited molecules work their way ‘up’ to the coasts, the ‘surface’ of the pool, and eventually evaporate ‘up’ into the global atmosphere. Now as the Sun sets on the United Statesian Empire, the world is too great for stale, old two-dimensional thinking tainted with five hundred-year-old Flat-Earth theories and the allusions they create.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this missive as much as I’ve enjoyed thinking and writing about it. Are you feeling a pull somewhere you can’t explain?

Perhaps you are like us, and you too need to get to the Equator and feel what life and time is where the ground is traveling at the most ‘Extreme’ speeds of anywhere on this planet!

We accept bitcoin donations for more content like this: 1Ec7mQqSTks5fmhQuLTz9eZt78zSJY5tUB

 

dst ecuadordestinyunbound essay

Advocatus Diaboli

devils-advocate

The Tulsa Bitcoin meetups have been small in number, but the discussion has always been lively. They’ve attracted a small group of young miners, coders, curious financial types, and of course, enthusiast/speculators like me. Last night’s meeting attracted the self-proclaimed ‘Devil’s Advocate’.

First appearing on the Meetup site’s announcement page for a earlier meeting entitled “Let’s discuss how we can get local merchants to accept Bitcoin”, he inserted his opinion that matches the argument that Bitcoin’s appeal to the cutting edge technologists doesn’t crossover to businesses which are scared off by its illicitness and wild fluctuations.

Most of the meetups have basically been meet&greet type; as the organizer, I’ve tried to make sure everyone who shows up has a chance to introduce themselves and talk about what they are doing with Bitcoin, and that was how this meetup was going until Devil’s Advocate showed up to give his version of a reality check. Taking over the discussion and using the attention the rest of the group respectfully provided to him as a newcomer, he informed everyone on how Bitcoin is too esoteric and too difficult conceptually for most people, that business owners won’t accept anything that fluctuates so wildly, and that he doesn’t think the safety of the dollar is an issue and that government backed currency is not only safe, but the only safe ‘currency’ that will be taken seriously for the next fifty years.

He did make other points as a young, techy, web developer attendee argued the issues important to him and advocated for the ones he felt the DA was missing. One of the more amusing things, I thought, was when Devil’s Advocate pulled out a copy of the Slate article from last spring that called Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme and passed it around to help make his point. The point that as ‘regular people’ first hear of Bitcoin and google it, that was the article they would find and it just an example of bad stuff that will make up their first impression.

I asked about his experiences with Bitcoin and what he does and he gave me what I’d characterize as vague answers about having had Bitcoin once but not anymore and that he is a ‘tech guy’ into Apple and hinted that he builds websites and has experience with Google Adsense. He said he did want to acquire some bitcoin, but didn’t seem to want to go through the process of setting up an account on an exchange–or at least, he was very interested in my experience with doing it.

Later, as the evening was winding down, I asked him if he wanted to buy some Bitcoins from me and he said he did, but he didn’t have cash on him so he asked for my information to reach me later. His reason for wanting them was to buy some stuff online that is sold for substantially cheaper for Bitcoin than for dollars; this in itself wasn’t strange to me, but when he asked me to navigate to the website www.medsforbitcoin.com and started telling us about Modafinil, I started getting a bad feeling about the whole thing. This guy comes into a group of totally new people, announces himself as Devil’s Advocate because he thinks its important when there is a group of people who all are really into something to step in and give “a reality check”, and then shows everyone a website that is selling a Schedule IV controlled substance for Bitcoin and then describes the drug like a sales rep describes his too-good-to-be-true product. Who does that?

Perhaps I’m just paranoid, and he was just feeling comfortable with a new group of acquaintances and wanted to share his favorite wonder drug available with our favorite cryptocurrency….. but there was one other element that seemed odd. When he first arrived, he was with another gentleman to whom I introduced myself and welcomed to the group. After a few minutes, I realized that the gentleman wasn’t joining us, but sitting behind the DA at another table. Mainly absorbed in his smart phone, he did whisper into his friend’s ear and left about an hour later. Again, maybe its nothing and I’m just overly sensitive after experiences with dubious characters within the local failed ‘Occupy Wall Street’ sympathizer group.

Now that I’m getting ready to leave Tulsa for good, I will be handing off the organizing duties of the Meetup group to someone else, whichever one wants to do it; ultimately, no matter what I may have thought about the presence of ‘that guy’, the rest of members of the group will have to decide if they feel anything odd about him. I’m interested to see if he really comes back to another Meetup or whether this was his chance to make his point to enlighten others and will feel satisfied with his impact.

Interesting….as I finish this write-up, I’ve just gotten messages from him about hooking up for that deal. Let’s see what happens!

Thanks for reading.
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Don’t Forget to Hedge some Bitcoin in Gold and Silver!

Don’t forget you can use your bitcoins to hedge in gold and silver!

Dwolla says, “Yeeeeah, we don’t need ya’.”

Short version of the the email I just got, “You #bitcoin users just take your blockchain and shove up it right up your righteous asses and fuck right off now. Thank You!”

Old lady tells Mormans...

Dear Dwolla Account Holder,

As you know, Dwolla does not sell, accept, mine, value, take possession of, or hold Bitcoin or any other virtual currency product, and none of Dwolla’s users transact business with Dwolla using Bitcoin or any other virtual currency product. However, recent interest involving virtual currency and its exchanges has created uncertainty and confusion around virtual currency, and Dwolla’s relationship with a small number of its exchanges. This has forced Dwolla to reassign resources, funds, and services.

As Dwolla gears up for a new stage of growth, we recognize that we can no longer sustain this merchant base (.1 percent of Dwolla merchants) and its unique needs, and that attempting to do so jeopardizes both of our communities’ starkly different, but similarly ambitious, vision for improving payments.

Effective October 28, 2013 at 4pm CT, Dwolla will be withdrawing its service offerings to virtual currency exchanges and virtual currency related services.

What does this mean?

  • Your account, and its functionality, will remain unaffected. However, you can deactivate your account from within your Dwolla dashboard, if you so choose.
  • Dwolla aims to provide its users and the few affected merchants with the guidance necessary to ensure a smooth transition. To do that, we encourage users to over-communicate with our support team, report any suspicious activity, and revisit our terms of service to ensure uninterrupted services.

What is the timeline of events?

  1. October 10: Only existing users with a 30-day history with Dwolla will be able to send funds to merchants affected by this change.
  2. October 15: Affected merchants will be limited to sending money only, and will no longer be able to receive funds from customers. They will be able to issue refunds to customers at this time.
  3. October 28: Affected merchants’ accounts will be suspended. No further activity will be provided.
  4. October 29: Provided no security or fraud concerns, Dwolla will transfer any of the remaining funds inside the affected merchant’s Dwolla account to its linked bank account.

The decision to remove anyone from the network — no matter the circumstances — is not something Dwolla takes lightly. We are grateful for the opportunity to service and learn from these users. We wish the community and its pioneers the best.

Sincerely,
Dwolla Support

 

 

Bitvoucher’s Supply of Mega Vouchers is Running Out: “YEARLY VOUCHERS WILL NOT BE RESTOCKED”

Last night, one of my co-workers walked in where a few of us were sitting and asked if we knew what ‘Dropbox’ is.

Working at a local TV news station, I’ve learned that TV people still haven’t caught up with what’s going on with the internet, so it came at no surprise that one of the directors not only didn’t know what Dropbox is, we had to explain the concept of ‘the cloud’ to him.
After the explanation, I realized that the guy who brought it up was trying to get us to sign up for Dropbox to expand his storage from the paltry 2GB to the still-paltry 18GB they offer for free.

“Hold on,” I said, “you know about cloud, but do you know about the MEGA cloud?”

“No.”

This deserves a blog post!
Mega is the cloud storage service which replaced Megaupload, which the “authorities” took down in January 2012 in a politically motivated and thoroughly illegal raid and seizure of KimDotCom‘s New Zealand mansion. The “authorities” claimed that the operators of Megaupload knew that users stored copyright-protected material and shared the material, therefore they seizing all the data stored on Megaupload’s servers and destroying it is justified. In response, a dedicated group of technologists created Mega.co.nz; the key change from the original Megaupload is that all connections are encrypted and all data uploaded are also encrypted, and the user controls the key.

From https://mega.co.nz/#privacycompany :

“All files stored on MEGA are encrypted. All data transfers from and to MEGA are encrypted. And while most cloud storage providers can and do claim the same, MEGA is different – unlike the industry norm where the cloud storage provider holds the decryption key, with MEGA, you control the encryption, you hold the keys, and you decide who you grant or deny access to your files, without requiring any risky software installs.”

 

Another thing that blows Dropbox out of the water is that Mega‘s free membership offers 50GB of storage up front, with no artificial limits imposed; that means that during traffic congestion, the speed is adjusted to a lower value until the servers are no longer overwhelmed.Paid memberships offer a variety of levels of space and bandwidth, depending on user’s needs.

They start with 500GB of space and 1TB of BW per month, available in monthly (9.99Euros) or yearly (99.99Euros) subscriptions. Explore the premium services at their website.
The best part of Mega is premium membership vouchers can be purchased with Bitcoin! Click here to see  all of the options available! Not to sound cliché, but ‘time is running out’ on these deals. If you look at the bottom of the page, the yearly vouchers for the upper tiers are out of ‘stock.’ The only annual vouchers left are for the 500GB plan, so anyone who wants to take advantage of a great deal better act fast!  Click here to buy vouchers with bitcoin right now!

Need Bitcoins? The easiest way to get started now is to set up an account with Coinbase! Click here to buy Bitcoin.

In theory, I could support Government….BUT….

If the government acted as a neutral administrator of natural resources to which all life is inheritor thereof, then I would support it and buy into the idea of taxes as a contribution to the commonwealth and beneficial to us all; however, as it is, a private State Power coerces through deceit to concentrate wealth with which they control the mechanism of government to create a dependent class of recipients of distributed ‘benefits’ which support the corrupt system and to deflect all tax liabilities on the working class of creators, builders, and otherwise ‘middle class’. They define their ‘wealth’ by their control of personal and public debt.

As it stands, the treasury keeps issuing bonds (which is another way to say ‘borrow money’ with the collateral being the promise that your grandchildren will keep paying their taxes), banks keep issuing ‘mortgage-backed securities’ (which is another way to say ‘borrow money’ with the collateral being the promise that every mortgage will always be paid on-time for the next 30 years), and the Federal Reserve keeps buying up $84 billion per month worth of Treasury Bonds and Mortgage-backed security Bonds (which is another way of saying ‘printing money out of thin air’). That $84 billion a month is literally coming out of worker’s earnings and savings, community enterprise, and pensioners’ accounts and straight into ‘Dark Pools’ of capital. The same capital that pays to elect the worst humans possible as “representatives” of the “people” to make decisions like the shutdown, with which we’re all being collectively punished.

Sorry to go off….That’s the ‘real news’ I wish political theatrics wouldn’t obscure.

1GttkvbJLDUvAUKymjbJfeRw6hZUCSPd3s
Tips incentivize more content like this.

Aaaaaaaaand, Its Gone.

paycheck_to_paycheck

Reference: Dynamic Bitcoin Prices for Common USD Denominations

Hat tip to fizzisist.com for creating a handy Bitcoin dynamic price image generator! This is a nifty little tool to use for converting small, non-whole amounts of US currency into a bitcoin price.

Here are some small dollar amounts with their corresponding bitcoin prices. These prices change with fluctuations in bitcoin->USD prices, so bookmark this post to have a handy page to check prices.  If you want to have a look at BTC->gold/silver prices, be sure to check out our chart page!

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Not Impressed by “Great Bitcoin Debate”

I guess the best that can be said about this “debate” is that its unimpressive… otherwise, Rickards’ position about the government against bitcoin sounds like the state’s argument against marijuana…. they may be able to make the plant illegal, but they can’t stop the soil from growing the seeds.

The pro-bitcoin guy seems unprepared and there just to introduce bitcoin, not defend it…. not that it needs ‘defense’.

On the whole, I don’t think this debate is going to be helpful for the bitcoin ecosystem, Rickards’ angle seems to be meant to inject the next wave of claptrap into the ‘American School Libertarians’ who subscribe to his cult of personality. Mark my words, at some point, prepare hear the same waggy-finger tone coming from some government-hating (authoritarian loving) “Libertarian” saying, “If you don’t think the gubermint isn’t going to come after you and your bitcoin, yer an idiot!”

I’m not going to be ‘skeered of yer gubermint’ any more for using and advocating Bitcoin than I have been for any other arbitrary thing the state may decided to persecute me for choosing, whether it be justified or not.

The big, bad government does not have a legitimate problem with Bitcoin, the government itself has a legitimacy problem.

 

“Reward Cards” and Government Employees’ Government issued Credit Cards

I saw a headline making the rounds on the ‘reactionary press’ (context: anti-Obama) “1,000 IRS EMPLOYEES MISUSE GOVERNMENT CREDIT CARDS” and it reminded me of the ongoing, nice and tidy scam, (ahem, I mean ‘benefit’) that many government employees enjoy thanks to the credit cards issued to them by their government agency to use for gas and other ‘expense report’ type costs they incur as apart of executing their duties.

So, how does it work? I’m glad you asked. Its simple. Say you work for an agency that requires you to travel as a part of your normal duties; the agancy issues you a credit card for you to use to pay for your gas, hotel, and daily food costs on the road. You, being a meticulous and dutiful employee, take great pains in tracking your expenses and keeping all your outlays well within the guidlines of acceptable purchases.

But what about those rewards the gas station offers? What about the rewards, miles, and loyalty programs offered by airlines, car renters, and hotels? Do you still dillegently keep seperate rewards programs tied to the taxpayer-funded credit card from your personal accounts? Hmmmmm. The answer seems to be, “Why would I do that?”

It would seem, despite the practice being illegal, there is a sizable amount of government employees paying for services with their government agency-issued credit cards but claiming the rewards generated by the transactions with their personal accounts. Its really unknowable how much the final dollar-amount of “benefits” amounts to since there are literally millions of government employees who ‘could be’ (wink-wink, nudge) practicing this little trick.

We wait to see if there is any media on this little trick. We’ll post something if we find it.

Countdown to Facebook Profile Deletion

I will be shutting down this facebook profile at the end of this month. Please continue to follow on my ‘like page’ , twitter feed, youtube channel, and of course here on the blog at www.earthbus.org.

Thank you.

Thoughts on School Administration and The Gifted & Talented Drop Outs

Of the many things that happened when I went to school in Lubbock, Texas, there are two specific events that summarize my experience dealing with the administrators of Lubbock Independent School District’s Coronado, the high school I attended in the late eighties.

Let me start with the result, I didn’t listen to the adults’ advice to me and each event further undermined the trust in any and all “administrators” I may have, otherwise been able to keep up had they left me alone. That said, let me tell you what happened.

Of course, if you attended public school in the last thirty years you too have been subjected to any variant of alphabet-titled standardized tests. Of all the standardized tests, the one that we had to take every year was the CAT tests; during high school, we were also subjected to more advanced standardized test in addition to the PSAT, SAT, and ACT tests for college placement.

During the spring of my sophomore year, I along with about 15 others were called out of class to the office. Personally, I thought I’d been busted skipping (a new skill I was still in the process of perfecting), but as the group assembled in the office and was then shuffled into the main principal’s office, none of them were part of my normal social circle and skipped with me.

There were a few in the group who knew each other from having attended the same elementary or junior high schools, but overall, it seemed very interesting to the adults there that we were all pretty much isolated from one another. The guidance councilors and the principal were joined by a couple of others from ‘main office’ to explain to us that out of the 650 people in our high school, not only had we scored the highest on the battery of tests of everyone, the such-in-such test had placed all of our IQs as above 124 with more than a third of us having placed above 145. (They treated those results as abnormal and de-emphasized them as inaccurate and thus refused to name the people.)

Of course, they weren’t there to congratulate us or tell us that we’d graduated early or anything; after telling us we were the smartest people in the school and acknowledging that they knew we were ‘bored’ with their curricula, they proceeded to yell at us for “not living up to our potential” and were not doing enough to support the school. You see, what set all of us apart from the “smart kids” in the Advanced Placement and Gifted & Talented programs was that we were all, either already in ‘basic’ classes or failing our normal classes.

“You are bored in the classes you are in now, we know that,” they said…. “…the curricula designed for these classes are not meant for you. But here’s the deal, we can’t just put you in the advanced classes without you having earned it first. It just wouldn’t be fair to the kids that have worked hard to keep up the grades to earn their spots to be bumped. In order for you to be placed in the classes that are designed to teach to your level of ‘genius’, you are all going to have to DO BETTER IN THE CLASS YOU ARE FAILING NOW.”

And the air was let out of the room as 16 supposed ‘geniuses’ leaning forward on the edge of their chairs all sighed at once and returned to their usual slumped-position.

WTF were they thinking? The deal they offered us was ‘NO DEAL’… “…do better in your classes, get tutoring so you can bring up your grades… after your GPAs come up enough, then we’ll consider transferring you to the classes that you’ll really excel in.” This was the process that everyone had to follow to get into the ‘limited availability’ of the AP and GT classes; so why bother calling us in to tell us that? To ‘motivate’ us?

So obviously, the smartest people in the room didn’t fall for the dumb administrator’s attempt at ‘reasoning’ for us to do better in their school. Despite a long, drawn-out explanation of how the state grants more funding for the advanced programs based on higher participation rates verses the general population of students (yes, they used prison jargon for the student body, I’m not being hyperbolic) and due to our under-performance in our basic/regular academic classes verses our test scores, WE specifically were costing the school district a certain amount of money they could be getting if we’d just “live up to our potential” and ‘do better’.

We all remained still and silent until we were dismissed back to our basic and regular classes in which we’d been sleeping, or reading, or working on whatever on our own that was more entertaining to us than whatever blah-blah-blah the teacher was reading out their ‘teacher-edition’ books to the class.

I can only speak for myself, but as far I know and kept up with the others after that, NONE of us ever ‘applied ourselves’ anymore to get access to the ‘smart kid’ classes. In some cases, I’m pretty sure the incident caused some of us to put a little more effort into ‘not trying.’

Which leads to the next incident I experienced with the school’s “guidance councilor” and the following spring during my junior year.

This time, I went to the office on my own. In some moment of teenage angst, etc. I decided to seek guidance from the office and check on that deal from the year before. Its funny, I have a pretty good memory for my past, and some say I have an extraordinary memory for details once I do start remembering something, but for some reason, I can’t remember what had gone on in my life that I actually thought going to the office and talking to someone would help. I must have had some real trouble, but whatever it was, the “guidance” received was not only inadequate, the incident is a moment seared in my memory as one of the more traumatic episodes of “WTF is going on here?” I’d experienced up to that point.

Of course, when a student wants to see an administrator in the office, they aren’t available or resent the idea that the student expects them ‘on-demand’, so even though he was in his office during lunch time, he made me wait about 20 minutes. Then his secretary asked me about my classes in the afternoon so she could just send for me during one my elective classes. So two hours later during English, I was called back down to see him.

I told him that I was pretty unhappy and wanted to ‘do better’ but was so bored in class, like we’d been told the year before. Do you think he remembered the year before? Yeah, right. Of course he didn’t, and after he gave me a sideways look when I mentioned it and asked what I was talking about, he told me that if it had happened, he certainly wasn’t present when it may or may not have. (He was.)

So…. he calls me a liar.

Then when I start parroting the SAME language they’d used about me being bored in the normal classes and self-applying some of the other things they’d said the year before, and while I was talking–before I was finished, he started pulling out forms and paperwork. Then he said, since I turn 18 during the summer, all I can do is sign the forms that would effectively DROP ME OUT OF SCHOOL.

I can remember him yammering on about this and that (too late to ‘do better’ and some people aren’t meant for education) for about 5 minutes, but I just sat there and felt like my life was being flushed down the toilet. I may have been bored in school, but I’d been propagandized about what ‘losers’ who dropped out of high school were doomed to become.

I think I took the forms and left, but I didn’t sign them, and I never went back to the office (for any reason other than getting caught skipping class). I didn’t even tell my mom about it; except I did loudly balk at the news’ announcement about how high the drop-out rate was in Lubbock at the time.

I’ve always wondered if there is a group of kids pulled into the principal’s office every year and told to ‘do better’, and I’ve always wondered what percentage of the drop-out rate of LISD were actually kids like me; kids who were pressured to sign the forms by stupid guidance councilors who just wanted to go home at the end of the day.

Max Keiser as Guest makes for a Great Show!

Listen up.

If you really want to know what is going on with the economy, beyond the blue vs. red puppet show in politics and purchased/filtered re-re-re-written news in the media…take 90 minutes of your time, and watch this candid interview with Max Keiser and Alessio Rastani, a trader who shocked the world last year when he said on BBC that Goldman Sachs runs the world.

Max is an outrageous personality at times, and his ‘animated outbursts’ are a turn-off for some people; if this describes you, then give this interview a try. With the tri-split screen, you can share in the discomfort of the other two guys as their faces and looks to each other while Max screams show that they aren’t used to his style either.

Max talks more about his background starting in stand-up comedy back in the 80s while he was also a stock broker on Wall Street. In context, he’s more like the late, great Sam Kinnison, only instead of screaming about evil succubii like his ex-wife, Max screams about evil criminals like bankers. https://t.co/sEWKy4uMnK

P.S. Warning–once you have more understanding of the economy and fraud of the plutocracy and its compliant State, you WILL discover that more people prefer to talk about the polished, tested puppet show called national politics than would like to know one thing about the farce that really runs their lives.

Charley’s Stash is updated

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