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  • Nov 13th, 2015 @ 11:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: For the Record...

    He probably couldn't afford a copy.

  • Nov 13th, 2015 @ 11:33pm

    Re: Where did we get this idea that a hidden opinion can be binding?

    The King rules because he is mightier than anyone else.

    But if someone is mightier than the King, that person is also righter than the King.

    If might makes right, shooting first is the most moral possible act.

  • Nov 7th, 2015 @ 7:14am


    So rename it MoneyBit. Problem solved.

    Unless the law describes exactly how BitCoin works, outlawing a name just results in a name change.

    The problem is that a lot of the mechanisms that make BitCoin work are also mechanisms built into the economies of many nations, including the US itself. Outlawing those mechanisms would kill every bank on the planet.

  • Nov 7th, 2015 @ 7:12am


    The thing is, gold is also a fiat currency. All money is -- the idea of money relies on the idea that the symbol of wealth equals wealth. Outside of certain industries, gold has no more value than aluminum or paper.

    You can't eat it, it makes a very poor blanket, you can't burn it for warmth, you can't build a house out of it and it only has value if people believe it does.

    Real wealth is the things you need to continue living, and the things that make life easier. Tools, houses, food, that sort of thing.

    Buying gold as an investment is all well and good so long as money is accepted in place of wealth. But in a crisis, where you're not sure if you have enough food to last until the good times come back, trading some of that food for worthless pieces of metal makes no sense -- the man who has piles of gold but no roof, no food, no warmth in a situation where belief in money breaks down is going to die.

  • Nov 7th, 2015 @ 7:06am

    Re: Easy to shut down

    That sounds like an awesome way to cripple your own economic hedges.

    If I hand you one dollar and you hand me four quarter-dollars, does either of us owe a VAT to anyone? No, because no value was added. This would especially apply to speculative transactions -- if you lose money on the exchange, does the government owe YOU a VAT?

    Nations buy and sell eachothers currency all the time, mixing taxes into currency exchanges kills that off, and those currency exchanges are one of the ways nations use to prevent their own total economic collapse when the economy suffers a downturn.

  • Nov 7th, 2015 @ 7:01am

    Re: One of the most interesting things is when you think about what bitcoin actually, physically, literally 'is'

    The thing is, ALL money has value only as long as it is believed to have value, not just fiat currencies.

    Money is a portable symbol of wealth, wealth that is often not portable at all -- for example, have you ever tried to pick your house up and carry it with you to a swap meet?

    This is as true of gold bullion as it is true of the US Dollar.

    Outside of certain industries that use gold as a raw material to create wealth, gold has more value per ounce than tin only because people believe it does.

    This is one of the things that killed off the Spanish Empire. They brought so much gold and silver back to Europe that they devalued gold to the point that it became a fiat currency, and inflation soared. It got to the point where people were directly bartering wealth, because gold was all but worthless.

    Wealth is those things that make like easier or even possible, from a car (and fuel) to the roof over your head.

    A lot of people get into trouble that way in times of crisis -- they invest heavily in gold or silver, rather than actual wealth. So the crisis hits, whatever that crisis may be, and suddenly there are people with lots of worthless metal -- you can't make useful tools out of it, you can't burn it for warmth and you can't eat it -- surrounded by people who have actual wealth but are unwilling to sell any of it for useless pieces of worthless metal.

    If you're preparing for a crisis you buy water filters, food, tents, weapons -- real wealth. Spend the fortune you would have spent on metallic fiat currency on useful things instead.

  • Nov 7th, 2015 @ 6:52am


    ISDS. If the crackdown happens after TPP gets ratified, the US would very likely get slapped down by an international tribunal if it tried to harm the profits of companies in Asia that way.

  • Nov 7th, 2015 @ 6:49am

    Re: history will repeat

    Well, now that TPP has been finalized, fast tracked by Congress and Obama is eager to sign it into law, there's a good chance that any attempt to shut down BitCoin will run into the new ISDS system.

    All it would take is one corporation that isn't based in the US to invest into bitcoins, and suddenly we'd have a state-actor harming the profits of a foreign sovereign corporation, something TPP prohibits.

  • Nov 6th, 2015 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re:

    Whoops, forgot to include example links: mp;coliid=I1MFPE5GS1G73F

  • Nov 6th, 2015 @ 11:56am


    That's why you treat them like any other thief.

    Buy an exploding dye pack just like the banks use. Install a small transmitter in your car to keep the dye pack happy. Buy a theater-prop cash bundle, and insert the dye pack. Now leave that little bundle of joy out of sight under the seat in an unlocked car parked near the police station that is doing these sorts of 'security' sweeps.

    As soon as the cop/thief gets 20 feet away from the car, there's this loud BANG and they're coated head to toe with permanent brightly colored dye that is as hard to remove as sharpie marker ink.

    Some dye packs even include tear gas in addition to the dye, for extra oomph. And the best part is, they're one hundred percent legal, since if they weren't then banks couldn't use them either.

  • Nov 6th, 2015 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re:

    Our Liberals aren't like liberals anywhere else on the planet.

    Above all else, Liberals want change from the status quo. In most places, this is a move towards increased freedom, since the government is totalitarian in nature.

    But our Liberals aren't like your liberals. Here in the US, the basis of all of our laws is that anything not specifically prohibited is completely legal -- and we have strong Constitutional protections that keep some types of prohibitions from being made at all.

    So our Conservatives are generally pro-freedom while our Liberals realize they can't force people to be just like them unless they get rid of some of those freedoms.

    Our Liberals would be Conservatives anywhere else on the planet.

  • Nov 6th, 2015 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You mean like the Fighting Whities? AFAIK nobody is calling them on their racism.

  • Nov 6th, 2015 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Conservatives and Progressives only look like opponents on that specific axis.

    If you add a Libertarian/Authoritarian axis, both the Democrat and Republican parties are obviously fellow travelers who agree wholeheartedly in Authoritarianism and only disagree on which Constitutional/human rights need to go away first.

  • Nov 6th, 2015 @ 9:51am

    Re: can't copyright a common word

    Yup, that's exactly right. If the state of Kentucky or the US government produced any item of clothing that contains or is stamped with the word Kentucky, the University would have standing to sue.

    Like, say, a t-shirt with the state seal on it, for example.

  • Nov 6th, 2015 @ 9:46am

    Re: Extra-governmental corporations

    Look on the bright side -- if a corporation gains the sovereignty that is traditionally solely the domain of nations, then they can suffer the traditional remedies to that sovereignty.

    Anybody want to lobby Congress to invade and conquer SONY?

  • Nov 4th, 2015 @ 9:57am

    Re: No, not really

    Well, since sovereignty has historically been solely the right of nations, if a corporation wants to pretend to be a nation, well, there is a historic remedy for that too.

    If Chevron is a sovereign nation unto itself, then Ecuador could invade it and seize assets in the amount of the unpaid debt.

  • Nov 4th, 2015 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re:

    Because the government has met the enemy and they is us.

  • Nov 3rd, 2015 @ 11:55am

    Re: No Cameras Allowed

    Given how often police target cameras, an idea I had years ago that seemed paranoid at the time is actually looking sane now.

    Put in an obvious data recorder, a second tucked away 'hidden' in a closet somewhere, a third cast into the foundation and a fourth off-site (even if just over the back fence with the neighbor's permission) and possibly a fifth somewhere in another state via internet.

    Good cops will subpoena a copy from the first recorder. Bad cops will make the first recorder disappear or destroy it in place, then go looking for a backup.

    Unless bad cops literally tear the entire neighborhood apart though, they won't get that fourth recorder.

  • Nov 3rd, 2015 @ 11:45am


    Very true. But it's hard to win a defamation lawsuit against you if you have previously argued that hyperbolic statements EXACTLY like your own are defamatory.

    If Woods wins, there are likely to be several people -- if not outright dozens -- who will be able to immediately sue him for defamation, probably in the same court with possibly even the same judge.

  • Nov 2nd, 2015 @ 5:33am

    But look on the bright side

    If using a Stingray does not require a warrant, then using one cannot be a violation of either the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act or an interception of telephone communications.

    After all, the only exemption to such violations being a crime REQUIRES a warrant.

    So they're not crimes. The nature of the law in the US is that anything not specifically prohibited is legal.

    If use of a Stingray without a warrant is not interception of communications, and using one to turn a phone into a bug via a firmware update doesn't require a warrant either, then it would be completely legal to do that to anyone, by anyone.

    Why bother with a FOIA request for the head of the FBI's email, when you can simply tap his phone 100% legally?

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