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Richard Moyer

Richard Moyer

Richard is an engineer by day, and a political activist by night, fighting would-be totalitarians and government busybodies everywhere.

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Bitcoin was started in 2009 as open-source software for the secure, anonymous trading of purely digital "currency" called Bitcoins. By late 2013, the price of a Bitcoin in US dollars had gone from basically zero to around 1200 dollars. Many assumed that Bitcoin would become the world currency and replace all existing currencies, given the rate of growth. Unfortunately for the hopefuls, Bitcoins have somewhat stabilized at around $600.

However, since the software was open-source, everyone and his brother copied, pasted, changed and renamed their own "cryptocurrencies" that were functionally identica to Bitcoin. At the time of this writing there were 192 different currencies being traded and tracked, and no doubt hundreds or thousands more hadn't yet seen the light of day.

At some point during this article, you've got to go to coinmarketcap.com and see what I'm talking about. The website is a roster of all the major cryptocurrencies, tracking growth, volume and market cap for each one.

So what is the value of a Bitcoin when there are hundreds of billions of functionally identical "coins" floating around by different names? As time goes on they will all be equally acceptable and exchangeable, as Namecoins or Dogecoins can be traded for Litecoins or Bitcoins.

I predicted during the boom times in November of 2013 that Bitcoin would maintain an early adopters advantage, but ultimately the value of all cryptocurrencies would approach zero as there was no limit to how many could be produced.

An emerging pattern on coinmarketcap.com is the reduction in relative importance of Bitcoin in terms of trading volumes. Yes, Bitcoin is still king, but it only represents 57 percent of total trading value, down from 100% when they were the only kid on the block. Where does this end? What if Bitcoin only represents 2-3% of trading volume? What would happen to the price? What would happen to the price of other coins?

Ultimately, equilibrium will be reached. But, what is equilibrium? Presumably if there is no advantage between "coins", all coins will be worth the same. But what does a "coin" mean if they can be divided into infinitely tiny parts and there are an infinite number of coins? Isn't zero the only rational valuation of something with an infinite supply?

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As much as everyone likes the convenience of cryptocurrencies, and as much as people have invested in them, it seems impossible to believe that the entire technology, given its raging success so far, could collapse into nothingness. But, many other currencies all over the world, despite the protests of everyone holding them, have gone to zero because of exploding supply. Certainly, one cryptocurrency multiplying into 192 in a few years qualifies as an increase in supply.

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When it comes to home defense, a gun only works when you're holding it and its pointed in the right direction. That's awfully specific. A pit bull on the other hand, can protect a home with a couple barks, and unlike a gun they're always "on". So what is a pit bull?

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"Pit bull" is the name applied to a large collection of fighting dog breeds that have a certain appearance. They have short hair, muscular chests and a characteristic double-hump of bulging jaw muscles on top of their heads.

Pit bulls are widely misunderstood, and one must understand the dog's history to understand the dog. Originally bred for fighting, these dogs retain a puzzling tolerance for pain, a joyful, unrestrained relentlessness, and extreme protectiveness of their families. They are agile, fearless, and very curiously, have bulletproof heads. This takes us to our first item.

1. Your Gun Won't Take a Bullet for You.

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Hero Pit Bull Survives Being Shot in the Head

Pit Bull Puppy Survives Being Buried Alive and Shot Twice in the Head

Brave Pit Bull Survives Four Bullets While Defending Owner

Virginia Beach Pit Bull Takes a Bullet to the Head, Scares off Robbers

There's four stories, and there are many more. This phenomenon is not anecdotal, or miraculous, it is evidently quite common. People shoot pit bulls in the head, figuring that will be enough to put the dog down. But the pit bull keeps on coming. While a bullet to the head is discouraging to most, a pit bull sees it as a challenge.

2. You Can "Open Carry" your Pit Bull Without Issues

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Could you walk around the neighborhood strapped up with AK-47's? Would the police wish to question you? No problem with a pit bull. Now everybody knows you've got one at the house, and if your sleazy neighbor was casing your apartment, he just stopped. This takes us to our next point.

3. Your Pit Bull Can't be Used Against Youb2ap3_thumbnail_3Pitbull.jpg

People say you're more likely to have your guns used against you than you are to use one against an attacker. Pit bulls aren't like this. Unlike a baseball bat, gun or knife, the pit bull knows the difference between his good guys and the bad guys.

4. Your Gun isn't Alert 24/7 with Incredible Hearing

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One creaking floorboard, and the pit bull is on high alert. Food? Intruders? Intruders carrying food? The pit bull has to know. This is where a pit bull and a gun work together. The dog gives you the drop, and you can work together to do the rest.

5. Guns can't give you snuggles.

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They just can't. They don't stick their head out the window on car trips either. Your children won't fondly remember the 9mm pistol you had while they were growing up.

 

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There's a new addition looming pointlessly over police station parking lots across America. It's the MRAP, or Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected vehicle. Approximately a zillion different variants of the MRAP were built for the US military during the Iraq/Afghanistan occupation, and, as it turns out, they aren't especially good at doing anything. So, rather than maintain them, the military has dumped them off on local police forces.

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The top-heavy, elephantine vehicles are now a fixture across the US: a cursory search of recent news turned up articles like this one in 35 states (links at the bottom). We were unable to find AR, CO, DE, GA, HI, IL, MO, MT, NE, NJ, OR, PA, RI and WA, and please comment below with a link if you find one. SoTP was the first and only source so far to break the news on the Chickasaw, Alabama MRAP, so there are no doubt countless more six-wheeled monsters lurking on the gravel lots in Smallville, USA.

 

So what exactly does a giant armored juggernaut in every town really mean? There is a general sense of forbidding as people wonder what they could possibly need it for, or how it will be used, but speculation aside, how does this affect day-to-day operations?

 

Broadly, driving an MRAP will make a person feel invincible. How then, do people who feel invincible behave? Invincibility can lead to heightened aggression because there is no consequence for it, and at the same time, there is no reason to retreat. An MRAP gives it's user every reason to seek out conflict, and the heavy maintenance costs will give police departments every motivation to find uses for it.

 

A good example of this make-it-fit approach is the proliferation of SWAT teams and military-style raids on private homes and businesses to serve ordinary search warrants. The first SWAT team was organized in the late 60's after riots in Los Angeles actually saw the police with their .38 revolvers outmatched, but today nearly every police department in the US has some kind of "tactical response" team replete with helmets, goggles, vests and black, macho weapons.  Something like 40,000 raids per year are executed, many under ridiculous pretense. In one well-publicized event, the Gibson guitar factory, by most measures a peaceful operation, was raided by gun-toting jackboots for possibly having illegally imported wood. They didn't, and even if they did, one could reasonably assume that the Gibson employees wouldn't have started shooting if someone politely asked to take a look around.

 

So, because they have them, one can assume that the MRAP will make appearances every now and then, and how this will look is hard to say. Will they be used to bash down people's houses?

Will they contribute to public safety?

Will they accidentally kill innocent people?

Will they incidentally kill criminals?

Do we come out ahead as a nation?

Click on your state to see an MRAP article about your state:

AL, AK, AZ, CA, CT, FL, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MA, MI, MN, MS, NV, NH, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WV, WI, WY

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Obama may not realize it, but he is doing more for the cause of liberty in the United States than any president in recent history.

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Uninspiring and ineffective, he hasn't lately been able to do much of anything to actually curtail liberty as much as he'd like. However, like a chained dog, growling and foaming at the mouth, biting isn't necessary to tell everyone just how risky the institution of government is with fascists at the helm wielding enormous power.

  • Obama has ensured that stocks of guns and ammunition in the hands of Americans are at all-time highs.
  • Obama has motivated millions of Americans to get their concealed carry permits. If they weren't allowed to in their state, many changed the laws so they could.
  • Obama has demonstrated the frantic ineptitude of government more clearly with his signature Affordable Care Act than ten thousand pages of postulation by the Cato Institute ever could.
  • Obama has drawn into sharp focus the real nature of US foreign policy: make it up as you go, hope no one notices. American support for foreign adventures is at a historic low.
  • Obama has best revealed the nature of US crony-capitalism more starkly than any other president. While cronyism has been around since before President Grant, never have the people been so aware of the self-dealing Solyndras and CGI.
  • Obama has taught everyone a lesson in the dangers of fiat currency. Never before has the money printing of the Fed been so overt and so well publicized. Many are making the connection between prices, wages and the Fed that never had before.
  • Obama helped highlight the link between the military and the police by placing thousands of conspicuous, otherwise useless MRAP armored vehicles at neighborhood police stations across the country.
  • By beating the dead climate-change horse all through the worst winter in living memory for many Americans, Obama helped demonstrate the enormous gulf between politician's interests and the interests of the people.
  • We all got a lesson on the lesser-known amendments with the IRS scandal, Lois Lerner and Obamacare. Who was paying so much attention to the 5th, the 9th and 10th before all this?
  • With numerous well-publicized golf outings and lavish vacations, Obama, with the help of Joe Biden has ensured that the American people are well aware of the plush life of politicians enjoyed at citizen's expense. No phony GW Bush photo ops showing Obama with a chainsaw clearing brush in Texas. This man is all "let them eat cake", and he's not about to hide it.
  • Obama discredited the IRS, CIA and NSA more handily than any dissident ever could.

Can you name a guy who has pushed more people into action and outrage over the disgusting US political machine? I can't.

Can you name a better promoter of the 1st, 2nd and 4th amendments? I can't.

Let's all take a moment to be glad we don't have a more capable president who can wear the mask and fool the people more effectively.

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In 1973, Richard Nixon declared a "War on Drugs", pitting a militarized force of government agents against recreational drug users and their suppliers. For 41 years, this "war" has raged to no benefit and many terrible consequences. The worst of these effects might be the exploding prison population, as the new laws redefined otherwise peaceful people into criminals.

Just look.

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As people were harshly prosecuted under the new "war", there was nowhere near enough room in prisons to accept the flood of new-found felons. Prisons had been sized to accommodate violent criminals, whose population had remained basically constant throughout the 20th century.

In 1983, Corrections Corporation of America was founded in Tennessee to meet rising demand for incarceration. Ever since, an iron triangle of prison corporations, their lobbyists, and politicians eager to appear tough on crime have ensured the continued growth of the prison industry and the redefinition of misdemeanors as imprisonable crimes.

Lobbyists' push for harsher sentences to boost their bottom line is a naked act of aggression against their own countrymen, and ignoring the sleazy veneer of government officialdom, the prison industry is gunning for citizens to hold ransom on the taxpayer dime. In search of profits, the industry is ultimately incentivized to redefine everyone as a felon in need of hard time. US citizens would be wise to push for the end of private prisons altogether. Millions already found out the hard way just how easy it is to become profit for the prison industry.

The United States' first experiment with prohibition, the prohibition of alcohol, lasted only 14 years. It ended after the widespread appearance of what would be called "drug cartels" today, and a steady rise in the prison population. Ultra-rich criminals with squads of well-armed henchmen appeared overnight to meet the demand for liquor. Rather than reducing undesirable elements, the prohibition of alcohol only created new opportunities for would-be criminals to profit and thrive, and criminalized a large sector of the peaceful population.

This same lesson that prohibition empowers criminals should have been learned years ago with the near-immediate appearance of Pablo Escobar and other billionaire drug lords. Instead, the response has been to redouble the incarceration and criminalization of what is ultimately a non-violent act. Hand in hand with government, the prison industry has tried its best to expand beyond existing criminals and drug offenders to include everyone, creating an incarceration rate nearly six times as high as it was a century before with little to show for it.

It is time to end the "war" on drugs and the prison industry, lest we all end up behind bars for chewing gum in public or speaking out of turn.

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