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Posted by on in Uncategorized

The US Dollar, as defined in the Coinage Act of 1792, is defined as about three-fourths of an ounce of silver.

These things that we are paid with today, and use to pay bills are not dollars per se, but rather a piece of scrip printed by the official sounding "Federal Reserve", which is actually a bunch of commercial banks that bribed Congress to let them counterfeit money and loan it to themselves. No, really. Look it up.

It isn't good business to change the name of a gourmet ice-cream when you sell out to Unilever, so likewise the banks  printing the new money didn't use a different name for their faux-money product.

To call one of today's greenbacks a dollar is like calling a mannequin a woman, and so it becomes necessary to call today's "dollars" by their proper name.

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Clownbux.

  • To call them Federal Reserve Notes lends credence to the banking fraud.
  • To call them Government Scrip makes them sound too official.
  • To call them Clownbux captures perfectly their kinship with Monopoly money, Chuck. E. Cheese tickets, and IOU's from passing vagrants.
  • To refer to the national debt as "17 Trillion Clownbux" cuts it down to its proper level of legitimacy.
  • To say the price is "42 Clownbux" helps everyone realize that maybe a sounder means of exchange is needed.
  • For a salary to be quoted as 70,000 Clownbux a year makes the jobseeker think to renegotiate terms and benefits.
  • It is easier to turn down Clownbux and ask for something else. "No, I don't want Clownbux. Got any ranch dressing?"

To continue to refer to debts and payments as dollars, as if that were a constant and real term, is to support the fraud. To use a different term devoid of sentimentality helps demonstrate how their value is constantly changing (for the worse), and that in time no one will take them seriously.

Furthermore, as nations around the world steal from their citizens by debauching their currencies, the term can be reused. EU Clownbux, Japanese Clownbux, and so on.

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Tired of replacing crappy new stuff constantly? Does it seem like they just can't build anything right anymore? It turns out that it isn't ignorance or incompetence making your stuff break, but a deliberate effort by intelligent people who know exactly what they're doing. It really doesn't have to be this way, and manufacturers can make equipment that lasts ten or a hundred times as long without breaking a sweat. Here are three well-known secrets that manufacturers would prefer you didn't know.

 

1. Most Stuff Can Actually Last Forever

Your ladle broke. It's time to get a new one. The steel handle just snapped right in half after a few years of use. Surely if they made the ladle twice as thick, it would last twice as long, right?

Wrong. It might actually last forever. All mechanical engineers are taught in school about how you can bend something back and forth only so many times, and then it will break. If you apply enough stress, the spoon (or beam, or coffee maker) will break right away, but over time metal fatigue sets in, cracks develop, and after a million cycles of being used, an item will break. Here's that chart:

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Sure enough, the less you stress something out, the more "cycles" you can get out of it. With less and less stress on the material, you can get more scoops, or cups of coffee, or whatever. However, with steel, you've got something called an "endurance limit", where it doesn't matter anymore. The number of cycles goes to infinity. You can scoop, and scoop and scoop with that ladle if it is made thick enough, and it will literally never break. It may wear completely down to a nub before that handle snaps.

And, looking at the difference between a two year spoon (10,000 cycles) and a forever spoon, you're only talking about a tiny bit more strength, and tiny bit more material. So, for what might be an almost unnoticeable amount of weight and expense, you can get pots and pans, spoons, coffee makers and truck springs that last forever. But, the engineers that determine the exact thickness and strength of components are acting under specific instructions to make things last a certain length of time, rather than producing the best product. The failure is planned and scheduled into the DNA of the product. This is called planned obsolescence, and its a scam that's been running since about 1950.

2. Car Engines Could Easily Last a Million Miles

There are car engines today that have lasted millions of miles. Most big-rig engines last millions of miles. Once again, there is no puzzle out of reach to modern science preventing cars from driving millions of miles routinely. Average industrial equipment is expected to last for at least ten years of continuous operation, which is equivalent to around 80,000 hours. If a car engine lasted 80,000 hours at 30 miles an hour, it would go 2.4 million miles.

The fact of the matter is that engines don't actually have to wear out ever. It is not only possible, but actually quite easy to design moving parts that experience essentially zero wear and will last tens of thousands of hours. With clean oil of good quality, parts will float on a film of oil and never touch.

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Once oil is contaminated, billions of particles of grit work to wear down engine parts. Oil changes do very little to remove this grit once it is in there, and oil filters fail to remove it effectively enough to prevent wear. Furthermore, cars are designed with insufficient oil capacity. Thus, we have engines that fail after 5000 hours instead of 80,000 or more. Engineers have been making equipment last ten times as long as cars for over 100 years, and there is no reason your car needs to die after 200,000 miles. Once again, engineers have been given specific instructions to defy their instincts and training, and create a device designed to fail.

3. Lead-Free Solder is Killing You and Your Products

It may seem like removing lead from solder (and thusly electronic devices) might be a good thing, and if you are eating solder or cell phones, it definitely is. However, lead-free solder used to assemble everything from car electronics to cell phones has a strong tendency to grow what are called "tin whiskers". These tiny, conductive filaments of tin literally grow right out of the solder joints holding wires and electronic components together, and once they get long enough, the device shorts out. That doesn't sound so bad, unless you're driving a Toyota and suddenly you start accelerating out of control.

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Aside from making everyone buy new stuff every few years, planned obsolescence can be downright dangerous. A couple-year lifespan is perfect for maximizing sales, and lead-free solder has been embraced with open arms by most manufacturers. It should be telling that the US military won't use it. Electrical engineers are well aware of this phenomenon and how it can lead to catastrophic failure. Once again, an intentionally poor manufacturing technique has been foisted on the public, and as electronics laden with every other heavy metal (besides lead) stack up in landfills everywhere, the environmental benefit is basically nil.

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

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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