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Roger Ver to match $10,000 of bitcoin donations for AntiWar.com, again!

This past August, Antiwar.com announced that Roger Ver would be matching up to $10,000 in bitcoin donations during the organizations summer fundraising drive. The drive was a successful one and that matching donation was seen on the block chain shortly after the conclusion of that effort. Now in a tweet sent out earlier this week Roger pledged once again that he would match up to $10,000 for bitcoin donations during this current fundraising drive.


This type of support is huge for this 20 year old organization. AntiWar.com operates on a very thin budget and has a small but dedicated staff working in the trenches everyday combating the war time propaganda spouted by the mainstream media. If you find this a worth while cause and would like to help end the warfare state by spreading a message of peace and prosperity, please consider a tax deductible donation to AntiWar.com today. You can learn more about all of the ways you can support this 501c3 organization at Antiwar.com/donate or have your bitcoin donation matched here at Antiwar.com/bitcoin. You can also verify the most current bitcoin address via Bit.co.in/Antiwar

For this fundraising effort Bitcoin Not Bombs has deployed the “Peace bot”. A twitter application that will auto tweet donations to AntiWars public bitcoin address, follow along and shout out your donation as it’s live tweeted. Not only is this a fun acknowledgment of Antiwar’s bitcoin supporters but is also a great way to share the benefits of bitcoin with supporters who may have not yet looked in to the new peace currency.

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Asset Backed Cryptocurrency Warcoin Seeks to Ease Volatility Woes

A San Francisco startup has announced that it has created a new digital currency that will solve the pesky problem of bitcoin’s volatility. Dubbed warcoin, the digital currency will be backed by the military industrial complex—a stable and even growing industry that its creators argue provides real value to the cryptocurrency.

“We wanted to make a coin that utilized this fledgling blockchain technology but was unburdened by uncertainty in the economy. If there’s one industry that’s going strong, it’s the trade of arms to military insurgencies all around the world and the rebuilding of other countries torn apart by revolutions. I mean, we’re not going to stop aiding brown people any time soon, so why not?” exclaimed founder, investor, and former child star Thad Stab.

Warcoin would operate on the same blockchain technology as bitcoin, but as we’ve seen in the last few years, bitcoin’s volatility has some investors worried. A 10,000% increase in one year is dangerous not only to those concerned with stability, but also to those trying to keep the dollar fueled economy afloat.

With some countries eyeing currencies to use other than the petrodollar, global skepticism could spell bad news for the US, which relies on people using its currency to prop up a failing economy and hide the massive debt accrued from decades of borrowing for humanitarian causes.

Co-founder Sieve Farthings had some insights to add about warcoin’s philosophic potential:

“Warcoin seemed like the logical next step. We can’t have people rushing into new digital currencies that could rob them of what little wealth they have accumulated. There needs to be stability, and right now there are few things more stable than our military’s economic and physical grasp over noncompliant countries. Warcoin, like bitcoin, is about ideology too. Do you want to support a currency that may siphon funds from the greatest world power to have ever existed? One that could result in the deaths of thousands of innocents who were unable to get our assistance? We’re changing lives for people all around the world by bringing them a heaping helping of democracy in an explosive package. I think we all know the name for people who would wish to prevent us from saving these victims of tyranny—terrorists.”

Libertarians and anarchists have hailed cryptocurrencies as a way to hide their wealth and transactions from government agencies, but Farthings and others view these “fringe idealists” as damaging to the ethics and funding of humanitarian military actions.

It is rumored that Raytheon has quietly partnered with Stab and Farthings to provide more tangible assets to back warcoin despite their earlier support of bitcoin. You will also be able to exchange warcoin for US dollars at FinCEN compliant exchanges for a reasonable fee. Stab said he realizes that carrying cash is becoming a thing of the past.

“People want cool codes they can scan on their phones to send money and paper dollars are so 1900’s. Why not be able to turn dollars into digits you can transfer on your phone and have the stability associated with the globalization of altruistic military actions? Peace of mind can come from knowing your digital currency will always retain its value as long as the US is engaged in carrying out these special missions.”

Warcoin’s founders are also building relationships with banks like JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, who are notorious for their efforts to bring transparency and efficiency to banking. Their charitable efforts to work with homeowners hit hard after the housing crisis are fresh in the minds of Americans and Stab and Farthing think the familiarity of the banks will give consumers comfort. By fusing banks with exchanges, people may feel more safe as reports of mismanaged cryptocurrency exchanges continue to surface.

“The experience and reputations of these banks make them a perfect fit for integrating currency exchange functions that can support warcoin. If we don’t get these major players involved in this exciting new technology, average people are going to be suspicious and it may never catch on. It doesn’t have to be that way.” Farthings reassured reporters.

Digitizing the dollar into a currency backed by the most robust part of the economy could be very lucrative for struggling banks, venture capitalists, and weapons manufacturers who were unjustly harmed after the financial crisis and scaling back of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the recent transfer of 300 US advisors to Iraq, the perfect storm may be brewing for this festive new digital currency.

 
*Thanks to the Wall Street Journal for inspiring this piece.

Original content by Meghan, copyleft, tips welcome




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What a difference a year makes at Antiwar.com

As you all know by now bitcoin broke 1,000 fiat war dollars today, but what you may not know is one year ago today Antiwar.com finally jumped in to the currency revolution and started accepting bitcoin donations. Bitcoin was around 10 or 15 dollars at the time and Antiwar staff had some hesitation to get in involved in the relatively new crypto-currency. Back then the common objections were, “Can we get ‘real’ money for our bitcoin? Do we have to allocate our time learning some new strange technology?” After a short 15 minute phone call and setting Director of Operations Angela Keaton up with a CoinBase.com account, I assured her it was as easy as PayPal to use and I had her send the bitcoin address to my inbox. I was ready to send the first bitcoin donation to end war! At the time WordPress had just announced that it would take bitcoin for its website services and the bitcoin community was a buzz with coins being sent to just about any website that would start accepting them. Angela posted that long string of numbers and letters on the sites blog and thought for sure only a few donations would come in. It was an interesting experiment to the staff at Antiwar.com, but 72 hours later and after $1000 dollars in donations the experiment was no longer seen as just some fringe geeky internet money anymore.
Angelaandvader
Angela and Uncle Vader

Shortly after Antiwar found success in the bitcoin space big names in libertarian circles started taking bitcoin donations. Sites like Lew Rockwell and Ballet Access News announced that they would jump on the band wagon. The Austrian school economists could no longer ignore the bitcoin and discussion on libertarian blogs picked up. In May, along with Stephanie Murphy and Teresa Warmke of Fr33 aid, and Free State Project President Carla Gericke we traveled to the first US bitcoin conference put on by the Bitcoin Foundation. The ladies where to give a panel talk about non profits and bitcoin. (Video at the end of post) As we walked in to the San Jose convention center Friday afternoon we saw a huge empty arena and hundreds of empty seats. I remember remarking to my partner Davi Barker “It’s a barn, they will never fill it.” But by the first night, hundreds of Bitcoiners poured in to the hall and Angela later said to us “I had no idea it was this big, that so many people where excited about bitcoin and would come to such an event.” That was the moment and that night it finally became clear to all of us that this was not going away. Whether you’re a libertarian or not, this new state-bank-crushing currency is not going to fade away quietly any time soon.

So, it’s one year later and Antiwar is no longer looking to find an easy way to cash out. The site is holding bitcoin in a strategic reserve and ready to launch new efforts to end war and imperialism around the globe with a currency that is not directly contributing to the madness it seeks to end. Future efforts of oppression around the world will be met with contributions from a very generous community that is fundamentally opposed to bankers and political sociopaths sending our young brothers and sisters off to die in meaningless conflicts that we have no business fighting in the first place.

Antiwar.com is currently in its end of year fundraiser and needs your help to keep operations going next year. As a division of the Randolph Bourne institute Antiwar.com is a proper 501(c)3 and donations made in fiat are tax deductible. The site has also published a litecoin address on the blog. While I greatly respect the opinion of bitcoin diehards like Erik Voorhees, it’s not up to us if litecoin will succeed as a crypto-currency. If the coin has a use advancing Antiwar.com’s mission then it has value to us. Learn more about donation options at Antiwar.com/Donate or call the office directly at 323-512-7095.

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Bitcoin Goes to Mordor

Mordor, affectionately known as Washington D.C., appears to have taken an interest in bitcoin lately. With the price rising rapidly over the past few weeks, sociopaths under the title of “senators” held meetings this week on what to do about this strange, new digital currency. They asked all of the vital questions: How would they tax it? Why would anyone want to use it when there’s the perfectly good dollar still around? Are they tools for terrorists? Can I eat them? Can I buy hookers and blow with them? (Oops, strike that from the record.)

Representatives from the Bitcoin Foundation appeared before the senators to calmly assure them that these new-fangled blowstamps are benign and simply another form of currency. While technically you could buy blow with them (just as with blood dollars), you can also buy a variety of legal, everyday items like suits or jackboots. The curiosity from the lawmakers was bound to come with the rise because everyone who has heard of them is thinking the same thing: “How can I make money off of bitcoin?” The old adage remains true; buy on the dips. But the dips bitcoin has been experiencing have been brief, so pay attention.

Even Ben Bernanke seems to have to have some opinions on the cryptocurrency, and though the Fed chairman is much maligned by the bitcoin community and others who disagree with his “solutions” to the economic instability we are experiencing, he actually appears to have no interest in regulating bitcoin. Admittedly, he writes that the Fed is bound by law from regulating bitcoin:

Although the Federal Reserve generally monitors developments in virtual currencies and other payments system innovations, it does not necessarily have authority to directly supervise or regulate these innovations or the entities that provide them to the market. In general, the Federal Reserve would only have authority to regulate a virtual currency product if it is issued by, or cleared or settled through, a banking organization that we supervise.

While there is always the ability for more laws to be made and senators no doubt still have the power to make them, it must be frustrating for them that the speed at which they can make a law is so far behind the speed at which technology is advancing. And always will be. While many senators seemed genuinely curious and—dare I say—excited at the prospects of cryptocurrency, on some level they must realize that it makes their efforts at regulating commerce futile.

Deep Thoughts by Senator Kirk of Illinois
Deep Thoughts by Senator Kirk of Illinois

It also makes them irrelevant in the long term because if more people simply opt out of the dollar, their war machine suffers and the profits that go with it go kaput. Also, if doctors, already furious at the impending implementation of the Affordable Care Act, choose to perhaps accept bitcoins or cash only instead of insurance it would strike a major blow to the industry. Of course it is hopeful conjecture that doctors would jump on the bitcoin bandwagon, and the ACA is doing well on its own at proving the inefficacy of centralized control over healthcare.

Politicians are playing nice in regard to this bitcoin phenomenon for now and in all seriousness during the hearing they seemed interested in understanding more. I think that’s great that they as individuals sincerely want to know more about this currency, though some were dismissing it as a passing fad. However, they are fully aware of their role in the greater machine of the state, and make no mistake once they (if they haven’t already) gain a full understanding of just how severe a blow bitcoin and other altcoins could make to their power structure, they will be taking action against it. Thankfully, they will be hindered by the tedious legislative process of their own design while bitcoin users carry on unaffected and technology improves at an awe-inspiring rate. The war makers will have been outpaced by the time they get around to passing a law, and if they think some scribbles on paper can stop the momentum of bitcoin, I suspect they are in for quite the surprise.

To hear some witty commentary on the Senate hearings check out these videos from Peace News Now‘s Derrick J. Freeman featuring Thomas of Mad Bitcoins and our own Davi Barker:


Be sure to show some mad love to Derrick J and Thomas by subscribing to their Youtube channels.

Original content by Meghan, copyleft, tips welcome

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Abolishing the Ideology of the Petrodollar

*Editor’s Note: This article recently appeared in the latest edition of the Freedom’s Phoenix E-Zine. The theme was “What to Keep and What to Discard,” and while some suggestions were centered on federal agencies, I thought it fit to make the case that we discard the ideology behind the Federal Reserve Note. The following contains some familiar concepts previously discussed on this blog, but also some new terminology.

During the government shut down, we got to see exactly which agencies were useless and which ones should have been shut down. Out of the myriad of three letter parasites, agencies like the DEA, IRS, FBI, DOJ, EPA, and DOE frequently top the lists of agencies that anarchists would eliminate if given the chance. I’d like to suggest a different approach; an ideological elimination of sorts.

Many of the problems people are experiencing are a direct result of misplaced faith in fiat currency namely the petrodollar. Older generations have gotten rich based on this faith and a stronger economy that allowed them to take advantage of the dollar’s strength and are now expecting retirement at 65 with a good couple of decades of leisure; spending their dollars and money accrued from investments on sections of the economy that produce nice feelings but not tangible goods.

Younger generations have no retirement to look forward to as they must pay for the healthcare and social security expenses of these retired individuals who had the luck to be born into a time unlike any other in history. The parents of baby boomers and former generations worked into old age, and their children will likely be facing the same. But boomers lived through a more prosperous economy, had the time to invest in real money (gold and silver) when it was affordable, and feel entitled to the wealth of others despite having had ample opportunity to build their own. They taught their children many of these same attitudes and gave them advice that is not applicable to the ever changing world we inhabit.

The idea that money is something that can be indefinitely printed as long as other countries accept it for oil or drug laundering is a dying one whether or not it is expressed by the modern zeitgeist. Millennials have been taught to have the same faith in fiat that their parents have, but even governments in other countries have been slowly moving away from using the dollar for trade. Middle Eastern and African countries have tried to request gold for payment in oil trading, while the Yuan is becoming a major player in worldwide markets. There’s only so much the government can do to prop up the extrinsic value of the dollar, but its death is good news for people who have distanced themselves from it.

Cryptocurrencies provide hope for younger generations looking to escape the burden of debt that has been placed on them. I believe they are useful for all generations, but especially younger ones who have grown up with a tighter grasp of technology. As more people put their paper dollars into currencies like Bitcoin, more questions are proposed and challenges to Bitcoin’s practical appeal are put forth to discourage usage. But the users of Bitcoin recognize the hypocrisy in criticizing their preferred currency because the same critiques can be made of the dollar.

Even leaving ethical considerations out of the argument one has to consider what is a dollar really worth? Well, many would answer it is worth what it can buy or that it is tied to very powerful interests and used to trade very valuable assets. Why is the same standard not applied to Bitcoin? It’s easy to try to gauge Bitcoin’s value in terms of its worth in dollars, but it is a currency in itself that is fueling a thriving counter economy that will soon challenge government controlled markets. Breaking free from the mindset that a Bitcoin is only worth x amount of dollars is an integral part of accepting it as a legitimate currency with real world value.

What is a Bitcoin worth, though? Well, there are tons of practical goods and services available in a variety of markets, and it has been hugely successful in helping nonprofits and charities help thousands of people. That last link was an example of the generosity of Bitcoin users and the utility of Bitcoins in a single city in Florida. Bitcoins buy food for the homeless, high quality chicken eggs, precious metals, electronics, medical advice, and more tangible, useful goods and services every day. Imagine what could be done with greater worldwide acceptance of competing currencies!

As we move away from the idea that the dollar is the most useful currency, we also have to consider the ethical implications of a currency that is directly damaging to human lives, even if we aren’t able to see its destruction. Now, the dollar itself is an innocuous piece of paper, but the faith behind it coupled with its usage facilitates the darkest evils in far away places; genocide, infanticide, rape, war, crippling sanctions. If you can apply an ethical value to a currency, it appears obvious that the dollar is soaked in its share of blood. Similar to the rampant nationalism behind the American flag, it is the faith behind it and justification of its sordid role in commerce that is damaging. It is a symbol of war and debt slavery; a promise backed by idolatry and usury, but belittled by plastic garbage and its role in idle consumerism.

There is nothing wrong with using something to make exchange of goods and services more fungible, but if we have the option to use a currency that is not universally reviled it seems like that is the better choice. So, can ethics be applied to Bitcoin in a similar way I applied it to the dollar? You judge a tree by its fruits, and while black markets are still a place of usage for Bitcoin, it is making its way into mainstream use. As mentioned before, the cryptocurrency community has used Bitcoin to feed (at the time of publication) 20,000 homeless people in Pensacola, FL alone while also providing hoodies for the homeless in California, and making Thanksgiving accessible to needy folks in New Hampshire.

Compared to the dollar, Bitcoins current legacy is one of peace, free trade from person to person with no banks involved and convenient acquisition of high quality despite illegal medicines not approved by the FDA. Its detractors might point to the recent abduction of Ross Ulbricht, ringleader of the Silk Road and his possible attempt at hiring a hitman to threaten the lives of those who would expose his empire. It is a valid complaint, but even if true, pales in comparison to the millions of lives lost in the war machine fueled by fiat. The concepts behind Bitcoin are intriguing as the community who regularly uses it believes in the principles of free exchange between individuals not hindered by banks, governments, or borders and likewise mutual aid and charity that prove the effectiveness of private individuals helping one another without having to steal from their neighbors to do it.

Now, Bitcoin and its brethren are still new and much good has come from their usage so far, and while I won’t go so far as to say that this will always be the case, it is abundantly clear that it is a more ethical choice than the blood dollar. But until wider implementation of Bitcoin, we are stuck dealing with dollars. That is why I am proposing an ideological shift first; any change begins with the mind and heart. If we can break down the barriers in our mind, physical change follows shortly thereafter.

Abolishing the Fed or bloated government agencies is an unwieldy task that must be fought on a political level. The time and energy invested in changing the system by playing by the rules of the system is simply not worth the minute changes accomplished by such activism, but choosing to participate in an ethical, thriving, peaceful counter economy where you are the change you wish to see in the world is much more beneficial to the psyche as it requires an ideological shift away from monetary ideas that are already abhorrent to most people. So, instead of abolishing the Fed, let’s just ignore it. We don’t need the blood money it produces and we don’t need the false economy it props up since the real producers already exist. By internalizing that we can’t avoid using the dollar because it is the prevalent currency, we become defeatist and closed off to new and exciting developments in currency. Abolish the ideology of fiat fuel, and let’s see what follows.

Original content by Meghan, copyleft, tips welcome

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Bitcoin and Other Altcoins: A Solution for Millennials

Gold and silver have historically been used as money and as a way to retain the purchasing power of fiat currency. As we as a population face such issues as mounting debt and endless warfare, one oft-reviled generation is really getting a sour deal: the millennials. Those narcissistic, lazy, good-for-nothing louts who played by all the rules only to realize the rules had been changed or were never for their benefit in the first place. Although historical ways of protecting our wealth are still applicable, I want to suggest an alternative for a generation that must already eschew “wisdom” passed onto us by our elders who caused this mess we’re stuck with, if only for survival’s sake.

Millennials are routinely criticized by the older generations who raised them to be who they are. We are told to respect our elders; the ones who ignorantly send Snopes debunked chain emails complaining about how congress needs to do this or that ineffective measure to delay nonexistent problems, the ones who voted into power people who wish to keep everyone enslaved, the ones who support the wars that their social security payments were squandered on all the while expecting to be paid as if those monies are stored in a vault somewhere, the ones who will be dead before the brunt of their actions are fully actualized, the ones millennials are keeping alive on the backs of their labor. Those elders.

Propaganda hasn't aged a bit, however.
Propaganda hasn’t aged a bit, however.

Mainstream financial experts often claim that millennials aren’t saving enough or planning for retirement that we rightly assume will not happen, and so they urge us into getting the same instruments that worked for our parents: savings accounts, Roth IRAs, 401Ks, the stock market, etc. That’s great if you don’t mind inflation eating away at your savings since interest rates are frozen at zero or if you still trust some banking entity to play fair when you need access to your funds before a certain age or if you even have a substantial amount of money to put anywhere in the first place. For people living paycheck to paycheck with the jobs they have or still living with their parents as they search, these options are laughable. After the financial collapse, one lesson surely everyone learned was that no outside entities are going to protect your hard earned money and there needs to be an evolution of how we store our wealth.

While special snowflake syndrome is a problem among millennials (and pretty much humans in general), it’s difficult to claim ignorance on the fact that they and younger generations will suffer the most directly from the reckless actions of older generations. We have learned the lesson that hard work and a college degree don’t ensure success, and that breaking the rules can pay greater dividends than following them. A return to self-sufficiency is in order when it comes to finding jobs now, and shifting our consciousness to adapt to an increasingly unstable world is not only practical but a necessity to merely survive. Survival, at this time with all things considered, is all millennials can hope for—there’s no retirement in our futures, no social security to look forward to, no payoff for participating in politics, no end to crushing debt. While our elders have thrived and relished in their own entitlement we foot the bill and receive nothing but broken systems and empty promises in return. Woe is we, but we are not without some solutions.

If we need a different philosophical approach to dealing with the problems we face, we also need a different approach to storing and retaining what little wealth we can accumulate. That’s where crypto-currencies come in. With the advent of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Feathercoin, and several other alternative currencies making their way into the financial zeitgeist, we have more opportunities than ever to take back control of our money.

You're welcome, baby boomers, et.al.
You’re welcome, baby boomers, et.al.

Crypto-currencies appear to be one of the better choices along with precious metals, mainly silver since gold even at a low today ($1317.00 per troy ounce) is way out of the price range for us poor people. Silver, while much more affordable at around $22.00 an ounce, can sometimes be difficult to store and safes are expensive. While I still recommend buying silver when you can afford it, we live in swiftly changing times and can use the expanding technology to our benefit.

You can buy fractions of Bitcoin, Litecoin, or other altcoins to fit your budget, transactions cannot be taken back, and you control the access to your currency via a virtual wallet on your phone or personal computer that is easy to protect the privacy of through encryption. There are no banks that can hold your money hostage during a crisis, and you can spend them at a variety of places. While some may make the valid argument that your wallet could be hacked and your coins stolen, the same argument is applicable to banks and consider that inflation itself is just slow theft over long periods of time. Again, that’s what privacy protections are for, and luckily these are easy precautions to take.

Since I started writing this article yesterday, the notorious Silk Road has been closed down and its owner imprisoned, and while some view this as a danger to crypto-currencies, at the moment it appears to be an issue of personal mistakes on behalf of Ross Ulbricht aka Dread Pirate Roberts. While the raid made the prices fluctuate, I still believe there is utility for Bitcoin as a way to buy perfectly benign goods and services without government intrusion. The Silk Road raid is a set-back for Silk Road users, but not the greater alternative currency community, and as technology improves and we face greater economic uncertainty, demand for better alternatives to the war dollar can only increase.

We live in the perfect time to take advantage of this opportunity to relinquish the chains imposed on us by government institutions, older generations, and even our own psyches.  While hindsight is 20/20 when assessing how we got to the point we are at, looking ahead to the future is crucial for our own security. The resources for building a knowledge base on the subject of crypto-currencies are plentiful, as well. Weusecoins.com is a great place to start your Bitcoin journey, and others much more knowledgeable than I have written extensively on the topic. More altcoins are coming out and providing competition to Bitcoin, and this is also great news as it broadens the options people have for diversification.

There are many options of altcoins to choose from.
There are many options of altcoins to choose from.

Crypto-currencies aren’t going anywhere, relying on conventional wisdom from our elders and mainstream gurus have gotten us nowhere but more burdened with debt. To quote Assata Shakur, “No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them. Nobody is going to teach you your true history, teach you your true heroes, if they know that that knowledge will help set you free.” It’s about time the millennials (and others who are struggling) find more effective ways of getting their freedom from a dreary future orchestrated by former entitled generations.

Original content by Meghan, copyleft, tips welcome

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Threat Level: Bitcoin

So, there’s been all this talk about war stuff lately. For those of you who may be completely oblivious, unconfirmed reports say some people used chemical weapons on some other people in the country known as Syria, and now the U.S. wants to bomb them (whoever they may be) for bombing them (the other guys). Some (chicken hawks) say that it was the government forces of Bashar al-Assad who used the weapons, but others maintain we just don’t know which side it was.

war-stuffThe uncertainty over which side the perpetrators were is irrelevant to the war machine. Someone needs to pay for the deaths of over 1,400 people, and “we” have to support the Al Qaeda backed rebels in this conflict. The same rebels who are killing people who haven’t chosen a side, and who torture victims and eat their hearts. These are the good guys. The bad guys are bad, too, though.

The majority of Americans oppose getting involved, and aside from obvious moral concerns another question that is raised is how will we pay for it? Well, unless Arab nations foot the bill (not suspicious at all, by the way); it looks like we got ourselves another potentially costly war-ish thing on our hands. I say war-ish because there has also been debate over what we should call invading another country and subverting their people, as if changing semantics to “limited military action” makes it totally cool and hip. I mean, Obama is for it, so it must be a pro-peace war-ish lovey dovey thingy.

I digress.

How do “we” pay for something so destructive when the country’s total debt is over $59 trillion? And what does Bitcoin have to do with it? Well, tanks, bombs, drones, planes, hell fire missiles, soldier salaries, etc. are all paid for in dollars. The Federal Reserve Note is the de facto currency for oil trading and war funding and much of the other criminal activities perpetrated by the U.S. federal government. It’s difficult to avoid using this currency for noncriminal transactions, as well, but Bitcoin is changing the landscape rapidly. While dollars are still used to fund the Empire, they are rapidly losing credibility in other countries and among the general populace in this country. It’s no longer a secret that oil rich countries in the East no longer want to trade in dollars; rather, they want gold or something more tangible. As the Fed continues to devalue the dollar by printing more under the name quantitative easing, your average person is also seeing the value of their money decline. Inflation is eating away at our savings and the cost of food and fuel has been on the rise.

QE cartoon
Pretty much.

Here’s where Bitcoin comes in. I was excited to get involved with Bitcoin Not Bombs because the prospect of a currency that transcends borders and allows people to deal directly with each other is invaluable not only on a personal level, but on a global level. Currently, there is talk of regulating Bitcoin, and while that is a concern it is easy to see why the government and central bankers want to control the crypto-currency. It is a direct threat the failing monetary system and by extension the war machine that it funds.

With Bitcoin, you don’t need to ask permission from your government or the UN to trade with someone in Cuba or Iraq. All you need is a Bitcoin address. This concept of long distance, border-less trade is revolutionary and not in the sense of engaging in physical warfare on government agents as some “revolutionaries” opine. Whether it’s Bitcoin or the myriad of other alternative currencies surfacing, the opportunity to engage in a bloodless coup is here in the present and takes only minutes to set up.

It’s necessary to face facts: a physical fight against the world’s largest and most well-funded military is a losing battle. I don’t care how many militia members you got or how many cops you can take out, they have hell fire missiles and weaponry that far surpasses anything the civilian population can get its hands on. We can talk about the philosophical extensions of self-defense all day, but the reality is you aren’t going to overthrow the state that way and sacrificing yourself won’t make you a martyr; it will merely limit your effectiveness in the long term.

When I say bloodless coup, I am less interested in using alternative currencies to “overthrow” the state as I am in simply ignoring it as much as I can and helping others see how they can be used to maximize their personal freedom. We can bypass the permission asking and deal directly with others in countries that have been cut off from trade. Free trade facilitates peace and increases the quality of life for both parties involved. Sanctions and embargoes seek to limit trade as a “punishment” for other countries who don’t play by the rules the U.S. or other organizations have set, but these sanctions are ineffective and utterly destructive to the people who are forced to live under their equally corrupt governments. Sanctions don’t affect the rich, corrupt politicians you would think would be the target, but rather the people, and this is heartbreaking considering that they have no control over who they are allowed to trade with.

sanctionsBitcoin has the potential to make central governments less relevant to the personal well-being and ability to buy and sell goods of people around the world. Well, not that government serves the well-being of people anyway, and decreasing their hold over the personal lives of people is always a benefit. I also want to say it’s not about “winning” the broader fight against government with subversive force even though crypto-currencies are an excellent tool for subversion. Government is known for its corruption but also for its incompetency. The people are intelligent enough to know what suits their needs, and using Bitcoin to trade goods and services is practical. I also believe that we have intelligence on our side because the incompetency of government comes from the hubris of the individuals that attain that power, and with great hubris comes great errors.

By opting out of the dollar and into Bitcoin (or alternative currency of your choice), you are casting a vote against war and other oppressive government actions. You are sending a clear message that you disagree with their social and economic policies and reject their perceived right to rule over you. You are taking your money out of circulation in the markets that feed death and suffering and into markets that generate the prosperity your fellow human beings. You are saying “NO!” to war with Syria not just verbally but economically, which has considerably more weight.

The revolution will be one of wits as the age of information increases awareness of shadowy government activities, and in this age we have a rapidly increasing amount of tools to facilitate peaceful interaction with individuals thousands of miles away with the click of a button. Never at any other time in history has communication across borders ever been so easy or perhaps so necessary. This development is a profound step forward for redistributing power back into the hands of the economically disadvantaged. While I’m careful not to fall into an echo chamber of how awesome Bitcoin is it realistically provides tangible opportunities to ignore government power, spread peace and free trade, and help build long lasting relationships with others who share common interests. Bitcoin along with other technological advances remain far ahead of legislation curbing their use, so there’s all the more reason to get involved. The timing is perfect, and voting with your money has always been more effective than simply verbally disagreeing. And even if you decide Bitcoin isn’t for you, crypto-currencies will be shaping the future and are forces to be reckoned with as they gain influence in a variety of markets.

Bitcoin-accepted-here
Fighting the power.

Original content by Meghan, copyleft, tips welcome

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Stop Wars episode V: The Empire Strikes Out… #Bitcoin

Question: you know Vader dies in the movie, right?

Stop Wars episode V: The Empire Strikes Out… #Bitcoin from Satoshi Nakamoto on Vimeo.

http://vimeo.com/bitcoinnotbombs/stopwars

I like the concept, but the mid-section at the NH Liberty Fest or whatever with Vader actually felt…kind of silly. I know there was supposed to be humor there — the IRS isn’t evil, it’s just a pencil-necked bureaucrat pushing paper (a la “Eichmann in Jersualem” by Hannah Arendt) — but this was almost cartoonish in comparison to the really great opening credits / setup. Still, LOVE the “Stop Wars” and “Agora Valley” and so forth — there’s only two things guaranteed in this world, my friend: death stars and taxes. ~ US tax payer.

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