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Armistice Day, then and now 100 years later.

This past Armistice day, November 11th 2017 Antiwar.com lunched its end of year fundraising campaign in a big way with $20,000 of Crypto Currency matching funds from Bitcoin.com and the addition of of BItcoinCash, Dash and Zcash to its accepted digital currency’s. This marks only the beginning of our efforts to remember Armistice day as next year is the 100th anniversary of the Day that originally commemorated the armistice that ended the First World War on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year in 1918.

Here is a recap of a number of articles written on the topic this year.

Veterans Day: ‘Appropriate Homage’

by Thomas Knapp Antiwar.com

Bring Back Armistice Day and Honor the Real Heroes

by Arnold Oliver Antiwar.com

Armistice Day

by Anthony Gregory The Independent institute, independent.org

How and why politicians exploit Veterans Day

Why politicians hated Armistice Day but love Veterans Day

By Perry Willis DownsizeDC.org

Perry Willis wrote a number of posts related to war this past month, including;

Render your verdict on four early U.S. wars.

How Teddy Roosevelt started the chain of events that led to Pearl Harbor.

Was U.S. participation in WW1 the worst mistake ever?

Did U.S. policies play a role in creating the communist threat?

Was Adolf Hitler Woodrow Wilson’s “love child?

Veterans for Peace.

Veteran for peace have for several years run campaigns around Armistice day with the hashtag #ReclaimArmisticeDay Armistice and this year focused around Diplomacy Not War in North Korea.

We also held and social media giveaway and will be posting the winners next week, if you would like to get more involved in the the conversation and get active for peace, please join our facebook discussion group here.

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First Letter of Reprisal

Tsar Date 45.295.285

Throughout my life on land I was dismissed as either too masculine, or not masculine enough. I raised my black banner when I realized my advancement was unhindered by gender aboard a pirate ship. Once I took back my autonomy, I quickly realized that the injustices I’d witnessed my whole life were not issues of gender, but of dominance. Now my objective is clear; to inspire others to abandon the shackles they revere.

Landlubbers are infatuated with hierarchy. They let status and class shortcut critical thinking, and view the world through categories and collectives. But collectives are just abstractions, and only individuals actually exist. The Crown recruits and produces unscrupulous sociopathic individuals to wield its coercive power. The Crown neither recognizes nor respects the individual, which means collective torture and murder is inevitable.

The Crown presents itself as our salvation, but the use of power and privilege can only lead to bloodshed. If you have the misfortune of not fitting into the Crown’s agenda you already realize this, but you can glean it from simple observation. Chaos and catastrophe surround everything the Crown touches. The Crown only slays dragons of its own creation.

The purest manifestation of this hierarchy is war. The Crown is both the perpetrator, and beneficiary of endless conflict, so it’s locked in a cycle of brutality and blowback. Truth is the first casualty of war, and the first lie is that the opposing states are qualitatively different from each other. In reality, all who wear the Crown share more in common with each other than with those they rule. To the Crown ‘defense’ is just a euphemism for propaganda and conquest.

The Crown uses terror and slaughter to extort wealth and obedience from both sides. Then it uses our resentment, frustration and rage against it’s actions to turn us on each other. In reality the Crown owes more to the peaceful people of this world than we owe it. So, I’ll pay no deference to the Crown or it’s whip.

The struggle to free ourselves from the yoke of the Crown cannot be achieved by force. It’s time to abandon the collectivist thinking that empowers our adversary, and acknowledge the individual as something real and vital to peace. Time to refuse to contribute to these wars of aggression, and deprive the Crown of any loyalty. Time to admit the heap of innocent bodies is large enough to prove the Crown is unfit to exist.

http://pirateswithoutborders.com/

 

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I’m already against the next war

Shoot first and ask questions later.
It seems that the Land of the Free has retooled its foreign policy to mirror this B-movie dialogue. Perhaps this is an expected outcome after decades of standoff with the USSR and the ever escalating war technology. During the cold war, the visible antiwar movement lost its momentum. The U.S. was building the bombs but it wasn’t dropping them on anyone. The war technology kept ramping up as a “deterrent” and we learned that, as treaties increasingly called on the U.S. to be the defender of allies and the police force in “problem” places in the world, the U.S. could stand on the neck of almost anyone and bring them into submission. This isn’t right or righteous, this is tyranny.

You reap what you sow.
20 years ago, a small group of people recognized this growing post cold war pattern. Antiwar.com was born to collect and curate news and information that exposed this growing predilection for U.S. aggressive action in foreign land. Today we are harvesting the bitter fruit of this policy with increased terrorism, suitcase bombs, increased paranoia and burdensome security measures, loss of privacy, warrantless phone taps and other infringements of our rights here at home.

I’m Already Against the Next War
Right now, Antiwar.com is sounding an urgent call to action. Foreign activity is high and we don’t see an outcome where any new President will alter the current course. We need a loud and persistent voice that says, “I’m Already Against the Next War”. A few weeks ago, Antiwar.com launched a brand new activity site: Antiwar.me. Here you can find tools and techniques for being a part of that persistent voice. You can join their social media Thunderclap, download free social media images and get great premium gifts for your financial pledge. Antiwar.com is a very lean organization and relies on contributions from readers and supporters to fund their original journalism and commentary and now the activity site. Even a $20 donation is much appreciated and earns you a limited edition red poppy pin.

The days of large peaceful sit-ins are gone. Now we can express our protest in a different way. After less than a month, the Antiwar.me thunderclap has already achieved over 500,000 in reach. Let’s reach millions while sending a strong message to the President- “I’m Already Against the Next War”. Please visit Antiwar.me and join the free Thunderclap and consider a poppy pin or pledge a different amount so Antiwar.com can continue its efforts.

The bipartisan consensus for reckless and dangerous foreign policy requires constant alertness. Antiwar.com’s original content coupled with links to the best foreign policy writings around the world provides a one-stop site for keeping abreast of the violent inhumane policies which endanger the very principles upon which the United States was founded. Please donate today so they can continue to deliver the most comprehensive news and opinions that track the latest moves of the War Party.

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How Bitcoin Can Create a Truly Global Anti-War Coalition

War Preserves the Petrodollar

As the BRICS countries continue to move away from the hegemony of the petrodollar, the U.S. Empire is desperately striking back, putting sanctions on Russia and fueling the crisis in Ukraine in order to maintain its superpower status. In a recent article titled “Energy War to Currency War”, geopolitical analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya spelled out the U.S. machinations of oil price manipulation and concerted attacks on the Ruble. Currency wars and financial crises continue to ramp up with a looming threat of World War III in the background.

As the global economy stagnates with increasing levels of unemployment and ballooning debt, war is often a favored option for empire. Military interventions are used to distract citizens and to shove any uncontrollable crisis under the rug to keep the profitable bubbles going a little longer. In his 2015 State of the Union Address, Obama pledged to act unilaterally to attack terrorists, authorizing the use of force against the “Islamic State”, which as Mark Danner, Professor of English and Journalism pointed out in his essay “Iraq: The New War” was spawned by brutal U.S. policy during the Iraq war.

The hegemony of the U.S. agenda in the world has time and again been presented as in the national interest, while it has simply led to more wars, an increasingly impoverished working class and insurmountable debt. This brutal dominance was made possible through the petro-dollar which is backed by men with guns and the private banks’ control of the U.S. Treasury.

How did we get to this point? Much of it can be traced back to the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, which took the power to create money away from the government and the people it supposedly represents and gave it to private corporations. Karen Hudes, the former World Bank lawyer noted how the U.S. dollar is financed by debt issued by the Federal Reserve instead of the Treasury and called this debt a fabrication in which bankers load an onerous interest obligation on the people.

With this power of the Federal Reserve to engage in infinite money printing, private corporations hijack the government to infinitely fund their agendas. They bankrupt nations with debts far beyond any hope of repayment and take the US into resource wars without the consent of the governed.

This unaccountable power renders the citizens irrelevant who are supposed to play a vital role in a democracy. As the state sucks us into the political charade of the lesser of the two evils, we are placed into a compromising position of always trying to defend our rights instead of exercising them and pleading with elected officials for reform, hoping that the next election might make a difference.

Without necessary checks and balances on power, the U.S. government increasingly operates with extreme authoritarianism. Efforts to dissent and protest are met with increasingly militarized state violence. The trend is undeniable with the Obama administration’s unprecedented attacks on whistleblowers, the passing of the NDAA and police brutality seen in places like Ferguson.

Where Does Bitcoin Factor In?

In the midst of these rising economic crises and the crumbling facade of democracy, alternative solutions to electoral politics are arising concurrent with earth-shattering breakthroughs in computer science. The invention of the blockchain, the mother of cryptocurrency opens up the possibility for a departure from potential tyranny of state central authority.

Six years since its inception, Bitcoin with currency as its first application has made significant inroads into the global financial system. Its disruptive effect has shaken up taken for granted notions of money and inflamed the imagination for the potential in the separation of money and the state.

The advent of Bitcoin can aid us in effectively challenging this insidious trend of oligarchic and statist centralized power. Before another illegal and immoral war is waged in our name, we now have the option to act proactively and make such wars unnecessary and perhaps even impossible.

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer decentralized currency. It is made to replicate digitally the process of mining gold. Digital currency theorist Noel Jones explains how Bitcoin’s value is derived from “an object’s intrinsic worth”, specifically “real computational work that takes energy–no different from the energy used to dig gold from the ground.”

While national fiat currency is now delinked from any intrinsic value (with the creation of the petrodollar and later with the dropping of the gold standard in 1971), Bitcoin is creating its value outside of state decree. Bitcoin maintains a valuation process independent of states or private banks, unlike fiat, where its value is subject to central control through endless derivatives as well as suppression and manipulation of precious metals with the paper markets,

Bitcoin self-regulates through algorithm and is controlled by no one. Like traditional gold, this piece of mathematics enshrined in computer code resists the corrosive forces of outside manipulation. With the strict laws of mathematics, no one can stand above and cheat the system. Math responds to everyone equally. 2 +2 = 4 for everyone, whether it is Warren Buffett or a homeless person on the street.

This algorithmic regulation safeguards society from man’s inflated grandiose self and the urge to have power over others, which is currently carried out in the tampering of banked funds, warlike sanctions as well as currency debasement and outright confiscation of the people’s money seen in Argentina and Cyprus. It is very difficult for any government to seize people’s bitcoin and this makes taxation more sensitive to the will of the people. If we choose it governments would also no longer be able to print money at will and spend it on wars without the people’s permission.

Governments Can’t Get Between Bitcoin Transactions

Bitcoin’s elimination of the need for reliance on a third party breaks the bond between sovereignty and currency. Bitcoin as the world’s first transnational currency has a potential to change the course of endless currency wars and shake up the tension of power dynamics that have smoldered ever since the cold war. In response to the U.S. actions in Ukraine, Sergei Glaziev, advisor to the President of the Russian Federation spoke to how they should be classified “not only as hostile with regard to Russia, but also as targeting global destabilization.” He called for a creation of a “global anti-war coalition” comprised of independent nations to rearrange “the international financial and economic architecture on the principles of mutual benefit, fairness, and respect for national sovereignty.”

This resistance against U.S. imperialism and aggression might sound good in rhetoric, but in the end, a Russian or Chinese hegemony would likely lead to just passing the reins of empire to another oligarchy, thus perpetuating the same old paradigm of empire and levers of power, only with a new face. We don’t need another world order with its closed exclusive payment networks that divide the world into “us and them”. The immanent fall of the current empire brings the world an opportunity for the elimination of these insidious points of control and could finally enable the rise of people power.

With Bitcoin as the stateless currency of the people, we can now create a truly global antiwar coalition and can end unilateral power of empire that makes us vulnerable to such single points of failure. This opens the door for a new decentralized state of peaceful co-existence, respecting the sovereignty of each individual by regarding everyone as equal peers.

War is not only destructive, but is not cost efficient and is mostly used as a tool for geopolitical control by the elites. With Bitcoin we can choose lasting alternatives to war and solve world conflicts more creatively. We can now build an economy that is rooted in values not dictated by a few oligarchs, but by a global consensus of We the People.

Author bio:

Nozomi Hayase, Ph.D., is a writer who has been covering issues of freedom of speech, transparency and decentralized movements. Her work is featured in many publications. Find her on twitter @nozomimagine

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Chris Ellis of Feathercoin and Meghan Lords Discuss Peace and Bitcoin

We hear a lot about the technical side of Bitcoin, and while that is always fascinating, there are philosophical aspects to it that are intriguing. Chris Ellis of Feathercoin asked me to join him in a discussion about peace, philosophy, and how Bitcoin relates to these topics. We covered a lot of ground in this talk with everything from peace to police brutality and even some panarchism thrown in there. Due to the controls on Hangouts on Air, only my screen was selected for viewing, so Tom of Mad Bitcoins! and The Bitcoin Group generously made an audio version so you don’t have to watch me taking water breaks as Chris talks.

You can listen to the whole talk here: https://soundcloud.com/madbitcoins1/wcn-024-peace-and-bitcoin-with

***Update: Chris added some annotations and re-did the video. Check it out:

 

Here’s the Norman Rockwell painting we discussed:

Norman Rockwell's Freedom from Fear
Norman Rockwell’s Freedom from Fear

Here are more links relevant to our conversation that Chris sent me:

Heidegger on being and time.

The book Chris quotes from is Temporal Idealism by Bill Blattner.

The Bhagavad Gita was also mentioned.

Metaphysics of Peace:
http://www.som.org/NewPages/Newsite07/SOMNavigation/UPeaceCovenant.html

Essays on finding Inner Peace:
http://www.plw.org/Metaphysical_Essays/Inner_Peace/inner_peace.html

Difficult Conversations:
http://www.amazon.com/Difficult-Conversations-Discuss-What-Matters/dp/0143118447

The Harvard Negotiation Project.

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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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.

Bitcoin Not Bombs is a launching pad for NGOs and social entrepreneurs who wish to enter into the financial freedom of the Bitcoin economy. Above all we are marketing agents for Agorism and Liberty, We promote free markets and a voluntary society. We gladly accept general donations to work towards those ends. We would also be happy to accept silver and gold but we prefer that you don’t send US War Dollars, Thanks!

http://www.bitcoinnotbombs.com/about/