Bitcoin Lobbyists Ask Govt to Lay Off

PNN #188 Show Notes

Naked Bike Ride

Harvard Says: Guns Save Lives

Bitcoin Lobbyists Ask Govt to Lay Off

Pastafarian Wears Spaghetti Strainer for DMV Photo

Tuesday, August 27th 2013. 1 ounce of silver is 25 dollars. 1 Bitcoin is 125 dollars. Peace News Now is brought to you in part by friends of

The 5th annual Naked Bike Ride took place in Philly this Sunday. About 3-thousand people participated in biking around the city nude or semi-nude.

According to the website, the main reason for the bike ride is to promote cycling advocacy. The ride raises awareness about fuel consumption and environmental impacts of the car culture. But why naked?

Organizers say it’s about promoting a positive body image. And also, because it’s fun.

In other news, a new Harvard study attempts to answer the question of whether or not banning firearms reduces murders and suicides.  Researchers looked at crime data from several European countries and found that countries with HIGHER gun ownership often had LOWER murder rates.

Russia, for example, enforces very strict gun control on its people, but its murder rate remains quite high.  In fact, the murder rate in Russia is four times higher than in the “gun-ridden” United States, cites the study.  ”Homicide results suggest that where guns are scarce other weapons are substituted in killings.”  In other words, the elimination of guns does not eliminate murder, and in the case of gun-controlled Russia, murder rates are quite high.

The study revealed several European countries with significant gun ownership, like Norway, Finland, Germany and France – had remarkably low murder rates. Contrast that with Luxembourg, “where handguns are totally banned and ownership of any kind of gun is minimal, had a murder rate nine times higher than Germany. Many speculate that murder rates around the world would be higher if guns were more available. But there is simply no evidence to support this. The determinants of murder and suicide are basic social, economic, and cultural factors, not the prevalence of some form of deadly mechanism.” Meaning, it’s not guns that kill people. People kill people.

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Members of the Bitcoin Foundation, the trade organization that represents the virtual currency that approximates cash on the internet, held a series of, quote, “educational meetings” yesterday with politicians, regulators, law enforcement officials, and federal agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, Treasury Department, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The overall message that the Foundation is trying to send is that Bitcoin has proven itself to be a useful and enduring tool, and that the US will suffer competitively if the currency becomes illegal or too onerous to use under American law. In March, a division of the Treasury Department announced that certain Bitcoin businesses must register with the federal government, a requirement the Foundation says would be crippling for many startups.

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Trips to the DMV don’t typically elicit genuine smiles, but from beneath a metal pasta strainer, Texas Tech student and practicing Pastafarian Eddie Castillo flashed the “biggest, cheesiest” one he could muster last week.

The triumphant moment came after a lengthy fight with the state’s Department of Public Safety that the unusual headgear was protected as part of his religious beliefs. He worships the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a deity created by an atheist in 2005 in protest of the Kansas School Board’s defense of teaching intelligent design. According to its founding principles, quote, “the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma.”

Castillo is the first American to successfully have his government-issued photo identification taken while wearing a colander, but it may not last: Bureaucrats at the Dept of Public Safety are reportedly planning to follow up with Castillo in order to “rectify” the situation…(for the public safety, of course). Others have tried unsuccessfully, and Castillo was surprised at his victory, which he called a “political and religious milestone for all atheists everywhere.”

Peace News Now is on the Next News Network and is brought to you in part by friends of I want you to share this episode, and if you enjoyed it, send some bitcoin to I’m Derrick J, reminding you that Peace is the way!

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DerrickJ is a media producer with a penchant for peaceful resistance. After serving 60 days of a 540-day sentence for engaging in a "Victimless Crime Spree," he moved back to Philadelphia where he now produces a live podcast on the peaceful evolution happening around the globe.

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