This week, Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly of Fox News talked about CopBlock.org, a police accountability website. In their segment, they mocked founder Ademo Freeman for being a “two-time victim of the War on Drugs.” What’s funny about that? Aren’t we all victims of the War on Drugs? Share your thoughts below.
Last night there was a DUI checkpoint in Manchester. This is a federally-funded program. Some activists held signs to warn drivers of the impending stop so that they could avoid it. One man who appreciated this honked his horn in support, and he was arrested. Here is the video of that arrest:
Here are the full raw videos from that night:
Chris Cantwell published a blog post this week in which he made the case that violent revolution is moral, possible, and practical.
To me, Cantwell’s argument comes down to: “Violent revolution is the right thing to do.” Specifically, he advocates for killing in self defense. In other words, killing police that would otherwise be killing you. He argues that peaceful resistance is fruitless because, “ideas require teeth.” He seems to assert, “Why allow our friends to be relegated to the dustbins of history for standing on principle? As long as the State can legitimately kill and cage us, we’ll never have peace or freedom!”
There’s nothing special about you or this time. You aren’t owed freedom in your lifetime, but you can have it. One way you can earn it is by using your brain to think creatively about ways to live more free. To achieve your goals. Any Austrian or Objectivist will tell you: follow your rational self-interest. If your self-interest is personal freedom, then live free and take the consequences. There are steps you can take to improve your personal freedom–let your imagination be your limit! I’ve personally benefitted from keeping a public journal and moving to New Hampshire for support.
What it comes down to is a war of ideas. If all the world’s a stage, and we all the players, then let us demonstrate for the world what a free society can look like. Let us provide the example and be the light on the hill. Let us provide alternatives to the things the state provides, like food and care for the old and needy. Let us make the State as irrelevant as MySpace. Right now, the State is good for some things, for some people.
The people have to be won, they have to be sold on the idea. If people arrest the politicians, they may cheer, but does that mean they have a foundation for independence? No. Most people would do very poorly in a situation of freedom because they have been conditioned to living in prison planet. It’s not only bad strategy, it’s immoral to impose a situation of freedom onto a population that can’t cope with it.
And practicality? Chris points out that a few well-placed nuclear weapons can be a effective deterrents to violence because of mutually-assured destruction. But could the sociopaths in power provoke nuclear conflict in a desperate attempt to preserve hegemony?
If a violent revolution presented the American Sheeple the options to either disband all the people in government or replace them, they would replace them. We know why: They are more than comfortable with tyranny–they have grown to love their servitude.
And listen, you’re picking the wrong battle. You’re outmatched. There will never be a successful violent revolt in America; it will be squashed. No, like the Cyclops in the Odyssey, free humanity must outwit the sociopaths to defeat them. We will never overpower them, but we can side-step them until they are irrelevant. Livestreaming video communications, Uber transportation worldwide, cryptographic currencies, smart-contracts built on blockchains, decentralized autonomous corporations … Violent resistance? No. The State is present-day Muhammad Ali. It may be physically strong, but it’s mentally weak and almost dead.
The battle that must be won is a much more urgent and more important battle than is being discussed: the battle of ideas must manifest into a battle of actions. Like independence? Become independent. There is no one to defeat but yourself.
When you have achieved personal freedom, you’ve nullified the State in your own life. The next step is to show off and make people envious of your freedom so that they take risks to achieve it for themselves. Show them how it leads to prosperity and more choices. With each new person who declares meaningful independence, the state becomes weaker. It depends on those who depend on it. When you are independently providing your food, energy, and support for yourself and your community, you’re living in an anarchist society.
Ignore Washington. The politicians and control freaks are irrelevant. Focus on you. Free yourself, and the world will follow.
A reporter named Golan, from a blog called New Digital Money wanted to interview me regarding this year’s prospects for bitcoin. Here is a copy of my responses to his questions:
1. What will 2014 be for cryptocurrencies?
2014 will be a defining year for crypto currencies. The Texas Bitcoin Conference is already kicking off with huge success right now. Techies and investors are talking about ways to innovate bitcoin and make it easier for the masses to use. The BitShares Developer’s Conference in July will be host to another round of super-nerds gathering to compete on projects that use the block chain technology in new and imaginative ways. If I can use an example from recent history, 2014 will be like the year everyone got AOL on dial-up and could suddenly access the internet. The mainstream crowd could now access what was formerly a game for nerds. The nerds will continue to innovate in ways these people can’t see coming, because what they’re building more closely resembles the internet of today, with HTML5. 2014 will see bitcoin come into its own, adopted more into the mainstream, and set the stage for 2015, when people will be ready to embrace block chain technology to solve other real-world problems, such as escrow and encrypted email services.
2. Exchange services help or hurt cryptocurrencies?
Exchange services help crypto-currencies. They provide a market for people to trade for things they want. The more places people can buy and sell what they want, the more liquid the currencies. Liquidity is key for any market. Blockchain.info’s recent acquisition of a Real Time Trading Platform will spell good news for exchanges this year. Hopefully we’ll see a leveling out of the volatility when more price information is aggregated in one place.
3. Are (or will) cryptocurrencies in war with international cooperatives?
Cryptocurrencies are not at war with anyone or any thing. They simply exist as a tool for exchanging value, and people find them useful. War would imply some sort of aggressive force, such as the force required to compel people to pay taxes. No such force exists in any crypto currency created to date. All crypto currencies of which I am aware are traded on a purely voluntary basis. Therefore, the only people who use them are people who believe they are better off for doing so.
4. Is there a way to reassure governments that Bitcoin is not an enemy? If so, how?
I wouldn’t try to reassure governments that bitcoin is not an enemy. It may be, in some respects. It returns control over their money to the people. It gives individuals the freedom to send money to any other individual without being obstructed by laws or borders. Governments exist to control people, and bitcoin gives people an escape from some of those controls. Bitcoin is even more of an existential threat to governments than most people realize because 1) it is a sound currency introduced into a world of doomed fiat currency, and 2) the block chain technology will empower individuals to depend on code rather than individuals. Trust in many traditional ways will become obsolete, and with it, trust in politicians, lawyers, and bankers, too.
5. Who would you like to see (portrait) next to the Bitcoin logo (from any time in history)?
I don’t want to see an person’s face next to the Bitcoin logo. I trust in the soundness of the code and cryptography, not in individuals.
6. Do we have to much ‘coins’? (http://coinmarketcap.com/)?
People think that the explosion in the number of “alt-coins” is a bad thing, but I say give me more! Each new alt-coin offers something different, building on the designs of their predecessors, and going through the endless trial and error of serving a market. Do crypto users want digital money with proof of work, or proof of stake? Questions like these may seem technical today, but this is how we describe the different features offered by the different currencies.
Unlike paper money, code-able money is an instrument, a tool that can be upgraded. It can be re-tooled and improved. All of this can be done without anyone having to turn in their old notes and get issued new ones. It’s an entirely new way to think about money, and in some ways, it’s old. It used to be that anyone could issue bank notes and trade them as currency. The banks with solid business practices thrived, while the banks with poor habits or little utility failed. Saying there are too many coins would be worse than saying there are too many flavors of ice cream, it is to cut off the possibility of ever innovating ice-cream into a sandwich or a root-beer float. The next big innovation in blockchain technology will come from experimentation in the alt-coin realm.
Yours in peace,
I don’t think so.
The magazine, which returned to print this week, returned to news stands with the impressive headline: “Bitcoin’s Face: The Mystery Man Behind the Crypto-Currency“. The author, Leah McGrath Goodman, claims she followed the trail all the way to the end, and found the elusive creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. What do you think?
It turns out, Miss Goodman discovered, that Satoshi used his real full name on the bitcointalk.org forums. That’s odd for a guy who values his privacy. Oh, and he called the cops on the reporter when she wanted to come speak to him. That tells you he’s not afraid to have his name and house associated with a police report about bitcoin.
And while Ms Goodman’s article reads like a cheesy novella thriller, it actually lacks the type of compelling evidence that would seal the deal for crypto-junkies. Proof in the age of bitcoin means showing a signed message on the genesis block or some blocks known to belong to Satoshi.
Whether or not this reporter actually found what she was looking for is in dispute, but Gavin Anderson, lead developer for the Bitcoin team, tweeted his regret.
Reddit is abuzz with speculation with regard to the authenticity of these claims. Many are quick to point out that no definitive proof yet exists that can link this man to Satoshi’s known online identity. But why would Satoshi reveal himself? He must know that producing a figurehead for the currency will put him in the line of sights for angry governments disrupted by the blockchain technology. Some of the top comments on Reddit suggest “doxing” Ms Goodman as retribution.
However Ms Goodman has little to lose and everything to gain by becoming the focal point of hater nerd rage. People will buy Newsweek’s new print edition for its novelty and catchy cover story, television news will be talking about this for a few days, and the internet will be talking about this article for weeks. Whether or not it’s true, it will succeed as click-bait and as a story that everyone is talking about. Until the real identity of Satoshi is revealed with indisputable proof, I’m skeptical of the claim.
Today I added Dogecoin and Namecoin to the list of crypto-currencies Peace News Now accepts. PNN is 100% viewer-sponsored and always has been since its inception in 2012. Please help to keep the message of peace pumping through the internet and airwaves by consistently opening your crypto-wallet to send a micropayment whenever you enjoy a blogpost or podcast. Until I can either get a PC or a Namecoin wallet that can work on a Mac, I am sending all of PNN’s Namecoin donations to the good folks at MeowBit.com for a very important project involving internet freedom. Thank you, if you’re one of the people who makes Peace News Now possible.
Central Texas Gun Works, a popular gun store in Austin, accepts bitcoin as payment for everything they sell. Safety training, tshirts, shooting courses, and firearms. They not only sell all your favorite guns for bitcoin and ship them anywhere in the country, but they also have a bitcoin ATM in their store. They were one of the first in the country to have one, and they are long-time sponsors of projects in the liberty movement such as John Bush’s “The Liberty Beat“.
One blog is reporting that yesterday Central Texas Gun Works had its bitcoin account frozen by processor BitPay.
For those who jump the gun to point out the risk of large scale buying of illicit firearms, Michael clarifies every paying customer will need to fill out Form 4473, a United States government form that must be submitted when a person purchases a firearm from an authorized dealer. The FBI is informed and background checks are run before the transaction is completed. The store, earlier turned down by BitPay because of concerns over its firearms sales, has now partnered with CoinVoice to process its payments.
While I’m glad owner Michael Cargill was able to find a replacement processor so quickly, but I am shaking my head wondering, “Why would BitPay stop serving Michael?” I’ve tweeted them, but no response yet.
Yesterday, I was approached by Alma Sommer via Facebook. She asked if she could use PeaceNewsNow.com as a platform to blog about a recent dispute within her community. I created her a username and password, and she wrote everything below, without any edits by me. My goal in allowing this to be published on my website is, as I told Alma, to solve this problem without the use of the state. Courtrooms used to be the place to bring all of your facts and info and stories and get it all out in one place. In the 21st century, a blog post can do this better. I hope that in the spirits of peace, truth, and cooperation, this issue can be resolved through investigation of the facts and peaceful dialogue. I never censor or delete comments. To show that I have no bias, I invite any of the Ladies of CopBlock, or anyone who seeks a peaceful resolution to a conflict, to blog about it here on PeaceNewsNow.com. – Derrick J Freeman
The Ladies of CopBlock calendar debacle has been kept secret from the public. It is now time to make public the information within.
Six Ladies withdrew from the calendar before publication for many different reasons. Mostly due to each individuals concerns being disregarded.
Most of the group was documented before it was closed off to some of the Ladies. The threads have been put together for your viewing pleasure.
Also here are a few statements as to why the Ladies opted out.
“I chose to disassociate myself from the Ladies of CopBlock calendar project due to a lack of respect regarding major concerns with the final project voiced by myself and other participants.”
“After the project was delayed, the original intent of the product was lost. When evidence of where funds were could not be produced when asked, adhominem attacks were the only reply we got. This is why I chose to withdraw my involvement; however I continue to support CopBlock and the new Women of CopBlock.”
“I regret to inform my friends and supporters than I can no longer consent to involvement in a project I was led to believe was for copblock due to profound differences in principles. I have witnessed very little transparency, accountability or any other values I’ve learned to appreciate through cb. While I can not promise a calendar, I can promise I will not stop until the truth of the funds is made available and our generous donors be made aware of such. I am currently comfortable claiming that I believe Lauryn has committed fraud and gathered these funds on behalf of my friends and I to promote herself.”
“I chose to withdraw from the Ladies of CopBlock calendar due to philosophical differences. My goal is to promote spontaneous order and Agorist principles in all things. Concerns were met with a blatant disregard, instead of transparency, therefore loosing my support of this project. I strongly urge the donors to ask for their money back”
Josie Wales: (Josie the Outlaw)
“My choice to disassociate from this project is due to lack of organization and major concerns voiced by many of those involved left unaddressed. However, I remain a strong supporter of CopBlock and new Women of CopBlock”
“After months of delays on the Ladies of CopBlock calendar, we were told the final product would be “amazing”. I think we all assumed a calendar was not that hard to make look good, and after such extreme delays, I was expecting something great. What we were shown as the ‘final product’ was not only hideous, it was filled with spelling and grammatical errors (my name wasn’t even spelled right). All the girls voiced their concerns, including the fact that the calendar was now so late that a couple of the months were no longer of use. Rather than address the concerns, our comments were met with anger and resentment. We were told it couldn’t change, cause the printers had already been paid a nonrefundable deposit. When I asked about this policy, the story changed to “no deposit, but the printer was prepaid, and we couldn’t get the money back”. Again, I asked about this policy, and the story changed again to “the money is in the bank account of Lauryn’s mother.” Because the story of where the money was kept changing, myself and others thought it would be best to get financial records and/or move the donated funds to a neutral 3rd party. Once again our requests were met with anger and verbal attacks. The general behavior came off as dishonest and angry; and the concerns of the girls regarding changes needed to the calendar were being disregarded and treated with utter contempt. For these reasons, I was no longer comfortable being a part of this project, as it was no longer clear where the money was or what the message of the project was. I hope the money is returned in full to the donors; however, I still have concerns that the money may be partially missing. I would hope that the donors could contact me if they are not refunded in full.”
For the first time ever, a police department was forced to pay several hundred dollars in bitcoin in order to reverse a virus that locked up their computers. Known as a “ransomware virus,” it allows its creators to lock the affected computers from a remote location. This particular ransomware program was named “Crypto-Locker” It cost the department $750, or a little under two bitcoin at the time of this report, to unlock its computers. The virus did not seek anybody’s personal information, but police have asked computer analysts to tighten the department’s security protocols. That’s a fancy way of saying, “They need a class on learning not to open random email attachments.” This is a historic first, however, in that bitcoin is mainstream enough for police to get their hands on and use to pay ransoms to hackers.
You can now purchase sandwiches at Subway with bitcoin! Customers in Allentown, PA have been lining up to buy their lunch with the new currency. The owner, Sapal, gave a brief video interview with his second bitcoin customer, a man going by the name “DestroyerOfWorlds” on Reddit. The news appeared at the top of the Reddit page yesterday, and is spreading like wildfire. How soon will it be before regular retail chains near you accept bitcoin? Oh, and as a bonus, the owner offers a free cookie with every bitcoin purchase. Some users are suspicious, however, that the cookies contain malware.