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Bitcoin Is a Revolution, Not an Investment

bitcoin revolution It has been interesting to see large numbers of people pay attention to Bitcoin in the past year or so. The reason for that attention was the exchange price of Bitcoin, which made a lot of early adopters wealthy. (One of the few times when the right guys got rich.) The idea of getting rich quick always sells, and it did this time too. Along with it came a lot of investment talk, complaints about volatility, well-publicized government raids, central ...

The War Drums Are Beating

war in syria Last year, lots of powerful groups tried to get a war going in Syria. It seemed to me that the necessary ground work hadn’t been done and that they might not be able to pull it off. Thankfully, that’s how it happened. And by “necessary ground work,” I’m not referring to the military operators the US government had in Syria for a year or two prior; I’m talking about making the American populace eager for a new war. That’s ...

The Insane Dream

insanity wars peace Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein (attributed) The insane dream has streamed endlessly through my lifetime. I saw it as a boy, and I see it still. It has never really produced any results, and it certainly shows no promise of doing so in the near future. In fact, by all historical accounts, the dream is nearly 100% false – the results are opposite to the hopes and prayers of ...

Toddlers Know the Truth… Until They’re Talked out of It

toddlers I’m hardly the first person to recognize that basic truths are more easily grasped by the young and the uneducated. For example, here’s a passage from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to Peter Carr in 1787: State a moral case to a plowman and a professor. The former will decide it as well, and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules. What we generally call “education” and “socialization” ...

The Suppression of Happiness

happiness One of the great errors of freedom people (myself included) is that we’ve sometimes based our arguments on less-than-optimal grounds. What I mean is that we argued for freedom on political or legal grounds. And while those arguments were generally accurate and valid, it was a relatively poor line of argument. Our arguments on economic grounds were somewhat better, but they still missed the largest and clearest areas of human experience. A stronger ...

The Earth Belongs to the Living, Not to the Dead

government debt wake up What if your grandfather had gone on a wild spending binge, long before you were born, and put himself millions of dollars in debt to people who knew he could never pay? Would it be your obligation to work double-shifts all your life to pay that debt back? And if you died before paying it off, would it become your baby’s obligation? I think most of us would answer those questions with a resounding “No way!” As well we should. We are not ...

Yes, You Are Being Manipulated by Your Government

governments manipulate The truth that government agents are influencing people online has been visible for some time to those who were looking. For example, in 2011, we got proof that military contractors and the US Air Force were doing this. (See here and here.) There were other facts as well, including the publicly-stated wishes of Cass Sunstein. Most people didn’t see those stories, of course, and those who mentioned them were thought to be crazy. “If it was ...

Your Relationships Have Been Defiled

relationships Relationships matter, a lot. We are formed by relationships with other people: parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, spouses, children, business associates, and more. The impact of relationships in our lives is profound. But there is a factor in most of our relationships that sullies them – that warps and dirties them: the peremptory intrusion by enforcers and mediators. The most vulgar images we have of this are the ...

Why the Founding Fathers Made Their Own Money

old-coins It is an interesting historical fact that people who take part in rebellions tend to coin their own money – not when the rebellion concludes, but as it starts. There is good evidence that silver half shekels, like the one pictured above, were actually minted on the Temple Mount during the Jewish Rebellion against Rome in 66-70 AD. (The wonderful Biblical Archaeology Review ran an article on the subject.) And this case is hardly unique; there have ...

The End of the Great American Fantasy

American Fantasy Through all of my life there has been an odd and persistent bias on the part of otherwise honest Americans: What America does overseas is always good and right. We do not speak against it. The protests against the Vietnam War were an exception to this, of course, but that break from tradition involved less than half the country. Those people were quickly brought back into the mainstream, And they have supported more or less all subsequent US wars. This ...

Why the Banksters Don’t Care About Your Gold

banksters I regularly hear how important it is to hold silver and gold and how dangerous the central banks and their banksters (a combination of bankers and gangsters) really are. I’m sympathetic, of course, since I don’t like central banks and I do like silver and gold. But these folks have a problem: Their plans never seem to bear any fruit. Mostly, they are waiting for the banksters to lose control, for the financial system to fall down, and ...

My Look Inside the United Nations

united-nations Life is a lot more entertaining with cool friends. In 1999, my friend Henry Lamb mentioned that he had been attending UN meetings. I thought it sounded intriguing and asked for details. After all, reading about an organization is one thing; actually attending its meetings is another. And because I was so enthused, Henry offered to get me in to the Kyoto accord meetings in Bonn, Germany. I had preconceptions about the United Nations, of course, but ...

Jefferson’s Final Warnings

Thomas Jefferson Warning People remember Thomas Jefferson for the Declaration of Independence, which he wrote in 1776. A few will remember that he served as president from 1801 to 1809, but aside from that, they know almost nothing of his life and work. In actual fact, he lived till 1826, when he died on July 4, fifty years to the day after the ratification of his Declaration. During those fifty years, Jefferson’s intellectual life bloomed. He was an inventor, a horticulturalist, ...

The Secret Appeal of Politics

politicians The Internet is full of stories about politicians acting badly and doing the opposite of what they promised. Talk radio is full of the same things, all day, every day. Even around office water coolers, almost everyone will admit that politicians are liars and thieves. Given all of this, it’s rather bizarre that people still believe and obey the bums. If we knew such things about a neighbor, would we continue to take them seriously? Yet, for ...

A Way to Prove We’re All Born Libertarian

natural libertarian We’re all born knowing the truth, but by the time you’re four or five years old, they’ve beaten it out of you. – Attributed to Bob Dylan I think I’d be a bit more charitable than Mr. Dylan; I’d say that we’ve only had the truth partly beaten out of us by the age of five. I think truth endures in us, at least to a significant extent, up till puberty, after which it is beaten into submission over the next decade ...

Two Ways the Bitcoin “Crackdown” Could End

crypto currencies bitcoin I read a story recently about a group of dandies who want to “help regulate Bitcoin, for its own good.” The thing about these guys is that they don’t really care about Bitcoin as a beautiful, disruptive technology or even for the great benefit it brings to mankind. Instead, they see Bitcoin as their ticket into the halls of the elite. These people are not the agents of a new age. Rather, they’re trying to get into the upper levels ...

Free Services Are for Suckers

free services internet Just a few weeks ago, it was revealed that the FBI will be going through a huge stack of emails they stole from a free service, to find some peaceful people they can publicly prosecute. The service was called Tor Mail…and their advertising slogan was Free Anonymous Email. Supposedly, this system was ironclad and immune from government attacks. And, presumably, the operators would do this very hard thing, forever, and for free. That’s just ...

A Report from Middle America

middle america I was recently involved in a day of meetings with small business owners in the American Midwest. It was both encouraging and sad at the same time. What I Found First Overall, I found a large room full of productive human beings. It was uplifting. Most of these people were between thirty and seventy years old, more men than women, and they were all productive people, the kind who get up early every day, make sure that complex systems are producing ...

A Frank Letter to the Homeless Man Under the Bridge

letter-to-homeless I see you standing here, asking for help, about once a week. You are always polite, and I respect that. I’d like to do something for you… something that would matter long-term. Giving you a few notes or coins now and then may be fine, but I’d really like to improve your situation more permanently. In other words, I’d like to give you a job. I used to hire people, and I especially liked hiring people who had been denied breaks. ...

Where the *Bleep* Is Germany’s Gold?

Germany's gold You may have heard something about this story, but I think it’s important to take a few minutes to restate the facts clearly. In the modern news environment, stories come and go so fast – and in so many parts – that it’s very easy to get lost along the way. So, here’s what we know so far: In 2012, the Bundesbank (the central bank of Germany) asked to visit the vault of the Federal Reserve in New York, to view the 1,536 tons ...