Contempt — it’s the American way

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall, Fiat money fear and loathers at 4:18 pm by George Smith

Writing about the social illness that’s tearing apart the US in its decline in 2016 is like pulling the wings off flies.

Endless cycles on the virtues of holding others unlike you in contempt, of adopting as a creed root hog or die.

Via Pine View Farm, the Gobble-Wallahs of Ayn Rand, always present:

On Monday Donald Trump is scheduled to discuss potential cabinet positions with a former bank CEO who bribed colleges to teach Ayn Rand, wants to end the Fed, and has argued that bank regulations dating back to the Great Depression should be chucked.

That man is John Allison, longtime head of the North Carolina-based bank BB&T and, most recently, president of the libertarian think tank Cato …

Allison likes to tell the story of two children playing in a sandbox, one of whom takes a toy from the other. When the aggrieved party complains to mommy, she tells them both to share. This is where it all went wrong. As the New York Times recounts:

“You learned in that sandbox at some really deep level that it’s bad to be selfish,??? says Mr. Allison, adding that the mother has taught a horrible lesson.

It’s worth adding the guy’s a goldbug, too.

At some point, now well in the past, you just don’t care about any institutions the country allegedly stands for anymore. It’s all bullshit or stupendous fraud and the only reasonable response is laughter.

And when that happened to me, I wrote a song…

The best excerpt from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged:

Ragnar Danneskjold: But I’ve chosen a special mission of my own. I’m after a man whom I want to destroy. He died many centuries ago, but until the last trace of him is wiped out of men’s minds, we will not have a decent world to live in.

Hank Rearden: What man?

Danneskjold: Robin Hood …. he is not remembered as a champion of property, but as a champion of need, not as a defender of the robbed, but as a provider of the poor. He is held to be the first man who assumed a halo of virtue by practicing charity with wealth which he did not own, by giving away goods which he had not produced, by making others pay for the luxury of his pity. He is the man who became a symbol of the idea that need, not achievement, is the source of rights, that we don’t have to produce, only to want, that the earned does not belong to us, but the unearned does. He became a justification for every mediocrity who, unable to make his own living, had demanded the power to dispose of the property of his betters, by proclaiming his willingness to devote his life to his inferiors at the price of robbing his superiors. It is this foulest of creatures – the double-parasite who lives on the sores of the poor and the blood of the rich – whom men have come to regard as the moral idea … Do you wonder why the world is collapsing around us? That is what I am fighting, Mr. Rearden. Until men learn that of all human symbols, Robin Hood is the most immoral and the most contemptible, there will be no justice on earth and no way for mankind to survive.

And, yes, that photo is of my copy of the book!

And, yes, yes, it’s true. You’ll find it hard to believe now that I’m partaking of the SNAP benefit but I once gave a bit of a talk at the Cato Institute. They even flew me across the country and put me up in a swank hotel for my wisdom.

That was an age ago, in 2003.


Went to the movies

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Fiat money fear and loathers at 2:37 pm by George Smith

Failure of the old PC necessitated change of platform, upgrade via a loaner of sorts, a new-ish laptop the modern web can’t choke. So, to Hulu, for some free video, the price of which is enduring commercials, more than you can shake a stick at but not so many as to make it unendurable.

The Rise and Rise of BitCoin

Rating: Interesting to view in retrospect, perhaps mostly for its assortment of young tech financial criminals who were among its most enthusiastic subjects. B-

Daniel Mross, the documentary’s host and narrator, is an avuncular computer nerd, a libertarian fascinated by BitCoin. He’s invested in expensive mining rigs he hopes will pay off and totally taken by the idea of BitCoin money, free of banks and the government, at last digital money that allegedly means something and is not created by government fiat, only by Satoshi Nakamoto’s, uh, fiat.

Mross, like all the young libertarian geeks, some of them flat out anti-government types transparently only interested in making a quick fortune, never really explain why they hate the dollar. It’s just bad because the Fed prints it. Why is that bad? Well, it just is. Zimbabwe, maybe inflation, Ben Bernanke…

You get the idea they despise it because they have no way to make a quick fortune with the dollar by getting in on the ground floor with something like digital gold mining (in other words, printing their own) and the hoarding of it.

The BitCoin fanatics interviewed by Mross are all from the period when it was still get up and go, its value on a fast upward trend. (BitCoin has been stagnant at about $240 for almost the entire year now.)

First there’s Charlie Shrem of BitInstant, a BitCoin exchange. He’s making great money but confides to the camera he doesn’t want to be a criminal. By the end of the doc he’s been arrested and is wearing an ankle-bracelet. Today he’s in jail in Pennsylvania for two years for aiding a money-laundering scheme through the Silk Road, the infamous on-line bazaar for drugs, counterfeit IDs, and unregistered weapons.

Next is Jered Kenna in San Francisco, rapidly expanding another BitCoin exchange, TradeHill. You can guess what happened. Poof! TradeHill eventually collapsed — twice — although its founder made his fortune. Now he’s in Colombia, allegedly planning new business ventures to acquaint people with emerging technologies like BitCoin.

Next is BitCoin Jesus, Roger Ver, another wealthy libertarian filled with hyperbole and visions of the future. He gave up his citizenship to avoid US taxes. The government subsequently denied him permission to re-enter the country. Now he’s living offshore at an undisclosed location, an island state for money hiding, probably St. Kitts.

There’s a man who was making all those gold “BitCoins” you used to see in photographs, everywhere, about the currency. The US government told him he didn’t have a license to do that. His coins, you see, also contained the tech to carry a BitCoin value. So he quit although he still sells other collectibles, apparently in the world of numismatics.

Then, yet another libertarian, gone to Panama City with another exchange, making empty talk about serving the “unbanked.” There’s no serving of the “unbanked” in The Rise and Rise of BitCoin, just libertarian get rich quick types who want to form their own country.

Finally, there’s Mark Karpeles of Mt. Gox and by the time Mross visits him things are already falling apart. Currently, odds are 50/50 the Japanese government will imprison him over the BitCoin fortunes gone missing at his exchange. (Oof! Done.)

You see the trend.

The Silk Road and Dark Web are part of the documentary. The government takes Silk Road’s BitCoins. So much for the silly idea BitCoin fanatics promoted that such things were impossible.

The US government subsequently auctioned off the riches to California venture capitalist and billionaire nuisance Tim Draper. Draper, you may recall, tried to get an initiative to split California into six states on the ballot. He failed. Just couldn’t resist putting his fingers on the scale with illegitimate signatures, apparently. Another matter, yes, but still related to the tech libertarian thing, the bit where you want your own country, with your rules, with your money kept safe from parasites and the government.

And you’ll see the Winklevosses, too.

Go to the Winkdex, read the blog, not much happening. Except this, renting out an 18-million dollar mansion in Los Angeles that had been hyped as a future HQ of their Internet venture capital firm.

And those nifty high-powered BitCoin mining rigs? They didn’t pay off. The ROI was terrible.


More Tales of the Wealthy, White and Paranoid

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Extremism, Fiat money fear and loathers at 2:02 pm by George Smith

The character of America’s Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse is rock solid kook-ism from the far right. It’s mainstream, an industry as well as a grifter’s paradise. There is good money to be made provisioning it: Advice pamphlets, rotten fiction and non-fiction books, emergency tools, concrete, cinder blocks, fuel, barriers of all types, entrenching shovels that double as bludgeons, dried and canned foods optimized for long-term storage, hundreds of YouTube prepper video channels monetized with Google ads, isolated real estate high in the country away from all those other people, special survival schools, guns, guns, more guns and ammo.

Grifter prepper industry junk bag.

Something you need for the end of civilization? They have it. Just click “Add to cart.”

And a couple weeks ago Chicago magazine set one of its reporters to cover a few of the city’s well-off locals willing to be interviewed on their prepping.

The reporter, Rod O’Connor, did leave one thing out in his interviews. Conspicuous by its omission, the politics of his subjects. You see, there are no libtards, gay people, or non-Christians in the bug out bunkers. And scarcely any non-whites.

Because it’s those other people in the cities who will be unprepared when the pulse occurs, American civilization topples and the rule of law comes to an end. It will be necessary to defend the family, possessions and land from them when they boil out of the urban rat-holes in desperation.

By definition: Preppers are a profoundly anti-democratic group, self-absorbed, peculiar and paranoid on fantasies fed to them through right-wing news and end-times self-published literature. The latter, a kind of romance fiction delivered as stories of social trial and purification encompassing world catastrophe, armed struggle and tragedy. But in the end, the good people, the white heterosexual people with values, faith and salt-of-the-earth savvy, still hanging on to the tattered belief in a real America, survive. Evil does not.

Which is why they really don’t like talking to anyone outside their circle, a fact so noted by the magazine’s reporter.

The closest O’Connor gets to the business end of the philosophical rifle is this:

Soon the conversation progressed from blizzards to the quintessential prepper novel One Second After (detailing the aftermath of an electromagnetic pulse attack; Newt Gingrich, America’s favorite conspiracy theorist, wrote the foreword), which she had recently read. Eleni, who has braces and hipster glasses, asked her parents how prepared they were for a serious disaster such as an EMP.

In addition, one is bugged about fiat money.

“All of a sudden, you have hyperinflation, and you’ll need a wagon of cash for a loaf of bread,” one of the preppers says.

Consistent with the beliefs and world view of most of the paranoids in WhiteManistan, every bad thing that happens is turned around to be about what could happen to them.

When, in point of fact, it’s about stuff that has happened to the other people, you know, them, the people without money, or in foreign countries, in poverty.

For example:

With every new epidemic or terrorist attack in the headlines, a new batch of preppers is born, says David Scott, whose Northbrook company, LifeSecure, sells everything from crush-resistant earthquake survival kits to fireproof masks designed for fleeing a bombed-out building. “We think of it like sediment,??? he says of the movement that he, of course, has a stake in stoking. “Another headline comes and another layer forms.???

Sediment. Let’s examine the “sediment.”

“Scott started his business in 2005, a few months before Hurricane Katrina, and believes the storm’s aftermath was a wake-up call for thousands of Americans,” the magazine continues.

This “taught” preppers “you could go hungry, thirsty, and even die in the U.S. before the government could save you.”

The people who went hungry and thirsty, or who died or lost everything in New Orleans as a result of Katrina were overwhelmingly African-American and poor, the very opposite of the prepper demographic.

“It was last fall’s Ebola outbreak, in fact, that made [a prepper named Bob Valenti] suddenly feel he was ill-equipped to protect his family if a pandemic disease were to spiral out of control,” reads the feature.

More “sediment.”

Let’s repeat. Who were the people who died in the Ebola outbreak?

Human beings, specifically black people, in the poor West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

And the first person to die in America, in Texas, of Ebola was?

Let’s leave it to the readers to mull over.

The prepper story points out that Bob Valenti, its first subject, has two homes — one in a wealthy suburb of Chicago, another in the countryside, for escaping to.

“I ask [another prepper named Campbell] if he fears the kind of lawlessness seen in post-Katrina New Orleans or the riots in Ferguson, Missouri,” it continues.

And when you read this, in a story about well-to-do white people possessed by a shared delusion, once again you know you’re in the presence of seriously turned-around bullshit, a world belief totally detached from actual social reality.

“Ammo is a great barter tool … It’s the ultimate commodity item,” the Downers Grove prepper named Bob Valenti tells the reporter.


And do have another look at the vast library of self-published prepper romance fiction.

“God forbid a small nuclear device or an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) bomb in Los Angeles (goes off), that’s where a lot of us are going to survive — up there,” he said. “You want to get out of the cities. There’s going to be mass looting, rioting — just like in Baltimore — only on a bigger scale because people are going to be hungry after a couple of weeks and the markets are out of food — and there’s no water. Now, we have water up there, we have game up there — we have deer, we have bear.”

from the Palm Springs (CA) Desert Sun, May 1

Taking it on the road

When Maryland’s Republican Representative Roscoe Bartlett was retired by voters, the lobby for protection against electromagnetic pulse collapsed in Washington.

It had never actually accomplished anything. But with Bartlett’s leadership it was regularly in the news.

The result: The lobby has taken its show on the road. It argues that defense against electromagnetic pulse doom is now a states rights issue.

From Colorado:

That’s why scientists who conducted a study of the risks to the nation’s power grid are traveling the country to warn states not to wait on the federal government.

“What differentiates this other blackout type scenarios is the mechanisms can cause long term permanent damage to many assets,??? said John Kappenman, an investigator with the Electromagnetic Pulse Commission.

State Rep. Joann Ginal, the sponsor of a bill aimed at protecting Colorado’s power grid, said, “It’s very import in regards to homeland security, security of our citizens in Colorado, and just day-to-day living.???

There is no Electromagnetic Pulse Commission. It’s been defunct for over a decade.

The bill was a request for the state’s Public Utilities Commission to study electromagnetic pulse, find where vulnerabilities are, and determine how to fund mitigation.


The study would be entirely funded with donations; nevertheless, the bill failed Wednesday afternoon. A dozen other states have passed, or are considering, similar legislation.

From the archives — the pulse.


Whatever happened to Kennedy?

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Fiat money fear and loathers at 12:08 pm by George Smith

Whatever happened to Kennedy, the MTV host (VJ), not the president)?

Well, she’s a right winger with a show on Fox and kicks off the first few paragraphs of an NYT magazine feature on how Ayn Randism has arrived. Libertarianism is the new grunge rock for young voters. Rand Paul, Kennedy says, is Pearl Jam, Ted Cruz, the Stone Temple Pilots.

The piece isn’t meant as satire. But that’s how it reads.

Kennedy’s show on Fox Business Network, “The Independents,” is allegedly non-partisan reads the piece, all because it bashes Republicans, too, and has Matt Welch as a co-host, from Reason magazine, a kind of private clubhouse publication masquerading as deep thought for the political movement.

The article has some great stuff:

“I saw Kennedy onstage in a hotel ballroom … gyrating to the soundtrack of Flashdance and hollering into a microphone, ‘Are you hungry for more liberty?’ She was the M.C. for the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s annual dinner … The C.E.I. is a 30-year-old organization that routinely sues federal agencies … [including Obamacare].”

The article reinforces the impression that libertarians are just snobbish more well-spoken Republicans who refuse to admit it, aren’t hung up on recreational use of drugs and are sort of OK with gay marriage. Even the last doesn’t really apply entirely to the piece. Neither Rand Paul or Ted Cruz are down with it.

Another unintentionally hilarious quote:

“Nick Gillespie is to libertarianism what Lou Reed is to rock ‘n’ roll, the quintessence of its outlaw spirit. He is 50, a former writer for teen and heavy-metal magazines, habitually garbed in black from head to toe, wry and mournful in expression, a tormented romantic who quotes Jack Kerouac. For the past 20 years, Gillespie has been a writer, editor and intellectual godfather for Reason…”

Not much of a recommendation for a magazine or its editors now, is it?

A decent read, it’s here.

Libertarianism isn’t taking over. When people actually come face to face with what it means in this country, they generally go the other way as fast as possible.

Libertarianism, as espoused by a few American politicians and Silicon Valley tycoons, means destroying all the functions of government so they can replace it with their constructs for shoddy private sector services provided at high cost. So they can get more of the pie while taking it from everyone else.

Tim Draper and his Six Californias initiative is the most recent classic example, discussed here. It’s now widely recognized as a ploy to make “Silicon Valley” a state so the tech plutocrats aren’t encumbered by the rest of us. In the process, it would create six new states, two of which, the northern tip and the central valley, would be among the poorest in the country.

Which, rather than being about creating liberty and better government, is an asshole of an idea.

Paul Krugman has spent a bit on his blog commenting, with some humor, on the Times magazine article, including his definition of libertarianism:

In other words, libertarianism is a crusade against problems we don’t have, or at least not to the extent the libertarians want to imagine. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the case of monetary policy, where many libertarians are determined to stop the Fed from irresponsible money-printing — which is not, in fact, something it’s doing.

The Six Californias initiative is like that, too. Tim Draper’s insistence that California is ungovernable because it is too big is, indeed, a crusade against a problem that doesn’t exist.

California is now very governable and moving forward. The reason is simple. State demographics finally eliminated the Republican Party as a blocking force in the state legislature.


Why BitCoin speculator Tim Draper wanted in to Argentina

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Fiat money fear and loathers at 10:35 am by George Smith

A couple weeks back venture capitalist and Six Californias ass hat Tim Draper won a US government auction for 30,000 BitCoins.

From the blog:

Draper is planning to use his digital wealth, in partnership with a company called Vaurum, to finance bitcoin-exchange services in the developing world. At a press conference, he praised bitcoin’s ability to “provide liquidity and confidence to markets that have been hamstrung by weak currencies.??? He singled out Argentina and its out-of-control inflation.

This week Argentina defaulted on debt repayment of $1.5 billion to a group of hedge-fund bond holders on Wall Street. The hedge funders, which the Argentinian government refers to as “vultures,” refused to take a hair-cut on the debt owed them, a devaluation that all the rest of Argentina’s creditors had agreed to years ago. They pursued Argentina in American courts and won a ruling that Argentina owed them as per the original terms.

So this week, Argentina thumbed its nose at them, missing a debt service to all its bond credit holders.

From the New York Times:

The multiyear dispute reached a breaking point on Wednesday after Argentina missed a deadline on a scheduled interest payment to its regular bondholders. Argentina’s predicament has arisen from a ruling by a federal judge in the United States that it could not make its regular payments on bonds without also paying the hedge fund holdouts. Wednesday evening, a court-appointed mediator issued a statement declaring Argentina to be “imminently??? in default.

In 2001 Argentina also defaulted on world debt, a crisis that brought on economic crisis and runaway inflation. Inflation continues to a problem in Argentina, where citizens have developed a black market to dump pesos for American dollars.

Enter the idea that BitCoin would be a great substitute to the black market exchange US dollars.

Continuing, from the Times:

Many Argentines who saw the value of the peso spiral quickly and their savings vanish after the last default have not been caught off guard this time.

“These past years have taught us a strategy of how to save up money in a reliable way,??? Gustavo said.

For most Argentines, the currency of choice is the dollar, but they have to go through the black market to obtain it. “It is difficult or almost impossible to keep those savings safe in Argentina, because money loses value very quickly here,??? he added.

“I think that many people buy the argument that Argentina did not default, and buy into the hatred of the evil vultures,??? Barbara Kotschwar, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told the Times.

The running narrative in the US and western press is that Argentina must repay its American “vultures” or suffer terrible unspecified consequences. Argentina is already unwelcome in global credit markets so it’s unclear what kind of revenge Wall Street could exact.

From the Economist:

Defaulting has helped no one: none of the bondholders will now be paid, Argentina looks like a pariah again, and its economy will remain starved of loans and investment.

Happily, much of the damage can still be undone. It is not too late to strike a deal with the hold-outs or back an ostensibly private effort to buy out their claims … More important, it would help to change perceptions of Argentina as a financial rogue state.”

Financial rogue state. Perish forbid American hedge-funders not receive their blood.

So an Argentine default that worsens conditions and causes more still more currency inflation would be helpful to those operating a BitCoin exchange in that country.

WinkDex has BitCoin at $600, trending downward a bit over the past couple weeks.


The Superhero of Venture Capitalists rides to the rescue of Argentine wealth

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Fiat money fear and loathers at 3:00 pm by George Smith

Why did Tim Draper buy up 30,000 Bitcoins from the US government?

So he can set up digital gold stockpile for other wealthy people in Argentina, where the upper tier on the society is distraught that inflation in the country’s crippled economy is devaluing their assets and all the debt they’re owed.

From one business journal:

Boost VC, the company founded by Tim’s son, Adam Draper, yesterday announced it had partnered with Tim to provide bitcoin liquidity to emerging markets, we learned in the press conference that was just the beginning of his plans.

Already, Boost VC has invested in bitcoin payment gateway, Bitpagos, with roots in Argentina, a nation with an average inflation rate of 205 percent between 1944 and 2013, making it a perfect place for bitcoin users, which are forecast to experience 11.1 percent inflation this year.

Argentina’s economy is in rough shape for its average citizen, so bad it has spawned a word — gasoleros, originally the title of a television series — to describe a lifestyle of just getting by.

BitCoins are not for the poor, whether they’re here or in Argentina, Turkey or Mexico.

And in Argentina, one way to avoid having your assets devalued by inflation is to invest in dollars. And there is a blackmarket operation for that in Argentina, which limits exchange of pesos for a maximum of $2,000/month, an amount most of its citizens cannot do because they simply do not earn enough money in the crippled economy.

Enter BitCoin, which doesn’t do anything to fix that, but is like gold.

From the New Yorker:

There is some evidence that very wealthy individuals in economically troubled countries—if not governments themselves—are turning to bitcoin as a more stable investment than their own currencies. Last year, Sergio Ruestes, an Argentine filmmaker, released a brief documentary about some of his countrymen’s enthusiasm for bitcoin as an escape from the rapidly falling peso, and as a means of circumventing capital controls such as restrictions on international money transfers and monthly limits on the purchase of U.S. dollars. The Economist recently reported that Argentina is home to more bitcoin-accepting businesses than any other South American country …

Draper is planning to use his digital wealth, in partnership with a company called Vaurum, to finance bitcoin-exchange services in the developing world. At a press conference, he praised bitcoin’s ability to “provide liquidity and confidence to markets that have been hamstrung by weak currencies.??? He singled out Argentina and its out-of-control inflation. “We are all going to be so much better off because of bitcoin,??? he said.

From the New York Times, on hedge-fund bond-holders, or as they’re sometimes referred to in Argentinian news, “vultures” circling its economy:

Argentina’s government has 30 days to decide whether it should try to make peace with a group of New York hedge funds that it has bitterly fought for years in a dispute that could change the global market for government bonds.

The hedge funds, after a series of important victories in United States courts, have managed to back Argentina into a daunting legal corner. Judge Thomas P. Griesa of the Federal District Court in Manhattan has told the country that it cannot make payments on its main class of foreign bonds without also paying the defaulted bonds that the hedge funds hold …

Argentina could allow a default at the end of July. The [hedge-fund bond holdouts], seeing that the government has gone to such lengths, might then decide to soften their stance. Alternatively, the holdouts may hold firm until next year to see if the next Argentine government is less combative.

The Hunt for Satoshi Nakamoto BitCoin Elvis, the comic book, is coming.


Yep, still LickSpittleCoin

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Fiat money fear and loathers at 1:41 pm by George Smith

From the WSJ:

Bitcoin Latest Price: $460.89, down 7.9% (via CoinDesk)
Crossing Our Desk:

– Beijing still seems to matter for the price of bitcoin. Given that trading in the digital currency has dried up considerably since China first started cracking down on banks’ interactions with bitcoin businesses in December, you’d think the market’s capacity to be surprised might have similarly dried up.

But here we are, once again, with reports of some negative statements by officials at the People’s Bank of China and bitcoin’s international price is down sharply. Specifically, today’s $40 drop …

Get your painting of BitCoin Elvis now. Hurry!

BitCoin grifters arrive in Washington for its cheap power, hydroelectric, mostly built by the government, many years ago.

From the Spokane Spokesman:

When two Stanford University grads wanted to start a bitcoin company, they looked for the lowest power rates in the country.

A map comparing energy rates led them to Central Washington, where hydroelectric dams churn out electricity that costs industrial customers less than 2 cents per kilowatt.

HashPlex, the business launched by Bernie Rihn and George Schnurle, is one of several bitcoin mining companies operating or preparing to launch in Grant, Chelan and Douglas counties …

In a warehouse near Wenatchee in Douglas County, Everett entrepreneur Dave Carlson runs a bitcoin business called MegaBigPower. It’s one of three MegaBigPower sites, including one in Poland.

Inside the 5,000- square-foot building are long rows of racks and shelves holding computer boards connected by cables to hundreds of other computer servers that keep track of what the boards are doing.

Carlson has been featured in several major publications, where he’s said his business is likely the largest bitcoin mining business in the United States.

Like Rihn, he doesn’t want to disclose his specific location.

Sing us the song about the democratizing power of BitCoin tech again, won’t you please?


Yep, still AssholeCoin

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Fiat money fear and loathers at 2:37 pm by George Smith

The Rise and Rise of BitCoin, via Winkdex: Or the graph or the hoarders slowly trying to unload their holdings onto other libertarian tech geek suckers.

Note steady downward slope since apex of BitCoin mania.

In other news, BitCoin Elvis of Temple City, was given $20,000 in BitCoin by Reddit BitCoin altar boys for a YouTube press release in which he asserted that he was not, in fact, BitCoin Elvis. Again. Thanks for the 20k, though. (No link)

And from the wire, the BitCoin satellite network, which doesn’t exist yet but so (?):

One private venture is aiming to launch a cluster of tiny satellites that would broadcast the latest bitcoin transactions from orbit.

“To me, it’s really about resilience and lowering costs,” Jeff Garzik, the man behind the start-up Dunvegan Space Systems, told Space.com. This week, Garzik announced that his company contracted the private space venture Deep Space Industries, Inc. to develop nanosatellites for the project dubbed BitSat.

Primarily, Garzik hopes the BitSat network will have a democratizing effect, making bitcoin data available to people living in off-grid locations or outside Western nations in places where an Internet connection is costly.

Garzik has a fundraising target between $2 million and $5 million to get the first BitSats off the ground. He’s hoping to raise those funds (in bitcoins) through a Kickstarter-like campaign.

Off-grid being tech geek libertarian code speak for “I’m going to have a place with my rules like the Republic of CyberBunker or SeeLand or any sea-steading micro-nation-type thing.”

Micro-nationers gotta be able to have BitCoin and access to the blockchain.

Next up, the intriguing trailer of the fan documentary, The Rise and Rise of BitCoin, by Daniel and Nicholas Mross, two aspiring Winklevosses.

Viewers will notice the BitCoin movie shows all the tech geek white guys into it (except for the one non-white masked guy who’s selling drugs on Silk Road).

One of the characters in the trailer, another crypto-currency coding genius, again points out the commonly held notion that BitCoin is all about the democratizing power of technology. Because there’s nothing that says democracy more than a money that’s concentrated all in the hands of speculators and hoarders and which can only be “mined” by ridiculous assemblies of machines average people can’t afford.

An excerpt from a review in the Hollywood Reporter:

Between interviews with entrepreneurs, Libertarians who’ve embraced the currency in order to get off the grid and U.S. government officials tasked with assessing virtual currency’s relevance to money laundering and funding terrorism, the film charts the currency’s fast-rising price in U.S. dollars and watches as Dan Mross invests plenty of money in his mining operation. Some chunks of this narrative are chronologically vague, a not-insignificant failing given how quickly things change on the Bitcoin scene. And most viewers will want a little more detail about our guide’s personal experience with the currency. Having bought in so early, is he now rich? How much did he spend on all those specially-engineered servers in his basement?

Make way, BitCoin ist die Zukunft, coming to you today! The future’s brimming with promise and the promise is heading our way.

And just for fun, a picture from the Winklevoss West palace in the Hollywood Hills.

Purchase made possible by the cash chiseled from Zuckerberg.


Put a brilliant hacker in an on-line Bitcoin bank & he’ll start changing lives right and left! Your eyes will fill with tears!

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Fiat money fear and loathers at 12:06 pm by George Smith

Comment rescue:

Bitcoin is as a SCAM by design as I have voiced many times over several months in that even when a large percentage of people have their holdings stolen the price is stable enough to continue to entice new entrants into exchanging hard earned fiat currency for bitcoins via the ramblings of the clueless mainstream press.

From here.

I suspect it’s possible to scan the blockchain, or exchanges and their reported trades, for the purposes of getting an idea as to whether or not a significant portion of bitcoin hoarders are trying to stealthily and slowly unload their holdings onto others for US dollars.

The author above is right about the mainstream press.

The “Bitcoin beat??? has been created and most of its work is pumped out by editors and reporters who are either stenographers, blow-jobbers or writers just thinking up crap to put down so the news sites benefit from clickbait.

Like Bitcoin, it’s substantially detached from reality.

That’s the model of the tech press. Invariably, once a trend beat is invented or discovered, it separates from reality and exists only as p.r., troll pieces, processes to secure eyeballs, servant the subject and keep the beat going.

The grand-daddy of the phenomenon is defense and national security reporting.

The Winkdex: $592

Hat tip to Ted Jr.


A Fugly Truth Made Fuglier: A Cartoonist’s work will make you laugh until your jaw falls off

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Fiat money fear and loathers at 12:16 pm by George Smith

From the Financial Times:

By rights, Bitcoin’s community of enthusiasts, venture capitalists and start-up companies should now be occupied with how it can re-establish credibility after a series of unfortunate events. Instead, much of its energy over the past week has been taken up by fulminating about the magazine’s treatment of Mr Nakamoto …

Online forums have filled with virulent criticism, and a lot of sexist abuse, of Leah McGrath Goodman, the reporter who found the man she believes … is “Satoshi Nakomoto??? …

“The recurring theme of Bitcoin is that it is exciting but it has been difficult to find good entrepreneurs. There is a set of guys who got lucky by setting up companies in the early days before it really took off. They were in the right place but were the wrong people,??? says one venture capitalist.

Winkdex: $638, recovering.

From the LA Times:

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies say that a Newsweek reporter’s story exposing what the magazine claims is the founder of Bitcoin did quote them and the man featured in the article accurately, a spokesman said.

The San Gabriel Valley suburb of Temple City was inundated by reporters Thursday after Newsweek alleged resident Dorian Nakamoto was really “Satoshi Nakamoto,” the man behind the virtual currency. In the Newsweek article he is quoted as telling the reporter “I’m no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it” while deputies are present.

But on Thursday he denied to the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press that he was the founder …

Capt. Mike Parker said he has spoken to both deputies who responded to the suspicious persons call on Feb.20. He said “one of the two deputies had heard of bitcoins but only knew vaguely about them” prior to the call. He said the reporters’ statements and questions about Bitcoin prompted the conversation.

“Both sheriff’s deputies agreed that the quotes published in the March 6, 2014, Newsweek magazine Bitcoin article that were attributed to the resident and to one of the deputies were accurate.???

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