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Plan C: The Cold War Plan Which Would Have Brought the US Under Martial Law

perpenso Swore oaths to the Constitution (282 comments)

Aaaaannnd what side of the battle you think they will be on? You know, after having sworn oaths etc, and a command structure that can say "bang! you're dead" for not obeying orders?

They swore oaths to the Constitution and not blind loyalty to a President, nor a commander nor a command structure. They only swore to obey lawful orders from that command structure, i.e. orders within the bounds of the Constitution. Contrary to the belief of many civilians, soldiers and Marines are not mindless robots that will follow all orders.

Or do you consider that every ex-miltary person has a raging libertarian anti-government hard-on? And want to kill their former squad mates?

You mean like in a civil war where half the country feels the other half has betrayed the constitution and the people? When things go that bad active duty military are picking sides just live former military and other civilians. Read up on the US Civil War, a major problem for the Union was that many of its best officers and troops joined the Confederate forces. Robert E Lee was offered command of both the Union Army and the Confederate Army.

yesterday
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Plan C: The Cold War Plan Which Would Have Brought the US Under Martial Law

perpenso Delivering the mail (282 comments)

... there was a CoG (Continuity of Government) plan, at least for leadership. Don't ask me who they thought was going to deliver the mail ...

"The Postman"
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt01...

yesterday
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Plan C: The Cold War Plan Which Would Have Brought the US Under Martial Law

perpenso We have had to invade friends before ... (282 comments)

No joke, the US Army has plans for "if we have to invade Canada."

We have had to invade friends before, for example France in 1944.

yesterday
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Google Just Made It Easier To Run Linux On Your Chromebook

perpenso Chrome OS doesn't want user installed binaries (169 comments)

If they are making it easy to run "normal" Linux, why not install the appropriate libs and allow Linux apps to run side-by-side with Chrome apps?

Because that opens a big gaping hole in Chrome's security. Part of the security of Chrome OS is to not let users install binaries. They only get web apps.

This model is broadening to a degree with the ability to run some Android apps. However my understanding is that these apps must be pure java, no NDK, no direct usage of the Linux kernel and other related system level libraries. The Android app lives entirely in its Java sandbox.

4 days ago
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Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

perpenso Made for 10 years olds rather than 15 year olds (420 comments)

The "we were kids when we saw episodes 1-3" argument is perfectly valid. However I think it would be fair to say that from episodes 1-3 to 4-6 the target age group dropped from age 15'ish to age 10'ish. I think that is a legitimate complaint. Although I will entertain the thought that the change began in 3 with the ewoks.

4 days ago
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Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

perpenso Parallel universe not new time line ... (420 comments)

Yah the time line changes ...

What time line change? Its an alternate parallel universe. From the original TV series we "know" that a parallel universe with a "slightly" different federation history is perfectly legit. :-)

4 days ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

perpenso Re:Scams are specific to models ... (290 comments)

A government could do so without fixing the currency to gold.

Sure a government can fix the price of gold without going to the gold standard but the government can not go to the gold standard without fixing the price of gold. See the difference?

That's not what I am saying. I am saying a government can prohibit private ownership and trading without going to a gold standard. And that such a prohibition is *not* fixing the price of gold, as your chart demonstrates in the early 1970s when such a situation existed and the price roughly doubled.

I have no idea why a nation would want to do so, our time interval just seems a legislative fluke.

Read the wikipedia article on Bretton Wood. It tells you many reasons why the US abandoned it. The main reason is that the gold standard does not allow for flexibility to deal with economic change.

The legislative fluke I am referring to is leaving the gold standard but not removing the prohibition on ownership and trading, early 1970s.

Your chart does show the price of gold roughly doubling during the interval so the prohibition doesn't seem to fix the price all by itself.

In 1934 the Gold Reserve Act changed the value of gold from $20.67 per troy ounce to $35. That is government price fixing.

The interval I am referring to is the early 1970s where the US was off the gold standard but the prohibition on private ownership and trading was still in effect. I was offering an example of such a prohibition not being equivalent to fixing the price.

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

perpenso Re:Scams are specific to models ... (290 comments)

Outlawing private ownership and trading removes a major source of volatility.

How is that different than fixing the price of gold? To me outlawing private ownership and trading are methods to fix the price of gold. All I have been saying is that a gold standard will not work if gold can be bought and sold on an open market. We seem to agree on that. You just use different terminology.

Well it essentially puts all the gold in the government treasury. A government could do so without fixing the currency to gold. There was a very brief interval where this was the situation in the US. The US abandoned Bretton Wood and then a few years later removed the prohibition on private ownership. I have no idea why a nation would want to do so, our time interval just seems a legislative fluke. Your chart does show the price of gold roughly doubling during the interval so the prohibition doesn't seem to fix the price all by itself.

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

perpenso Re:Scams are specific to models ... (290 comments)

Have you seen this graph. Notice how the price of gold is pretty stable up till about 1971? There is no way one could have a dollar tied to a physical amount of gold with the volatility of gold prices these days.

You know what happened in 1971? The US unilaterally exited Bretton Wood and the international exchange rate was no longer fixed. Those two stable plateaus around $20 and $35, those are the prices at which an ounce of gold was fixed during those time frames. Where things get really wild in the mid 1970s, that's where US citizens were allowed to own and trade gold once again.

Pegging the dollar to gold essentially outlaws volatility. Outlawing private ownership and trading removes a major source of volatility. The gold standard is as doable today as it was in the past. The reason not to return to the gold standard is to avoid or moderate various economic problems that periodically occur. A gold standard would prevent the federal reserve from using monetary policy to curb inflation and deflation, ease economic downturns, respond to various crisis, etc. The lack of a flexible monetary policy is one of the things believed to have contributed to the severity of the great depression of the 1930s.

A gold standard is doable, its just naive bad policy. It a cure for the overspending disease, but its an outdated ineffective cure with terrible side effects like many other medicines from previous centuries.

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

perpenso Re:Scams are specific to models ... (290 comments)

[Context: US on a gold standard]
You already have gold, that US Dollar represents a certain amount of gold sitting in the US Treasury.

When did that happen? It wasn't that way when we went off the gold standard. If every printed note were "turned in" there wouldn't be enough gold to cover it.

A government is free to issue gold backed notes that may or may not be redeemable for actual gold. Note that the US government prohibited private ownership of both actual gold and previously issued federal gold certificates in 1934, requiring that both be sold to the treasury. Under the post-World War II Bretton Woods system we had a couple of decades of the dollar fixed to a certain amount of gold but not redeemable for gold.

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

perpenso Re:Scams are specific to models ... (290 comments)

You missed a very important point. Gold standard only works when the trading price of gold is fixed as it was in the US between 1944 and 1971. That was done by the Bretton Woods system.

A gold standard by definition fixes the value of a currency unit at a particular quantity of gold.

Bretton Wood was about requiring nations to define a target exchange rate between their currencies and US dollars, indirectly tying them to gold since the US dollar was to be tied to gold, and to keep actual exchange rates close to that target. The US promised not to change the dollar/gold rate, necessary to get buy-in for the US dollar to become the reserve currency. So the US was fixed and other nations had a small amount of room to wobble.

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

perpenso Re:Scams are specific to models ... (290 comments)

You missed my point. On the gold standard yes a dollar would be worth a set amount of gold in a repository somewhere but the buying value of said dollar would still be bound to the intrinsic value of gold in general. The US government doesn't control the whole world's gold supply and if some schmuck decided to buy up 10% of the gold in the rest of the world and dump it into the ocean, the remaining 90% of the gold stocks will instantly rise in value. After this, with gold worth more, the dollar will have more buying power*, creating deflation. Boom, relatively easy currency manipulation and certainly well within the capabilities of certain governments. *buying power as an assumption that you could buy the same things with external gold.

"relatively easy" ?
"well within the capabilities" ?

(1) Could you explain the part about a nation acquiring 10% of the world's gold and flushing that value/wealth down the toilet? I seem to missing something with regard to the logic.

(2) Three words: marine salvage, robotics. Dumping stuff in the ocean ain't what it used to be. I'd love to see someone do as you suggest. It would be the mother of all prizes for underwater robotics research. The US scientific and engineering communities would probably greatly benefit as the suppliers of the "shovels" in the new "gold rush". It would be Apollo program like and reap benefits for decades to follow.

:-)

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

perpenso Virtually currency value is entire faith based (290 comments)

The strength of a currency has nothing to do with the issuing body's military and diplomatic power. What jellomizer was saying was that while the printing of the US dollar is controlled by a government institution that could print arbitrary amounts of money, bitcoins cannot be arbitrarily created.

But a bitcoin's value is also arbitrary, it is based on the faith of those who hold it. Arbitrary creation is just a talking point. A more stable supply did not constrain the skyrocketing from $60 to $1,000 nor did it prevent the crash from $1,000 to $200. Faith drove both.

Development teams and advocates can make up rationales for their theory of value, i.e. the value is equivalent to the mining expense, but such statement are just salesmanship, marketing, they have no force. Virtually currency value is entire faith based. If there is sufficient and constant faith it could work but that doesn't change its underlying faith based nature.

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

perpenso Scams are specific to models ... (290 comments)

Because thats an awesome idea, make it easy for some organization to artificially inflate the value of a currency by running ads on TV and the internet about how you should invest in some precious metal, creating fake demand.

No, not at all. When the currency represents an amount of gold there is no such speculation or hedging. You already have gold, that US Dollar represents a certain amount of gold sitting in the US Treasury.

Tying currency to a physical substance (gold) only makes it easier for outside organizations to manipulate that currency since they can play with the values and availability of stockpiles of said substance outside of your control.

No. When the currency is gold based then the gold is typically under the control of the government, physically possessed by the government. Private stockpiles would be dwarfed by the government treasury and would only exist at the government's pleasure. At any time a government could seize a private stockpile and leave behind an equivalent pile of dollars. For example United States Gold Reserve Act of 1934.

That said I'm not advocating a return to the gold standard. I'm just point out that some scams are specific to certain financial models, that they do not universally apply.

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

perpenso Last year's $1,000 coin is this years $200 coin (290 comments)

A medium that doesn't deflate value by randomly printing more paper.

Does it matter if the value deflates due to printing as in the dollar case, or a lack of interest or lack of faith as in the bitcoin case? Last year's $1,000 bitcoin is this years $200 bitcoin. Why would the public care about the cause rather than the result?

That said I agree that bitcoin is useful as a mechanism to transfer value, as a transaction method, but as a store of value it currently fails. Its totally subject to consumer (goods/service buyer) and investor sentiment, merchant (goods/service seller) sentiment is irrelevant since merchants accepting bitcoins generally immediate convert them to dollars, euros, etc to avoid holding risks.

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

perpenso Price volatility deters public at large ... (290 comments)

"raising alarm about its future viability" To whom?

The public at large. A bitcoin recipient needs to take no risk, they can immediately convert to dollars, euros, etc. This is how many merchants touted by the bitcoin community operate. They do their accounting and pricing in dollars or euros, when offered bitcoins they calculate an amount based on the real-time exchange rate, accept the coins and immediate sell the coins for dollars or euros. Technically a 3rd party, a bitcoin exchange, actually does much of this so the merchant never actually sees or touches a bitcoin. Which keeps their accounting simple and avoids tax complications, yet another deterrent the public is just about to learn about.

Now on the public side, the sender side, the bitcoins are generally "stored" in a "wallet" for a time frame longer than minutes. "Spending money" for some number of days? The senders are more exposed to volatility since they are generally holding bitcoins.

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

perpenso Public must have an immediate tangible benefit (290 comments)

Transaction fees are already in use. The amount can vary based on demand and supply, so no reason why those would kill bitcoin.

The attraction of bitcoin as a transaction service is linked to its low fees. If mining must be supported by fees and fees rise to appreciable levels then bitcoin loses its competitive advantage against other services.

The public at large is not part of the "movement", it isn't buying into the politics as a justification to use bitcoin. The public at large is very different from the enthusiasts, the public must have an immediate tangible benefit to use bitcoins.

about two weeks ago
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Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

perpenso Apple has updated obsolete OS versions ... (629 comments)

At least Apple gives a pretty decent support life of most of products.

Apple has also released some critical security fixes for obsolete no-longer-supported versions of iOS, so their concept of "no longer supported" has exceptions. Not all obsolete versions, but those that represent the final version that a particular line of hardware can upgrade to.

about two weeks ago
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Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

perpenso Google only partially supports Android (629 comments)

Google doesn't support phones they support android. This is fixed in the latest version of android.

Which would have compatibility and performance problems for some 4.3 based phones.

Basically you are wrong in your premise that google supports android. In fact they only partially support android. To fully support it there needs to be more reasonable timeframes for patching older OS versions. Especially for security related patches. Even Apple will occasionally release critical security patches for iOS versions that are officially no longer supported.

about two weeks ago

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