Tag Archive | the future

The Inevitable State War on Crypto

I’ve been watching the crypto market for a long time. Naturally, being a tech person and an anarchist, Bitcoin was something that I was deeply interested in, but it wasn’t until last year that I actually started putting any money into it–and even then, only small amounts. More recently, I’m putting in literally every penny that I can afford. It’s pretty clear to me that crypto-currencies are the future, and that fiat currencies are going to be crushed. But before we get into that, let’s discuss this idea first that BTC and other cryptos are “fiat” currencies.

Fiat?

Fiat means “by decree,” basically. A fiat currency is one that some authority figure decrees to be the currency. This is why the USD is a fiat currency–the U.S. government has made it our currency and has, in the way that monopolies do, fought very hard to keep any competition from existing. It’s not being inflationary that makes a currency “fiat.” It’s having a government say, “This is your currency.” If the USD was abolished and the government switched to BTC, then BTC would be a “fiat currency.” In fact, a isn’t the right article to use when discussing fiat currencies; the is usually more accurate. The USD is the fiat currency.

The Past

In the past, kings and nations had to pay for wars using their gold and silver coins. War is expensive, and it has always been expensive. Historically, men who otherwise could have been doing something productive are instead paid to go out and be destructive. This obviously constitutes a net drain on wealth. You not only have people not being productive–and being paid to not be productive–but they’re also being deliberately destructive. Resources, gold, labor, man-hours… all of these things are destroyed during war, and all of them could have been used in a more capitalist sense by investing them and turning them into more wealth and resources.

Taxes were historically high upon barons and lords, who in turn taxed the shit out of their peasants to pay the king’s taxes. The peasants were not usually taxed directly by the king; the king commanded the barons, dukes, and lords to give him money, and they did so. However, the barons, dukes, and lords didn’t really do anything to earn money (neither did the king, of course), and so they had to steal it from the peasants through taxation. The king had to pay his soldiers to fight the wars, had to pay for swords and ships, and all of these other things, because an unpaid soldier is a disloyal soldier.

Soldiers are always the first people to be paid by the ruling power. We see this today in Venezuela where, despite crippling national poverty, soldiers still enforce the government’s bidding because they are still being paid, and offered extra toilet paper for their service. It becomes a matter of survival for the soldiers–everyone else is starving, but they can keep themselves and their families provided-for by continuing to serve the system that has made everyone else poor, but if they refuse to serve, then their families will starve with everyone else.

Because it was a necessity to pay soldiers and because it was impossible for any king to do everything they needed to do while also paying for a war, they instead resorted to inflation. Inflation is when the amount of currency increases while the amount of wealth it represents stays the same or decreases (typically, it decreases). Let’s use a silly example to explain it.

I give you ten M&Ms and I say “These are worth $100.” This means that each M&M is worth $10, yes? Then I say, “I’m going to make you more wealthy. Here’s twenty more M&Ms.” But you find, once you have thirty M&Ms, that they’re still only worth $100. You have more M&Ms, sure, but you still only have $100. Instead of making you richer, you have the same amount of money that you had before. This is inflation. The value of the M&M was inflated. Real life inflation is more dangerous than this, because I don’t actually give you the other twenty M&Ms. In reality, I keep them, and let you keep yours. You still have ten M&Ms, but they’re only worth $33.33 now. I didn’t make you wealthier, did I? I made you poorer.

I robbed you.

Instead of paying with pure gold coins, kings stretched their gold further by taking cheap metals like tin and plating them with gold. It was still “a gold coin,” but it was worth much, much less than a pure gold coin. Instead of having only one thousand gold coins, the king had ten thousand of these gold-plated coins. So if a soldier was paid one coin a week, then he was able to pay ten thousand soldiers that week, instead of only one thousand.

Today the United States Government does this by printing money instead of adding tin to gold coins, but it has exactly the same effect. Earlier today I watched a video of some obnoxious twats who rented dinosaur costumes to go to the White House and “protest” with signs saying that the government should fund national sciences. They may think that now, because the government’s inflation allows them to mask the true cost of this crap. But if the government had to actually steal from us tax us to pay its bills, they wouldn’t be out there asking for their taxes to be increased.

You know, people think our taxes pay for our roads, our education, our bridges, Medicare, Medicaid, and these wars… That’s so untrue. Our taxes leave a huge deficit, to the tune of about $600 billion dollars every year, and that deficit just increases, raising the National Debt ever more. Even with obscene taxation (because we are taxed far more heavily than the colonists would have stood for), the government must inflate the currency to obscene degrees by borrowing it from the private banking cartel that is the Federal Reserve Bank.

The Future

So how do crypto-currencies fit into this? Well, the U.S. government can’t inflate them. They’re decentralized, so they can’t be inflated like that. The U.S. Government can drop money into bank accounts and buy large amounts of crypto, and it’s certainly doing so, but this is pouring value into the cryptos because the USD represents value because it’s easier to exchange and is used in wage payments. If clients paid my invoices in LTC and ETH… That would be fantastic. Anyway, if they did so, then my labor would be pouring value into LTC and ETH, and every new coin would be a representation of the work that I did to earn it. As it is now, it’s a representation of how much USD I spent and, in theory, the USD is a representation of the work I did to earn it.

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The government can’t just tell Crypto Managers, “We want 35 Bitcoins to pay for something,” because there are no “Crypto Managers” they can tell it to. This is the way the Federal Reserve System works, of course–the government tells this cartel of privately owned banks that it wants money (which has Interest attached to it, naturally), and the bank coalition hands it over, because they’re assured to make money in the long-run since the government will steal from us to pay it back. This money is created out of thin air, devaluing all the existent money like the M&Ms above.

If the government wants crypto, it has to buy them. To do that, it must raise money. To do that, it must steal from us. This will work for a while, and the government will buy cryptos, but the continual increase in value that cryptos are seeing will continue to cause people to move away from the USD and into cryptos. Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target will inevitably start taking the more popular cryptos. We saw exactly the same thing with credit and debit cards, and with personal checks. There are minimal differences, because the debit cards and the personal checks also represented wealth. When people store their wealth, they want it to still be there when they go to retrieve it. A history of it “not being there” is why we have FDIC today, and is what the movie It’s a Wonderful Life is sort of about. Think of each crypto as its own MasterCard or Visa or Discover or American Express. Right now, I’d say BTC is Visa, ETH is MasterCard, LTC is American Express, and DASH is probably Discover.

In the beginning of cards, no one took them, because not enough people had the cards for the companies to justify the expense in setting up their systems to accept them as payment. There are also legal hurdles, but let’s put those aside for the moment. As more people make money in cryptos and find that they are excellent places to store wealth, more people will store their wealth in them, and more people will carry the “cards” and motivate Target et al. to install “card processing machines.” In time (and, due to how accelerated social changes have become, I’d bet it will be within ten years), larger corporate employers will offer employees the option of being paid in crypto currencies.

This is something that cannot be stopped. Pandora’s Box is open, and the only way to pull the plug now is to shut down the entire Internet and never let it come back online. Every BTC miner has a full copy of the blockchain and could restore the network. There is no amount of cracking down that could get and destroy every single part of the crypto networks. They will try, of course. They have no choice. To survive, they must try. We’re getting to that.

There already exist completely anonymous wallets like Jaxx, which allow a person to send and receive crypto without giving up any personal identifying information. This stuff is extremely difficult (although not impossible) to track. I purchase through Coinbase and then send to one of three other wallets. If the state zoomed in on me, they could certainly figure out exactly how much money I have where, but they can’t do this for everyone, and eventually they’ll be overwhelmed solely by numbers–it’s like how torrent sites openly exist today, such as the Pirate Bay. And even if The Pirate Bay one day finally goes down, a hundred will pop up in its place.

The Internet gave us far more power than they ever anticipated, and cryptos are the next stage of that. Once we have cryptos, we can be paid, and we can make purchases, all without ever touching the USD. The USD, which steadily loses value, is a terrible investment. It takes $20 today to buy what $1 bought in 1913. Meanwhile, it takes 0.1 BTC to buy today what it took 1 BTC to buy a year ago. Cryptos have been moving in the opposite direction from the USD; while it becomes less valuable, they become more valuable. Which would you want to be paid in? Which would you rather have–a one hundred dollar bill, or 1.2 Litecoins?

To make matters even worse, they will find that it’s very, very difficult to tax. And it’s impossible to tax in large amounts. Every single person would have to be audited. Massive amounts of wealth will slip right through the IRS’s fingers. “How much crypto do you have?”

“I plead the Fifth.”

They can easily look up your social security number to find your checking and savings accounts, and to find your stocks and shares, and tax you accordingly. But how are they going to find your crypto wallets? What if you store your crypto wallet on an Onion server–on the Tor network? Anonymity within anonymity.

What will happen when Saudi Arabia says, “Sorry, man, but you have to pay us in ETH for our gas”?

It won’t matter by that point, of course. By that point, every American citizen will have started moving away from the USD. Wal-Mart and other corporations will accept it as payment, and they’ll offer to pay people in the same currency. The government’s stranglehold on our wealth will have been broken. So how will it pay $300,000 to teach hookers in the Phillipines how to use condoms? How will it pay $1.6 trillion to fight in foreign countries? The soldiers wouldn’t accept the USD as payment, and neither would the tank and missile manufacturers.

“Taxation” is the only way–inflation will have been ruled out, because they don’t control the currency and can’t inflate it.

And this is why the anonymity matters. They cannot tax what they cannot track. And if they begin kidnapping random people to extort money from them, I don’t believe even the slothen, lackadaisical Americans would put up with that. “We’re going to institute a 0.01 BTC tax to pay for a hammer for NASA to use.”

lol.

Yeah, right.

Once we have to actually be directly taxed to pay for this shit, these government schemes will evaporate. You want to End the Fed? You want to abolish the Department of Education? You want to end Medicaid and welfare? You want to stop the wars? You want to keep the government from paying ludicrous amounts of money to teach hookers how to use condoms?

It’s done with cryptos.

I don’t know if Bitcoin will be one of the holdouts in the end. It has a lot of baggage attached to it. To many people, Bitcoin is used for money laundering and for paying ransoms. It’s going to be very difficult for BTC to get out from under that shadow, even if it’s possible. And I know BTC people are celebrating as it approaches $5,000 per (and I would be, too), and I congratulate them–but their excitement is a little undue. We’re still in the very, very early phases of this. We haven’t even come close to 5% adoption rates. We’re still deep in the Early Adopter phase.

Once we get around 5%, television shows and movies will begin featuring cryptos. Popular mainstream figures and shows like Pewdewpie, Family Guy, Rick & Morty, and South Park will begin mentioning it in regular conversation. They’ll show characters making money with it, making purchases with it… Then, with the Trend Setters like them on board, we’ll reach about 15% adoption. The Trend Setters will bring in the Trend Followers, and that is when Target et al. will start accepting it at the cash registers.

Many people will enter expecting to multiply their wealth by twenty times, hundred times, and so on, but that phase of the cryptos will mostly be over, and a few primary cryptos will be in the lead, and there they will stay until the next paradigm shift. Some new crypto with some new, novel algorithm won’t sway the masses of people. They won’t be impressed by Newcoin’s shiny new algorithms, and will stay with whatever cryptos are in the lead. I think it’s going to be Ethereum, Litecoin, and something else–probably not Bitcoin, because of all its baggage (and its price). Adoption rates will slow down, as these trend followers tell everyone that the “wealth people were making” must have been greatly exaggerated, because they’re only making 1% or 2% gains. The late arrivers will finally get on board, leaving only the iconoclasts, rebels, and conservatives out of the loop, and by then the Gold Rush will officially be over. There will be no more meteoric rises from $40 to $100, or from $600 to $5000.

And there will be losses. I see a lot of people excited about LTC’s climb right now–myself among them, and I really can’t afford for it to plummet–but it did plummet earlier this year, coming in at about $15 per and dropping to less than $2 each around February. Someone who bought 100 LTC while it was $15 each and sold them when it fell to $2 each lost $1300.

I don’t like Bitcoin, to be honest. It has too much baggage, and I’m more than a little envious of the people who bought it at $10 a pop and now have tens of thousands of dollars. What can I say? I’m honest about my motives. I want to see BTC collapse because I’ll feel better about having missed that boat, and I want to see the smugness wiped from Bitcoin Champions’ faces. It’s petty, I know. But the smugness! My god, the smugness. They act like it’s impossible for BTC to rapidly collapse. And it’s not only possible, it’s extremely likely to, around the time the Trend Setters start coming in.

The dumbest thing I heard this week was someone saying that “the number of coins purchased doesn’t matter–its percentage of growth relative to the USD is all that matters.”

That’s Old Paradigm thinking. In fact, the amount of coinage is all that ultimately matters. If the USD collapses, which it ultimately will, and cryptos will be the reason why, it won’t matter one tiny freaking bit that BTC was valued much more highly, according to the USD, than ETH. 0.01 BTC may be worth $100 right now, but if you take that USD away, what do you have? You have 0.01 of a currency. And without the USD, that 0.01 of a currency is a lot less than 1.00 of another currency. Without the USD measuring these currencies relative to one another, the amount of coinage will be all that freaking matters. You could have your wealth vanish in a heartbeat if people decide that a car is worth more than 6 BTC. Without the USD there saying those 6 BTC are worth $30,000, how are you going to get anyone else to accept that your 6 BTC are an even exchange for a car?

This is why the amount of coinage matters. If you get trapped in the Old Paradigm and attempt to apply it to the New Paradigm, in the end I don’t think you’ll have any wealth left at all. Right now, the only thing keeping BTC so valuable is literally the existence of these other currencies. Erase them from the equation, and what do you have? 0.04 BTC. Well, I’ll have quite a lot more than that of ETH and LTC.

And most people intuitively understand this, even if they couldn’t elucidate it. Most people won’t be willing to drop $500 on a tenth of a Bitcoin when they could spend that same amount of money and get five Litecoins. Who would buy a tenth of a BTC instead of five LTC? Not very many people. And their reasoning is solid, even if they don’t realize it, and even if they don’t know why, exactly, they prefer “five of one thing” to “0.1 of another thing,” even if the values are theoretically equal: those values will vanish. Cryptos themselves will make sure that those values vanish, and that the only thing that will be left is “five of this coin” and “0.1 of that coin.”

Dyn’s Fire

In case you didn't get the title.

In case you didn’t get the title.

Already, the Dyn attack has fallen from the memory of most Americans–a phenomenon for which they can’t really be blamed. Realistically, we’re simply bombarded with too many things happening of too much significance at too high a frequency to possibly keep track of all of it. Just a few weeks ago, I read about China’s expansion into the South China Sea and how it made the American Government butthurt, and that’s a pretty major issue, since we’re sending more of our Navy to the region to “make sure China doesn’t expand too far” (let’s forget that we’re talking about the South China Sea), and I’ll be honest with you: I’ve given that issue almost no thought. In fact, through the last week I’ve not really given any thought to the harsh reality that Hillary and the Democrats seem to want war with Russia, or that the Russians are preparing for nuclear war, or that we’ve got more troops on Russia’s borders now than we ever did during the Cold War…

So on the surface, even if we did have memories synthetic enough to perfectly recall every bit of important news, something like Netflix and Reddit being knocked off the Internet for a while is of no consequence to most people. “Oh, no, you couldn’t watch The Walking Dead or whatever for a few hours? Excuse me while I try to avert World War 3.”

There has been a lot of speculation about who was responsible for the Dyn attack. John McAfee–who has my deepest support–spent some time on the Tor network and heard that actors in North Korea were responsible. I attempted to do this myself, a few days before the attack (there were whispers here and there before the attack took place, but details were sparse), but found everything of any interest to anyone has been moved behind a BTC paywall, and I didn’t care enough to pay to enter a forum that might be full of people blustering and not really knowing what they’re talking about, so I’m glad he was able to succeed where I failed.

However, the fact that we don’t know who is responsible points to a bigger problem.

For example, have you heard of the Equation Group? “Equation Group” is the name that Kaspersky Labs has for a hacker/malware group whose sophistication is so advanced that they are wholly unlike any other threat generator in the world. Most people agree that the Equation Group is, in fact, the NSA. It is either the NSA or an equivalent Israeli agency, but given that their actions largely take place within the United States, it is most likely that it is the NSA, and their level of sophistication is terrifying. For example, they have intercepted hardware shipments in the United States and rewritten firmware that contains malware that is both invisible and practically impossible to remove.

This was actually a matter of some curiosity, as a colleague orders from Newegg constantly. Via email, we agreed that he would order some components that I needed for my personal PC: a new motherboard, new CPU, and more, better memory. Having used Newegg for years, the colleague was certain the shipment would arrive expediently. In fact, the shipment disappeared for ten days–the first and only time this has ever happened to the colleague. Now that we know the reach of the NSA and how they absolutely can identify someone in my position–especially since I had just been learning Arabic, though I dropped that quickly when I realized the implications–it remains entirely possible that my hardware was intercepted. There was, after all, a trail via email that made it clear the hardware was for me, and we know the NSA snoops email. Disregarding the fact that I was certainly visited by goons of some agency several years ago who wanted me to help them hack a mayor’s email address and break into a government PC.

Large cloud vendors, social networking sites, and other media platforms are being hacked with an almost weekly regularity now, and it doesn’t seem that Americans are really taking note of the world we live in. This is one of the reasons I’m working on a series of short stories involving a sort of modern Sherlock Holmes who does I.T. work in a world some 10-15 years in the future. The first such story deals with a woman who is driving down the Interstate when a hacker infects her vehicle with ransomware.

“Your vehicle has been protected with AGI Encrypt 3.0. This has been done for your protection. We cannot guarantee the service works for you unless you pay 2 BTC to Bitcoin Address… In the event that you do not, then your vehicle will be susceptible to hackers, who would hijack your system and pilot your vehicle into a tree at high speeds.”

Sound bad?

That’s the world we’re heading toward. Blithely.

No one takes security seriously. I own an I.T. firm, and this firm does 99% of its work through contracting for another firm, and I can tell you from experience that most I.T. people don’t take security seriously. What’s wrong with leaving RDP enabled on its default port? lol. What’s wrong with turning off the firewall on the server? No, we’re not talking “Oh my god, you’re not running an anti-virus?!” kind of crap. Anti-viruses are useless, and I haven’t used one in nearly a decade. Anti-viruses are pacifiers for the gullible, and nothing more. Back in the day–in the mid- and late-90s–they were more important. In modern times, though, they’re useless–the only anti-virus you need is a reasonably knowledgeable user. Don’t click to install that fucking plugin from ultraporn.xxx. Don’t download Ultra Pro Super Registry Fixer and Driver Updater Plus.

One of the key features of my stories is that the I.T. world has become increasingly analogous to a free market police solution. This shouldn’t be a surprise–I’m an anarchist, after all. So if I’m envisioning the future, I’m going to come up with solutions that don’t rely on the state. In actuality, though, I.T. firms are already very similar to police departments–instead of arresting people, we sinkhole servers.

For some background, I was interviewed as an expert by Fox News to discuss ransomware:

That… was obviously a few years ago.

I was berated heavily for that video, wherein I said that it’s pointless to contact the FBI. So the next time a client was hit with ransomware, I contacted the FBI. It went down like this:

  • Client contacted me with problems using PeachTree Accounting Software.
  • Connected remotely to the server–the server is in South Carolina, and I’m in Mississippi.
  • Found immediate signs of ransomware.
  • Removed malware and restored backed-up documents to undo the damage.
  • Discovered it was the result of a targeted attack. It was an intense experience, as I was literally working on the server at the exact moment someone else was. It wasn’t as intense as Hollywood would make it out to be, but it was fun.
  • Contacted the FBI.
  • All of the above happened over the course of 2 days.
  • Six months later, the FBI replied to my report.

As far as comparisons between the free market and the state go, they don’t get more obvious than that. Within minutes of learning of the problem, I was on the server, running it down and handling it. It took the state six months to respond. So let’s be clear about this. We’re heading toward a future where private I.T. firms will cease to exist–much as private police forces have ceased to exist–with the role being turned over to the state, where it becomes inefficient, wasteful, and ineffective; or where…

American Tech Suppliers–or something like that, because I don’t remember what I called them–instituted a national database of I.T. firms. If you owned an I.T. firm, you could apply to be Listed for your city. Only one firm per 30 mile radius could be listed, though, which encouraged competition, efficiency, and excellence. If BITS and MNS both in Memphis wanted to be listed, then whichever one of them was better would get that coveted spot. Why was it coveted? Because, no matter where you were in the country, you could call 510, and it would automatically direct your call to the nearest Listed tech firm.

This became necessary because malware infections started becoming matters of emergencies, though, at the time the story takes place, vehicles are only just now beginning to be infected with ransomware. And it’s going to happen. Have no illusions or delusions about it. We’re heading toward the Internet of Things in a society where technological security is an afterthought at best. Despite reports abounding about ransomware, how many Americans are regularly backing up their data? I’d bet less than 3%. So when they get hit with ransomware, they’ll be caught with their pants down, faced with paying $500 or losing 12 years of pictures and videos.

Now look forward, to the days of self-driving cars with always-on Internet connections. There’s a quandary there, isn’t there? Should the human driver’s input always override the computer navigation? “Yes!” laypeople would say without giving it any thought, because already this isn’t the case. If you’re attempting to back up, and your van detects that there is a little kid on a bicycle behind you, it will not let you back up. While people would say this is a good thing, the implications are obvious: human input does not automatically trump the computer. We want the computer there to keep us from making mistakes and having accidents, after all, so we’re okay with our vehicle automatically stopping even if we’re telling it to go.

But how difficult would it be for someone to plant a virus that spoofs the sensors and tells your computer that there is a child behind your vehicle? You’ll get in your car, crank it to leave, and find you can’t reverse out of your driveway because it thinks there is a child behind you. No matter how hard you floor it, your vehicle isn’t going anywhere. Then the message plays over your radio, “Your vehicle’s system has been upgraded with Cyber Protect for your protection. To unlock your vehicle for use with its upgraded system, you must pay $500 in BTC to this address…”

That’s the best that we could face–and we will face it, because it will happen, and auto manufacturers are treating security like it’s not very important. But even if they did consider it as important as Microsoft considers Windows security to be [let’s not get into that], they can’t be very effective. Decades of dealing with malware have taught us that no amount of top-down security can protect you from malware. There are always people looking for code to exploit. When they find it, it is patched, and then they go on to find new exploits. It’s a constant battle, and even staying updated will not protect you from zero day exploits. So if a hacking group finds a zero day exploit that will allow them to take control over every Chevrolet on the road, then you’re simply fucked if you drive a Chevy.

Far more alarming will be the people who put your life at ransom. Why shouldn’t they? Can you imagine driving the road, only to have your vehicle tell you that it’s going to continue driving around for the next hour, you have that time to pay a certain amount of BTC to a specific address, and, if you don’t, you will be driven into a wall at high speed? Oh, of course your doors would lock and not let you out. You could try breaking a window and jumping out of the window while cruising down the Interstate at 70 miles per hour, but your odds there aren’t much better than they are with the wall. In short, you’ll pay.

It only took 6,000 cell phones that were infected to bring down an entire state’s 911 service. It’s hard to even imagine how vulnerable our technological systems really are, but just process that. 6,000 infected cell phones brought down an entire state’s emergency services. Imagine what state-sponsored hackers in another country could do with 300,000 infected devices.

Meanwhile, someone is probing and testing the waters for taking down major websites by crippling DNS providers. How many devices would it take to tear down Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Ymail, etc.? How difficult would it be to time that so that it coincides with a major military assault? Suddenly the Internet would just… go down… for everyone… and when it came back up we’d learn Washington, D.C. has been nuked by the Chinese and Russians, and that a coalition of these forces has already landed in California. Now, I don’t think either of these countries have any interest attacking us. My point is how vulnerable we are, not how threatened we are.

I’ve been unable to find the actual news item–Google makes it impossible to find older news items, which is scary in its own right–but we’ve long been aware that the Chinese are actually capable of crippling 17 key defense systems. How technological are our military systems? Could NORAD even be effective without the Internet? Who knows? And though I don’t think there is any reason to believe that someone wants to be aggressive toward us–except North Korea, who is incapable of doing much harm anyway–the unfortunate truth remains that we are exceedingly vulnerable, and we have no idea how vulnerable we really are.

Some years ago while I was at work, suddenly everything in the city was down. No one had Internet, and no one’s phones worked. For about 45 minutes, the entire city was completely disconnected from the rest of the world. The problem was never identified, but it was terrifying. Suddenly, there was absolutely no contact with the outside world. For all I knew, I could get on the Interstate and would find myself blocked by military vehicles telling us that the entire area was under quarantine and no one was allowed to leave–I had just watched The Andromeda Strain, it’s worth mentioning.

Imagine the effect that a few hours of zero Internet access would have on the United States, and imagine what could happen in those hours.

This is why I sneer at people who insist that, even if Hillary does want war with Russia, it doesn’t matter because Russia can’t possibly do us any harm. It’s like someone sneering that it doesn’t matter if they lick a petri dish that allegedly contains salmonella, because they can look and see the dish is clear and empty. “I can’t see it, so there must be nothing there! It’s totally safe!”

No… Take the biochemist’s word for it–there’s salmonella on that dish.

And take my word for it: our technological infrastructure is far more vulnerable than you think.

That a group of people was able to take down tremendously popular sites like Netflix and Reddit should make that obvious. That there are multiple groups who could be the ones responsible for it should make it abundantly clear. Was the Dyn attack a very big deal? Not really. But it should have been a warning of what’s to come. If they can take down Netflix, then they can take down Facebook and Twitter. I don’t know how the American people would react if they had to go without social media for more than a few minutes–the insane reactions of people when Facebook goes down for a few minutes of maintenance should be an indicator–but it wouldn’t be good.

Worse yet, the Dyn attack was carried out by devices in the United States, by unwilling and unknowing ordinary people whose phones were weaponized. Maybe your phone. You know? There is every possibility that your phone–the one you’re probably using to read this–was part of the DDoS. How would you know? You wouldn’t. And you probably didn’t even think to look into it.

“The Internet of Things!” people proclaim, excited and eager.

But I can only shake my head. No people have ever been less ready to take on such an enormous vulnerability.

Long Time Coming: You’re Wrong, Conservatives

I’ve spent the better part of the past two weeks arguing on behalf of conservatives in the United States, because it’s evident that conservatives are the victims of open and blatant discrimination, to the extent that many people on the left openly admit to marginalizing conservatives and self-righteously claim that this marginalization is a good thing. Seeing this, it’s difficult not to argue on behalf of those who are being systematically oppressed.

The reality is that no U.S. state should ever have needed to pass a law guaranteeing its people the right to religious freedom, but they did have to–and I’ve argued in favor of that law. I argued in favor of that law because a compromise is possible. We can reach an agreement. It won’t make everyone happy, but it will be one that everyone can tolerate. The first step in reaching that compromise is allowing conservatives the right to do as they think is best, to isolate themselves from this community and that community if they so desire, and to basically bubble themselves off from the rest of the world. If that is what they want to do, then that is their right, and I wholly support that.

pllIt’s been my contention that we can persuade the left that there’s nothing about that position that violates anyone’s rights. Just yesterday I attempted to break down the idea of rights so as to make that case and demonstrate that, as long as there is no force, violence, or coercion there is no violation of rights. If we can get the liberals to accept that, and to accept that people have the right to be as racist, homophobic, and transphobic as they want, then we can reach an agreement where we leave them the hell alone and they leave us the hell alone.

Not only is that endeavor destined to fail because no one on the left is capable of pushing through their self-righteous bullshit belief that they are on the side of truth and justice and therefore have the right to force their beliefs onto others, but the reality is that the right isn’t willing to compromise, either. I’ve primarily targeted the left recently and the ways that it attacks and oppresses the right, because the left is currently the group with the power in the United States.

Make no mistake about it: the left has won the war. We’ll soon see legalization of marijuana across the country, gay marriage is already legalized across the country, and it’s just a matter of time before the Federal Government rules on the transgender bathroom issue and undoes the North Carolina and Mississippi laws. We are more than likely heading straight toward Civil War Part 2. LGBT issues are this generation’s slavery, and the right has made its position and unwillingness to compromise clear. Unfortunately, they are laughably outnumbered, and the idea that they can somehow come out of this and still have their worldview intact is delusional. The future is clear. Homosexuality and transgenderism will never again be illegal. Sexual and gender openness are the future, and I hold that’s a good thing, but the good/bad judgment on that is irrelevant; it’s simply the future, and nothing is going to change that. In the future, everyone will be bisexual and transgenderism will be so common and so irrelevant that we probably won’t stop to ask people what gender they are. These things will become non-issues. It is inevitable.

I’ve made the argument on behalf of conservatives (which I gladly admit was arrogant of me) that they truly do simply care about protecting their kids, and that they don’t take issue with actual transgender people. I was being facetious and giving them the huge benefit of the doubt, and I knew it at the time. So did everyone who heard the podcast. We all know it. Conservatives are simply using “omg we have to protect the children” as a front to mask their transphobia and intolerant behavior, in the same way that they use “Obama is a muslim!” to mask their racism. I know it, you know it, and they know it. But it would have been fine–it wouldn’t have mattered that I was being facetious and they were being underhanded–if they had been willing to compromise. If they were willing to actually meet the left in the middle and hold the position that I attributed to them–that they simply wanted to prevent pedophiles and sex offenders from gaining access to the restrooms, and that they simply wanted some kind of screening process in place to prevent that–then everything would have been okay.

But they weren’t, and they aren’t. They are not willing to compromise. They don’t give a flying, duck-squatting shit about Liberty. All we ever hear from conservatives is “small government this, small government that,” and I tried giving them the benefit of the doubt in the interest of healing our fractured nation. Because it is my estimation that we are brazenly marching directly toward Civil War Part 2, and it is my belief that this can only be avoided if we agree to Live and Let Live. Neither the left nor right is willing to do that, however, and North Carolina’s law requiring that people use the bathroom of the gender checked on their birth certificate is proof of that.

I’ve already made the argument that these are private restrooms. And they are. With very few exceptions (schools, courthouses, etc.) these are private restrooms. It is up to Kroger, Target, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, and all these other places to set the usage policies on their restrooms. If they want to allow people to use the restroom of their choice, then that is their right as the people who own the restrooms. However, North Carolina’s law proudly spits on this idea of limited government by granting the state the power to dictate the policy on privately owned restrooms in a way that corresponds with the morality of conservatives. This, again, reinforces the notion that conservatives only want small government when the policy is liberal; when the policy to be imposed is conservative, they don’t care how much regulation is necessary.

Conservatives need to realize that they lost this war. That restroom law simply won’t be allowed to stand, and neither will Mississippi’s. It doesn’t matter what my position is on these laws, and I’m not making a judgment call on whether it’s good or bad that these laws will be forcefully repealed by the Federal Government and other 49 states (thus violating the very basic principle of self-governance). It’s simply going to happen.

not alone

That guy isn’t alone in his idea that his way is the only right way, and thus it’s okay to force his way onto everyone else. In fact, that’s the mentality of 85% of the world’s population, if estimates are to be believed. It’s at least the position of about 90% of the U.S. population*. Conservatives, realistically, hold that same position–they consider homosexuality behavior to be abhorrent, and the only reason they’re not banning it today is because they know that they wouldn’t be able to get away with it. The Federal Government, which has decreed that outlawing homosexual behavior is itself abhorrent, would drop the hammer on them instantly.

Now, everything the state does is done with force, violence, and/or coercion. Everything. No exceptions. The state is force, violence, and coercion. It is the entity in our society that we have bestowed with the authority to use force, violence, and coercion in the manner we have prescribed in the U.S. Constitution. This is why I’m an anarchist and not a Libertarian, strictly speaking. So I’m obviously against outlawing homosexuality, because that is an act of force, violence, and coercion.

But if the conservatives could, they absolutely would ban homosexuality. They did in the past, and they would certainly do it again. They refuse to take the high road of compromise; they refuse to say, “You do what you want and let me do what I want.” The left isn’t willing to do that, either; the left’s behavior is simply more obvious in modern America, because the left has already won the war, leaving the right unable to ban the things they want.

Might equals right has become the mantra of our society. Whoever has the majority has the power. When the majority of people were Christian conservatives, homosexuality was illegal. Times changed. Now that the majority of people are liberals, being anti-homosexual is fast becoming illegal. We are not a society of liberty and rights. We are a society of might, authoritarianism, brutality, force, and violence. We are ruled by the majority, and those who dare speak out and say otherwise, no matter how sound their position is, are ridiculed and cast off as bigots. We have fallen prey to the flaw of democracy that was known thousands of years ago: If rights are not properly valued, then it becomes a tyranny of the majority over the minority.

I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times in the past month I’ve been called transphobic, homophobic, hateful, and bigoted. That’s the Go To response for the left any time anyone dares speak against the oppression of conservatives that we see across the country. If I’m speaking against the marginalization, then I must be hateful and bigoted–without knowing anything, they immediately apply the very same labels to me. This, more than anything, should highlight that they aren’t thinking anything through, that they are merely reacting with the bullshit they’ve been taught to react with, and that they aren’t arguing for anything except the use of force against people who disagree with them. They’ve called a transgender person transphobic, for crying out loud, because I dared speak up against the way the conservatives are being oppressed.

I did a podcast last night (but didn’t publish because of weird mic issues) explaining that I could not and would not continue arguing on behalf of conservatives as long as they continue to insult and disrespect me. Calling transgender people “mentally ill” and “delusional,” never guessing that they were fixing those labels to someone who was honestly fighting their rights–at pretty extreme impact to myself. Realistically, yes, if I jumped on the bandwagon, it would be all too easy… A friend of mine told me this morning that I should make a new Go Fund Me campaign with the title “I’m Transgender! Please Help Me Escape Mississippi!” because that campaign would immediately go viral and would hit its goal in just days. Not only are there esoteric costs such as that, but there are demonstrable costs–I’m a Mississippi resident. The businesses around here now have the unquestionably legal ability to not sell me food, gasoline, or anything else I might need. It is only my rapport with the workers and owners that would spare me that, and not everyone is so lucky–and the vast majority of these businesses don’t even know that I’m transgender. Will they continue to do business with me once they know? I don’t know. I live at very real risk–I’m putting myself at a very real risk by arguing for these people’s rights. In the process, I’m seriously pissing off the liberals who would otherwise have my back, and seriously antagonizing the rest of the LGBT community that just wants to walk all over conservatives’ rights. I stand to gain nothing by fighting for their rights, and stand to lose a great deal of (immorally gained, admittedly) benefits.

I have put myself in No Woman’s Land arguing for these fuckers’ rights. The left rejects me because I argue for the conservative’s rights to be bigots, and the conservatives reject me because they’re bigots. And I’m not going to do it any longer. They’ve shown no willingness to compromise. They’ve shown no sign that they are willing to live and let live. They’ve shown no sign that they are even capable of recognizing me as transgender. They had the easiest possible way with the transgender restroom issue–all they had to do was back down a little bit, and there would have been a compromise that everyone could have accepted. Instead, they revealed that they are merely using children as a front to hide their desire to impose their morals onto others, all the while saying things like “Now our children have to be at risk because we have to accept these people’s delusions?”

My position hasn’t changed. I still think conservatives should have the right to do as they think is best–as long as they don’t use force, violence, and coercion. But they’re clearly not willing to forego the use of force, violence, and coercion. North Carolina’s law makes that all too clear. The cries that we’re delusional make it as plain as day. I will fight for their right to do as they think is best, but not when “what they think is best” involves using force, violence, and coercion to push their morals onto me and onto others, and not when all they have to say to me are insults.

The United States is heading toward Civil War because no one is willing to compromise. The left isn’t going to compromise, and the right isn’t going to compromise. Both sides are gearing up to use force to impose their way of life, moral values, and beliefs onto others. We are destined to fight another civil war, and the signs and issues now are identical to what they were in the mid 19th century. The only difference is that today the issue is LGBT stuff. The south wasn’t fighting on the side of justice and liberty then, either, and that is why they lost. No one who fought a war in the name of justice and liberty ever lost. But the previous civil war wasn’t about justice and liberty; it wasn’t about states’ rights. States’ rights were just the front that they used to mask the fact that they wanted to keep slaves. Today, it’s protecting their children that is the mask to hide they’re unrespectable positions

And in due time there will be another civil war, and we’ll just become the nation that tears itself apart every 150 years. We have no choice. Conservatives are never going to die out, and liberals are never going to die out. Whatever willingness to compromise there is, the tendency  to negotiate and reach an agreement that satisfies everyone, giving no one 100% but everyone something, steadily decreases over time. Compromise becomes taboo, untenable, and unacceptable. Oppression begins, marginalization begins, and resentment begins. It builds and builds, and eventually battle lines are drawn. We can see battle lines being drawn today.

You cannot win this war, conservatives. The best you can achieve is the right to carve out your own little existences. The best you can do is to earn the right to be left the hell alone. But you’re not content with that, are you? No, and you never have been. If you sought that, instead of seeking to push your way onto others, then the left might be willing to compromise with you. But as long as you’re unwilling to, they won’t be, either. And I’m not going to lament the destruction of your tyrannical mindsets. Embrace liberty, or watch your way of life be dismantled before your very eyes. I won’t be the one who does it, but I’m not going to continue arguing against it. You don’t deserve it.

This is the kind of person for whose rights I was arguing:

tranny thing

It should be noted that I replied to this one, saying: “I’m an atheistic transgender lesbian and resident of Mississippi. If you really think you can say anything to me that I haven’t heard before, then you’re crazier than you think I am.” This, of course, prompted him to go to my page and comment about a half-dozen unrelated Tweets, at which point I decided to simply ignore him. He almost immediately moved on and targeted someone else.

mentally ill

That is his reply to the auto-posted Tweet for my article “I Am Not An Adjective.” That’s right. While I wrote a lengthy article explaining that we are people, and not adjectives, his solution was to attach an adjective to the adjective that he thinks I am. I am not a person in his eyes; I am not a person who is gay and/or transgender. I’m a mentally ill gay. I’m a gay. I’m an adjective to him. What a narrow-minded fool.

nice one freak

He also added that I’m creepy, to which I replied “Says the guy with an honest to god dick pic on his profile. Mmkay.” I won’t share the image here, but I took a screenshot of it in case he wanted to continue things, and I took a screenshot of his self-written description. Behold:

I'm the creep

Now, I’m not really going to make fun of the dude for naming himself after the slang for “hard dog dick.” I’m gonna be classier than that and point out that anyone who prefers paying for sex is full of shit. No one who ever got consensual sex for free thought “Man, I’d rather just pay for this.” Or, at least, no one who can get consensual sex for free thought that. And this is substantiated by his admittance that he loves porn. That’s okay–I love porn, too. But… “loving porn” isn’t really a key characteristic of who I am. When I think “Give 10 sentences that describe yourself,” then “loving porn” isn’t on that list, and neither is paying for sex. But here we have a conservative who loves porn and paying for sex named after slang for dog dick and who had an actual dick pic that he personally uploaded.

And I’m the creepy one…

And, remarkably, this one is one of the leftists! “This guy”. This guy.

this guy

Eventually I just reached that point where I had to ask myself “Why am I pissing everyone off? What do I have to gain from it? Clearly, these people are never going to respect me and recognize my right to live as I choose. So screw them.”

* This is derived from the fact that Libertarians comprise about 10% of the U.S. population, since Libertarians are the only ones who don’t want to force other people to do things.Except, perhaps, to leave other people alone, but using force to stop the application of force is allowed under the NAP. I’m not a fan of it, but it’s at least not a contradiction.