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Comment: Re:Full blooded American here (Score 1) 518

by stoploss (#49175917) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

You misunderstand. His plane will go down on the way to trial, killing him in a tragic coincidence.

No, that's too obvious. He will suddenly contract aggressive, terminal cancer. And, when his DNA is analyzed, it will show he was genetically predisposed to this through a de novo mutation.

He will be too ill for trial and won't live long enough in any case. Bad luck, man!

Comment: Re:Last straw? (Score 1) 517

BTW France and the UK never did repay the loans for WWI. They thought that the US was being greedy. I guess 116,000 American lives plus the billions the US spent on a war that had nothing to do with the US was not enough.

That's okay. Eisenhower broke them over the 1956 Suez Crisis. The UK, in particular, was taught a hard lesson about its new role in the world.

Interestingly, the major point of leverage against the UK was their debt held by the US government. Ike threatened to dump their debt, which would have destroyed their currency.

Comment: Re:Overstamp twice. (Score 1) 133

by stoploss (#49102831) Attached to: Crystal Pattern Matching Recovers Obliterated Serial Numbers From Metal

See... why we should require the manufacturer of every firearm to include microstamping technology, where the serial number will be imprinted on the cartridge of every round fired.

As long as you believe in fairy tale technology like microstamping, why not just require every crime lab have a CSI-type "enhancing" microscope? That way you could code a GUI in Visual Basic and then have the computer tell you who committed the crime.

For those who are uninformed, read about how cartridge microstamping (doesn't) work in practice, and even if it *did* work, think about how trivial it is to defeat. The microstamping system is supposed to use a rather weak force to stamp a tiny serial number? Nope, I can't see how that could ever be trivially defeated, even if it *did* work in the first place.

Comment: Re:They're all frauds (Score 1) 53

by stoploss (#49036775) Attached to: Another Bitcoin Exchange Fraud

As long as you have a tax-collecting state, the tender used for taxing will keep value.

Don't be autistic. Yes, technically the value of these hyperinflating currencies is infinitesimally above zero. That does not count as "keeping value" when practically speaking it takes wheelbarrows full of currency notes to buy a loaf of bread.

So, no, you're wrong. History has repeatedly shown that simply having a government insist on taxation in the form of a currency they issue is an insufficient backstop for value in the face of loss of confidence in the populace.

People aren't stupid: they exit the currency in favor of other, more stable stores of value (other currencies, land, tampons, whatever), get paid in kind, or simply resort to barter. They convert into the worthless government currency later to pay taxes. They don't ride the sinking ship.

Comment: Re:They're all frauds (Score 3, Insightful) 53

by stoploss (#49026957) Attached to: Another Bitcoin Exchange Fraud

So you are saying guarantee of US laws and belief of bitcoin fans are the same thing?

You posed the question incorrectly.

What we're saying is that US laws mandating the value of the USD are only worth as much as people believe. There were laws mandating the value of the Mark in the Weimar Republic. There are laws mandating the value of the Zimbabwean Dollar. Obviously, those laws weren't/aren't sufficient to make people trust the currency and they collapsed.

Now, asking whether people *should* find the BTC to be as trustworthy as the USD is an appropriate question. The answer to that is obviously "no".

What we take issue with is the perspective that there is some divine providence conferred on national currencies that make them trustworthy, when clearly there is no such intrinsic property like that.

Comment: Re:Constitutional Amendment (Score 2) 239

by stoploss (#49025987) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Will It Take To End Mass Surveillance?

The 4th and 5th amendments are not enough to assure personal freedom from search in the digital & wireless age. Only an amendment to the constitution that spells out this freedom can prevent it's continued abuse.

So what you're saying is that the federal government refuses to abide by the Constitution. Okay, I agree that is what they do. Your argument is that we will get them to stop breaking the rules by making a rule that says that they can't break the rules?

The federal government has been wiping its ass with the Constitution ever since FDR. Trying to constrain or restrain the federal government via written law is a fool's errand.

Comment: Re:here's an idea (Score 1) 57

by stoploss (#48996533) Attached to: With Insider Help, ID Theft Ring Stole $700,000 In Apple Gift Cards

Telling your bank, no, but placing a free 1-year freeze on your credit with the credit reporting agencies does work. Rinse and repeat each year, and turn it off before you apply for credit.

...or just place a permanent freeze on your credit, like I did a decade ago. When you want to apply for credit you temporarily lift the freeze for a few days whereupon it reverts to frozen. It works much like making your Bluetooth device discoverable.

The next person to mention spaghetti stacks to me is going to have his head knocked off. -- Bill Conrad