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How To Explain Bitcoin To Your Friends & Family

Authored by Len Ruggiero via The Burning Platform blog, Introduction:  EVERY new technological development throughout mankind’s recorded history has been met initially with derision, protest, incarceration, torture, death, and sometimes war. From the Catholic Church’s restraint of Galileo, who insisted that Copernicus was correct in his assertion that the sun was the center of the solar system, rather than the Earth as center, as was the position of the church at the time, to the invention of the printing press, which facilitated the French Revolution due to its ability to improve communication exponentially, to the personal computer, to Bitcoin, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, driverless electric vehicles, etc., technology advancement has always intimidated mankind when first introduced. Bitcoin is no exception. Prediction: Taking it to its logical conclusion, the adoption of Bitcoin as a store of value and a means of exchange will literally destroy the existing banking and financial system as we know it.  It is inevitable. Nothing can stop Bitcoin. All current assets owned by people across the globe will become worthless. This will include assets owned by all levels of government, including, social security funds, and any other type of retirement fund. It makes no difference if the asset is measured in Dollars, Euros Yen, or Renminbi, the value of all current forms of assets will disappear, literally overnight. So there will be world anarchy, we’ll retreat to...

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When Disruption Goes Horribly Wrong: MoviePass Loses 90% Of Subscribers

For those curious what happens to new normal “disruptors” when they run out of money and can no longer operate at a loss to capture market share (a favorite strategy for Silicon Valley and most “hot” names such as Tesla, Netflix, Uber, and in many ways, Amazon) look no further than MoviePass. The company, which rose to prominence after allowing its members to watch a virtually unlimited number of movies for a very low monthly price, only to see its business model implode after it failed to “scale” and leverage its user base and quickly ran out of cash, has seen a deluge of users hitting the exits after it was forced to scale back the number of movies users could see each month. The embattled cinema-subscription provider has seen its subscriber number collapse by 90% from a peak of more than 3 million to just 225,000 in under a year, according to a report by Business Insider, which cited “internal data” even though the company declined to officially confirm the humiliating figures. Last summer, when things were still running relatively smoothly, MoviePass claimed in June 2018 that it had signed up more than 3 million subs for its $9.95 monthly plan, which let customers see one movie every single day. However, that model quickly proved unsustainable as we previously reported, and MoviePass was forced to change that to...

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China’s Fake Numbers And The Risk They Pose For The Rest Of The World

Authored by John Rubino via DollarCollapse.com, Not so long ago, London Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard was one of the handful of must-read financial journalists. He probably still is, but since he disappeared behind the Telegraph’s pay wall his work is invisible to non-subscribers, only emerging when a free outlet runs one of his stories. That happened this morning when the Sydney Morning Herald carried his analysis of the financial Ponzi scheme that is China. After taking on more debt in a single decade than any other country ever — in the process helping to pull the US and Europe out of the Great Recession — China recently shifted into an even higher gear, creating a world record amount of credit in the most recent reporting month. And – more important for headline writers and money managers – it reported exactly the right amount of GDP growth. This brings to mind a long-ago interview in which economist Nouriel Roubini asserted that China just makes its numbers up, frequently reporting GDP immediately after the end of the period being measured, something that even the US can’t do. But it’s one thing to for the rest of us to suspect and/or assert that China is just giving the markets what they want to hear, and another thing to understand the implications and explain them coherently. Evans-Pritchard does this in his latest article. Maximum vulnerability: China (and the world) are...

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Gen Z Will Ditch Alcohol To Become The “Ultimate” Marijuana Consuming Generation

America’s newest generation is growing up in a marijuana environment that is unlike anything ever seen in the U.S. Generation Z has never experienced an era where marijuana was looked upon as a “scourge”, or the source of extreme political ire – instead, they have only known an era where cannabis is being relentlessly pushed toward acceptance and legality. In fact, California voted to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, just one year before the eldest Generation Z consumers were born, according to Bloomberg.  Anna Duckworth, co-founder and chief content officer of Miss Grass, an online cannabis accessories shop and publication based in Los Angeles said:  “They’re growing up in a world where cannabis is completely normal. Everybody will know how to roll a joint and there won’t be any shame talking about it.” Marijuana is already a big industry in the U.S. Sales have passed $10 billion as regulations have been rolled back and the industry only looks to be getting bigger. In fact, Generation Z consumers are twice as likely to use cannabis than they are to earn a steady paycheck. The generation looks poised to be chock full of marijuana consumers who will eventually embrace pot to unwind or treat ailments like insomnia and anxiety.  Bloomberg spoke to 21-year-old student Baruch Levin at UCLA, who said he waited until he was 18 to try smoking pot, worried about his father’s warnings that...

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Visigoth Reparations & ‘Karate-Chopped’ Testicles

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com, Every week we highlight a number of important, and often bizarre stories from around the world that my team and I are closely following: Cory Booker introduces reparations bill Get ready for a slippery slope, because because Cory Booker just introduced a reparations bill in Congress. The 2020 Presidential contender said, “this bill is a way of addressing head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy, and implicit racial bias in our country… and propose solutions that will finally begin to right the economic scales of past harms…” If that’s the route America wants to go, seems like they should start with Native Americans. After all, they were the first ones to be exterminated and have their land stolen. And, comparatively speaking, they’re at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. While the rest of the US enjoys historically low unemployment, the unemployment rate on Indian Reservations often exceed 10%. Native Americans also have the highest poverty rates of any ethnic group in the Land of the Free. It also makes me wonder what standard politicians should apply to correct historic injustice– Should the US government make reparation payments for killing countless Filipino civilians in the early 1900s during the armed occupation of the Philippines? Or to descendants of Japanese-Americans who died in internment camps during World War II? And, how far back should politicians...

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It’s A Mad World…

“…the systems are failing…are you lost in the world like me?” “…the video is about our increasing dependence on technology and about human interaction today, or a certain lack of it. It focuses on the way tech is changing us – how we have become...

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Caitlin Johnstone Debunks All The Assange Smears

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com, Have you ever noticed how whenever someone inconveniences the dominant western power structure, the entire political/media class rapidly becomes very, very interested in letting us know how evil and disgusting that person is? It’s true of the leader of every nation which refuses to allow itself to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized power alliance, it’s true of anti-establishment political candidates, and it’s true of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Corrupt and unaccountable power uses its political and media influence to smear Assange because, as far as the interests of corrupt and unaccountable power are concerned, killing his reputation is as good as killing him. If everyone can be paced into viewing him with hatred and revulsion, they’ll be far less likely to take WikiLeaks publications seriously, and they’ll be far more likely to consent to Assange’s imprisonment, thereby establishing a precedentfor the future prosecution of leak-publishing journalists around the world. Someone can be speaking 100 percent truth to you, but if you’re suspicious of him you won’t believe anything he’s saying. If they can manufacture that suspicion with total or near-total credence, then as far as our rulers are concerned it’s as good as putting a bullet in his head. Those of us who value truth and light need to fight this smear campaign in order to keep our fellow man from signing off on a...

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Armed Militia Rounding Up Migrants At Southern Border

A New Mexico militia operating along the border with Mexico has been stopping groups of migrants who have illegally entered the country, holding them at gunpoint, and then handing them over to Border Patrol agents, according to the New York Times.  Facebook Known as The United Constitutional Patriots, the group has long operated along the southern US border, attempting to stem the flood of undocumented migrants entering the country. According to KVIA, the group rounded up more than 350 people this week who had crossed the border in West El Paso, Texas – one town over from Sunland Park, New Mexico. The US Border Patrol has not confirmed the exact number.  In YouTube videos uploaded on Tuesday and Wednesday, groups of migrants – many of them coughing – can be seen sitting on the ground until Border Patrol officers arrive on scene.  A message posted on the United Constitutional Patriots’ page after the migrants were detained Monday night stated:  “This group was so huge we won’t have an accurate count until the BP is finished processing them. This needs to stop!!!!! Build the wall.” The video shows Border Patrol agents as they apprehend members of the group of migrants that crossed into the U.S.  Some of the migrants seen in the video are overheard coughing and asking for water. When asked why they entered the US, some of the migrants said they are seeking asylum. –KVIA “This country was...

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“Tariff Hangover:” Trucking Slump Hits Orders, Miles Decline In Latest Fears Of Downturn

Reuters spoke with dozens of drivers, regional operators, and industry officials across the U.S. to assess the performance of the U.S. trucking sector. What they discovered was an industry that slumped in late 2018, with accelerating deterioration into April. Reuters noted that the decline in freight rates and hauling is not an indication of an immient recession, but as we have explained earlier this week, it’s a tariff hangover that currently plagues the U.S. economy. The slowdown in trucking has been uneven nationwide, with declining orders and miles in the Midwest and Southwest, with a slight uptick on the West Coast, economists and regional officials said. Trucking accounts for 70% of U.S. shipment tonnage, and is the primary means of transportation for manufacturing, construction and retail sectors, all of which have shown weakness in 1Q19. The primary cause for the decline is the sugar high in economic activity last summer, caused by threatened tariffs on Chinese goods, has passed, and the market is now readjusting to much slower freight volumes and prices. The ACT Research index of truck carrier volumes fell into negative territory in November for the first time since the summer of 2016. It bounced slightly into positive territory in January but returned to negative territory the following month. The weakening index mirrors a soft first quarter for GDP, which is expected to be 1.5% to 1.8%...

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The Death Of Education In America

Authored by W.J.Astore via BracingViews.com, Trump!  Mueller!  Collusion! I know: who cares about the education of our kids as the redacted Mueller Report dominates the airwaves on CNN, MSNBC, and similar cable “news” networks? I care.  I spent fifteen years as a history professor, teaching mostly undergraduates at technically-oriented colleges (the Air Force Academy; the Pennsylvania College of Technology).  What I experienced was the slow death of education in America.  The decline of the ideal of fostering creative and critical thinking; the abandonment of the notion of developing and challenging young people to participate intelligently and passionately in the American democratic experiment.  Instead, education is often a form of social control, or merely a means to an end, purely instrumental rather than inspirational.  Zombie education. Nowadays, education in America is about training for a vocation, at least for some.  It’s about learning for the sake of earning, i.e. developing so-called marketable skills that end (one hopes) in a respectable paycheck.  At Penn College, I was encouraged to meet my students “at their point of need.”  I was told they were my “customers” and I was their “provider.”  Education, in sum, was transactional rather than transformational.  Keep students in class (and paying tuition) and pray you can inspire them to see that the humanities are something more than “filler” to their schedules — and their lives. As a college professor, I was lucky.  I taught five classes...

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