“Religion is an idea, and, as an idea, it should be eligible for criticism, discussion, and yes, mockery. The only reason so many believers demand special exceptions be made for religious ideas is because they know full well that their ideas don’t hold up well under scrutiny.”
Bill Gates was just interviewed by Erik Schatzker because he’s at the Annual Banking and Financial Conference in Boston talking about his foundation’s initiative to help the unbanked. A couple minutes in this question gets asked:
Schatzker: Some of what you just described, the need to move money from place to place, the cost of doing so, the overhead as you put it makes me think, believe it or not, of Bitcoin because some people have said, “Hey Bitcoin is the answer to those problems”. Are you a believer?
Bill Gates: Bitcoin is exciting because it shows how cheap it can be. Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and of course for large transactions currency can get pretty inconvenient. The customers we’re talking about aren’t trying to be anonymous. You know they’re willing to be known so the Bitcoin technology is key and you could add to it or you could build a similar technology where there’s enough attribution that people feel comfortable that this is nothing to do with terrorism or any type of money laundering.
“The truth is there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al-Qaeda. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But, there is propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive TV watchers to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US…”
~ Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook Inter-Services Intelligence
[Cook died while hiking in the Scottish Highlands.]
“Our constitutional system, with its checks and balances and protection of rights, has been under attack since 9/11… The Fourth Amendment is near death; and President Obama’s remedies in his speech, are no better than band-aids and aspirin, are in reality even less than that. His speeches seem to be designed and intended only to improve the public’s mood about the way things are and will remain, to restore confidence in a system that does not deserve trust.
The president is showing no signs of being in control of the intelligence community; either it controls him, or they simply are in sync, and in full agreement– he ended up rejecting even the recommendations of his own hand-picked panels. He gives lip service to the problems in his speeches but we know by now the vast difference between his rhetocic and policy..”
~John Cusack 2/17/14 @redditAMA
“You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid… You refuse to do it because you want to live longer… You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, or shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand.
Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.”
~Martin Luther King Jr.