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Why is Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell u/nullc trying to pretend AXA isn't one of the top 5 "companies that control the world"? AXA relies on debt & derivatives to pretend it's not bankrupt. Million-dollar Bitcoin would destroy AXA's phony balance sheet. How much is AXA paying Greg to cripple Bitcoin?
The "non-nullc" side of the conversation has already been censored by r\bitcoin - but I had previously archived it here :)
Blockstream is funded by big banks, for example, AXA.
is funded by big banks, for example, AXAAXA is a French multinational insurance firm.
But I guess we shouldn't expect much from someone who thinks miners unilatterally control bitcoin.
But I guess we shouldn't expect too much honesty or even understanding from someone like Greg who thinks that miners don't control Bitcoin.
AXA-owned Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell u/nullc doesn't understand how Bitcoin mining works
Mining is how you vote for rule changes. Greg's comments on BU revealed he has no idea how Bitcoin works. He thought "honest" meant "plays by Core rules." [But] there is no "honesty" involved. There is only the assumption that the majority of miners are INTELLIGENTLY PROFIT-SEEKING. - ForkiusMaximushttps://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5zxl2l/mining_is_how_you_vote_for_rule_changes_gregs/
Adam Back & Greg Maxwell are experts in mathematics and engineering, but not in markets and economics. They should not be in charge of "central planning" for things like "max blocksize". They're desperately attempting to prevent the market from deciding on this. But it will, despite their efforts.https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/46052e/adam_back_greg_maxwell_are_experts_in_mathematics/)
Gregory Maxwell nullc has evidently never heard of terms like "the 1%", "TPTB", "oligarchy", or "plutocracy", revealing a childlike naïveté when he says: "‘Majority sets the rules regardless of what some minority thinks’ is the governing principle behind the fiats of major democracies."https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/44qr31/gregory_maxwell_unullc_has_evidently_never_heard/
People are starting to realize how toxic Gregory Maxwell is to Bitcoin, saying there are plenty of other coders who could do crypto and networking, and "he drives away more talent than he can attract." Plus, he has a 10-year record of damaging open-source projects, going back to Wikipedia in 2006.https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/4klqtg/people_are_starting_to_realize_how_toxic_gregory/
AXA is clearly one of the most powerful fiat finance firms in the world.
Maybe when he's talking about the hairball of C++ spaghetti code that him and his fellow devs at Core/Blockstream are slowing turning their version of Bitcoin's codebase into... in that arcane (and increasingly irrelevant :) area maybe he still can dazzle some people with his usual meaningless technically correct but essentially erroneous bullshit.
But when it comes to finance and economics, Greg is in way over his head - and in those areas, he can't bullshit anyone. In fact, pretty much everything Greg ever says about finance or economics or banks is simply wrong.
He thinks he's proved some point by claiming that AXA isn't technically a bank.
But AXA is far worse than a mere "bank" or a mere "French multinational insurance company".
AXA is one of the top-five "companies that control the world" - and now (some people think) AXA is in charge of paying for Bitcoin "development".
A recent infographic published in the German Magazine "Die Zeit" showed that AXA is indeed the second-most-connected finance company in the world - right at the rotten "core" of the "fantasy fiat" financial system that runs our world today.
Who owns the world? (1) Barclays, (2) AXA, (3) State Street Bank. (Infographic in German - but you can understand it without knowing much German: "Wem gehört die Welt?" = "Who owns the world?") AXA is the #2 company with the most economic poweconnections in the world. And AXA owns Blockstream.https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5btu02/who_owns_the_world_1_barclays_2_axa_3_state/
The link to the PDF at Die Zeit in the above OP is gone now - but there's other copies online:
Plus there's lots of other research and articles at sites like the financial magazine Forbes, or the scientific publishing site plos.org, with articles which say the same thing - all the tables and graphs show that:
AXA is consistently among the top five "companies that control everything"
Blockstream is now controlled by the Bilderberg Group - seriously! AXA Strategic Ventures, co-lead investor for Blockstream's $55 million financing round, is the investment arm of French insurance giant AXA Group - whose CEO Henri de Castries has been chairman of the Bilderberg Group since 2012.https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/47zfzt/blockstream_is_now_controlled_by_the_bilderberg/
"AXA" might not be a household name to many people.
And Greg was "technically right" when he denied that AXA is a "bank" (which is basically the only kind of "right" that Greg ever is these days: "technically" :-)
But AXA is one of the most powerful finance companies in the world.
AXA was started as a French insurance company.
And now it's a French multinational insurance company.
But if you study up a bit on AXA, you'll see that they're not just any old "insurance" company.
AXA has their fingers in just about everything around the world - including a certain team of toxic Bitcoin devs who are radically trying to change Bitcoin:
- Core/Blockstream devs refuse to ever hard fork - instead trying to take away our right to vote, with their sneaky soft forks. (I'm starting to think that a more descriptive terminology instead of "hard fork / soft fork" might be "overt fork / covert fork".)
- Now Core/Blockstream are obsessed with shoving the unwanted, basically useless, very dangerous SegWit spaghetti-code soft fork down everyone's throat - the most irresponsible and radical change proposed in Bitcoin's history, which would needlessly introduce a totally novel class of threat vector with its "anyone-can-spend" hack (only "necessary" if you do SegWit as a soft ie covert fork) - so that Core/Blockstream can permanently cement themselves as the "incumbent" and hijack Bitcoin's development.
My, my, my - how some people have changed!
Greg Maxwell used to have intelligent, nuanced opinions about "max blocksize", until he started getting paid by AXA, whose CEO is head of the Bilderberg Group - the legacy financial elite which Bitcoin aims to disintermediate. Greg always refuses to address this massive conflict of interest. Why?https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/4mlo0z/greg_maxwell_used_to_have_intelligent_nuanced/
Previously, Greg Maxwell u/nullc (CTO of Blockstream), Adam Back u/adam3us (CEO of Blockstream), and u/theymos (owner of r\bitcoin) all said that bigger blocks would be fine. Now they prefer to risk splitting the community & the network, instead of upgrading to bigger blocks. What happened to them?https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5dtfld/previously_greg_maxwell_unullc_cto_of_blockstream/
"Even a year ago I said I though we could probably survive 2MB" - nullchttps://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/43mond/even_a_year_ago_i_said_i_though_we_could_probably/
Core/Blockstream supporters like to tiptoe around the facts a lot - hoping we won't pay attention to the fact that they're getting paid by a company like AXA, or hoping we'll get confused if Greg says that AXA isn't a bank but rather an insurance firm.
But the facts are the facts, whether AXA is an insurance giant or a bank:
- AXA would be exposed as bankrupt in a world dominated by a "counterparty-free" asset class like Bitcoin.
- AXA pays Greg's salary - and Greg is one of the major forces who has been actively attempting to block Bitcoin's on-chain scaling - and there's no way getting around the fact that artificially small blocksizes do lead to artificially low prices.
If anyone here was paying attention when the cracks first started showing in the world fiat finance system around 2008, you may recall the name of another mega-insurance company, that was also one of the most connected finance companies in the world: AIG.
Falling Giant: A Case Study Of AIGhttp://www.investopedia.com/articles/economics/09/american-investment-group-aig-bailout.asp
What was once the unthinkable occurred on September 16, 2008. On that date, the federal government gave the American International Group - better known as AIG (NYSE:AIG) - a bailout of $85 billion. In exchange, the U.S. government received nearly 80% of the firm's equity. For decades, AIG was the world's biggest insurer, a company known around the world for providing protection for individuals, companies and others. But in September, the company would have gone under if it were not for government assistance.
Bernanke did say he believed an AIG failure would be "catastrophic," and that the heavy use of derivatives made the AIG problem potentially more explosive.http://fortune.com/2010/09/02/why-the-fed-saved-aig-and-not-lehman/
An AIG failure, thanks to the firm's size and its vast web of trading partners, "would have triggered an intensification of the general run on international banking institutions," Bernanke said.
And (like all major banks and insurance firms), AXA is drowning in worthless debt and bets (derivatives).
Most of AXA's balance sheet would go up in a puff of smoke if they actually did "mark-to-market" (ie, if they actually factored in the probability of the counterparties of their debts and bets actually coming through and paying AXA the full amount it says on the pretty little spreadsheets on everyone's computer screens).
In other words: Like most giant banks and insurers, AXA has mainly debt and bets. They rely on counterparties to pay them - maybe, someday, if the whole system doesn't go tits-up by then.
In other words: Like most giant banks and insurers, AXA does not hold the "private keys" to their so-called wealth :-)
So, like most giant multinational banks and insurers who spend all their time playing with debts and bets, AXA has been teetering on the edge of the abyss since 2008 - held together by chewing gum and paper clips and the miracle of Quantitative Easing - and also by all the clever accounting tricks that instantly become possible when money can go from being a gleam in a banker's eye to a pixel on a screen with just a few keystrokes - that wonderful world of "fantasy fiat" where central bankers ninja-mine billions of dollars in worthless paper and pixels into existence every month - and then for some reason every other month they have to hold a special "emergency central bankers meeting" to deal with the latest financial crisis du jour which "nobody could have seen coming".
AIG back in 2008 - much like AXA today - was another "systemically important" worldwide mega-insurance giant - with most of its net worth merely a pure fantasy on a spreadsheet and in a four-color annual report - glossing over the ugly reality that it's all based on toxic debts and derivatives which will never ever be paid off.
In 2008, when the multinational insurance company AIG (along with their fellow gambling buddies at the multinational investment banks Bear Stearns and Lehmans) almost went down the drain due to all their toxic gambling debts, they also almost took the rest of the world with them.
And that's when the "core" dev team working for the
AXA is at the very rotten "core" of this system - like AIG, a "systemically important" (ie, "too big to fail") mega-gigantic multinational insurance company - a fantasy fiat finance firm quietly sitting at the rotten core of our current corrupt financial system, basically impacting everything and everybody on this planet.
The "masters of the universe" from AXA are the people who go to Davos every year wining and dining on lobster and champagne - part of that elite circle that prints up endless money which they hand out to their friends while they continue to enslave everyone else - and then of course they always turn around and tell us we can't have nice things like roads and schools and healthcare because "austerity". (But somehow we always can have plenty of wars and prisons and climate change and terrorism because for some weird reason our "leaders" seem to love creating disasters.)
The smart people at AXA are probably all having nightmares - and the smart people at all the other companies in that circle of "too-big-to-fail" "fantasy fiat finance firms" are probably also having nightmares - about the following very possible scenario:
If Bitcoin succeeds, debt-and-derivatives-dependent financial "giants" like AXA will probably be exposed as having been bankrupt this entire time.
All their debts and bets will be exposed as not being worth the paper and pixels they were printed on - and at that point, in a cryptocurrency world, the only real money in the world will be "counterparty-free" assets ie cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin - where all you need to hold is your own private keys - and you're not dependent on the next deadbeat debt-ridden fiat slave down the line coughing up to pay you.
Some of those people at AXA and the rest of that mafia are probably quietly buying - sad that they missed out when Bitcoin was only $10 or $100 - but happy they can still get it for $1000 while Blockstream continues to suppress the price - and who knows, what the hell, they might as well throw some of that juicy "banker's bonus" into Bitcoin now just in case it really does go to $1 million a coin someday - which it could easily do with just 32MB blocks, and no modifications to the code (ie, no SegWit, no BU, no nuthin', just a slowly growing blocksize supporting a price growing roughly proportional to the square of the blocksize - like Bitcoin always actually did before the economically illiterate devs at Blockstream imposed their centrally planned blocksize on our previously decentralized system).
Meanwhile, other people at AXA and other major finance firms might be taking a different tack: happy to see all the disinfo and discord being sown among the Bitcoin community like they've been doing since they were founded in late 2014 - buying out all the devs, dumbing down the community to the point where now even the CTO of Blockstream Greg Mawxell gets the whitepaper totally backwards.
Maybe Core/Blockstream's failure-to-scale is a feature not a bug - for companies like AXA.
After all, AXA - like most of the major banks in the Europe and the US - are now basically totally dependent on debt and derivatives to pretend they're not already bankrupt.
Maybe Blockstream's dead-end road-map (written up by none other than Greg Maxwell), which has been slowly strangling Bitcoin for over two years now - and which could ultimately destroy Bitcoin via the poison pill of Core/Blockstream's SegWit trojan horse - maybe all this never-ending history of obstrution and foot-dragging and lying and failure from Blockstream is actually a feature and not a bug, as far as AXA and their banking buddies are concerned.
The insurance company with the biggest exposure to the 1.2 quadrillion dollar (ie, 1200 TRILLION dollar) derivatives casino is AXA. Yeah, that AXA, the company whose CEO is head of the Bilderberg Group, and whose "venture capital" arm bought out Bitcoin development by "investing" in Blockstream.https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/4k1r7v/the_insurance_company_with_the_biggest_exposure/
If Bitcoin becomes a major currency, then tens of trillions of dollars on the "legacy ledger of fantasy fiat" will evaporate, destroying AXA, whose CEO is head of the Bilderbergers. This is the real reason why AXA bought Blockstream: to artificially suppress Bitcoin volume and price with 1MB blocks.https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/4r2pw5/if_bitcoin_becomes_a_major_currency_then_tens_of/
Of course, derivatives would be something attractive to an insurance company - since basically most of their business is about making and taking bets.
So who knows - maybe AXA is "betting against" Bitcoin - and their little investment in the loser devs at Core/Blockstream is part of their strategy for "winning" that bet.
This trader's price & volume graph / model predicted that we should be over $10,000 USD/BTC by now. The model broke in late 2014 - when AXA-funded Blockstream was founded, and started spreading propaganda and crippleware, centrally imposing artificially tiny blocksize to suppress the volume & price.https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5obe2m/this_traders_price_volume_graph_model_predicted/
"I'm angry about AXA scraping some counterfeit money out of their fraudulent empire to pay autistic lunatics millions of dollars to stall the biggest sociotechnological phenomenon since the internet and then blame me and people like me for being upset about it." ~ u/dresden_khttps://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5xjkof/im_angry_about_axa_scraping_some_counterfeit/
Bitcoin can go to 10,000 USD with 4 MB blocks, so it will go to 10,000 USD with 4 MB blocks. All the censorship & shilling on r\bitcoin & fantasy fiat from AXA can't stop that. BitcoinCORE might STALL at 1,000 USD and 1 MB blocks, but BITCOIN will SCALE to 10,000 USD and 4 MB blocks - and beyondhttps://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5jgkxv/bitcoin_can_go_to_10000_usd_with_4_mb_blocks_so/
AXA/Blockstream are suppressing Bitcoin price at 1000 bits = 1 USD. If 1 bit = 1 USD, then Bitcoin's market cap would be 15 trillion USD - close to the 82 trillion USD of "money" in the world. With Bitcoin Unlimited, we can get to 1 bit = 1 USD on-chain with 32MB blocksize ("Million-Dollar Bitcoin")https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/5u72va/axablockstream_are_suppressing_bitcoin_price_at/
He seems to get very... uncomfortable... when people start pointing out that:
It sure looks like AXA is paying Greg Maxwell to suppress the Bitcoin price.
Greg Maxwell has now publicly confessed that he is engaging in deliberate market manipulation to artificially suppress Bitcoin adoption and price. He could be doing this so that he and his associates can continue to accumulate while the price is still low (1 BTC = $570, ie 1 USD can buy 1750 "bits")https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/4wgq48/greg_maxwell_has_now_publicly_confessed_that_he/
Why did Blockstream CTO u/nullc Greg Maxwell risk being exposed as a fraud, by lying about basic math? He tried to convince people that Bitcoin does not obey Metcalfe's Law (claiming that Bitcoin price & volume are not correlated, when they obviously are). Why is this lie so precious to him?https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/57dsgz/why_did_blockstream_cto_unullc_greg_maxwell_risk/
Greg must have to go through some pretty complicated mental gymastics to justify in his mind what everyone else can see: he is a fucking sellout to one of the biggest fiat finance firms in the world - he's getting paid by (and defending) a company which would probably go bankrupt if Bitcoin ever achieved multi-trillion dollar market cap.
Greg is literally getting paid by the second-most-connected "systemically important" (ie, "too big to fail") finance firm in the world - which will probably go bankrupt if Bitcoin were ever to assume its rightful place as a major currency with total market cap measured in the tens of trillions of dollars, destroying most of the toxic sludge of debt and derivatives keeping a
And it may at first sound batshit crazy (until You Do The Math), but Bitcoin actually really could go to one-million-dollars-a-coin in the next 8 years or so - without SegWit or BU or anything else - simply by continuing with Satoshi's original 32MB built-in blocksize limit and continuing to let miners keep blocks as small as possible to satisfy demand while avoiding orphans - a power which they've had this whole friggin' time and which they've been managing very well thank you.
Bitcoin Original: Reinstate Satoshi's original 32MB max blocksize. If actual blocks grow 54% per year (and price grows 1.542 = 2.37x per year - Metcalfe's Law), then in 8 years we'd have 32MB blocks, 100 txns/sec, 1 BTC = 1 million USD - 100% on-chain P2P cash, without SegWit/Lightning or Unlimitedhttps://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5uljaf/bitcoin_original_reinstate_satoshis_original_32mb/
Meanwhile Greg continues to work for Blockstream which is getting tens of millions of dollars from a company which would go bankrupt if Bitcoin were to actually scale on-chain to 32MB blocks and 1 million dollars per coin without all of Greg's meddling.
So Greg continues to get paid by AXA, spreading his ignorance about economics and his lies about Bitcoin on these forums.
In the end, who knows what Greg's motivations are, or AXA's motivations are.
But one thing we do know is this:
Satoshi didn't put Greg Maxwell or AXA in charge of deciding the blocksize.
The tricky part to understand about "one CPU, one vote" is that it does not mean there is some "pre-existing set of rules" which the miners somehow "enforce" (despite all the times when you hear some Core idiot using words like "consensus layer" or "enforcing the rules").
The tricky part about really understanding Bitcoin is this:
Hashpower doesn't just enforce the rules - hashpower makes the rules.
And if you think about it, this makes sense.
It's the only way Bitcoin actually could be decentralized.
It's kinda subtle - and it might be hard for someone to understand if they've been a slave to centralized authorities their whole life - but when we say that Bitcoin is "decentralized" then what it means is:
We all make the rules.
Because if hashpower doesn't make the rules - then you'd be right back where you started from, with some idiot like Greg Maxwell "making the rules" - or some corrupt too-big-to-fail
But fortunately, Greg's opinions and ignorance and lies don't matter anymore.
Miners are waking up to the fact that they've always controlled the blocksize - and they always will control the blocksize - and there isn't a single goddamn thing Greg Maxwell or Blockstream or AXA can do to stop them from changing it - whether the miners end up using BU or Classic or BitcoinEC or they patch the code themselves.
The debate is not "SHOULD THE BLOCKSIZE BE 1MB VERSUS 1.7MB?". The debate is: "WHO SHOULD DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE?" (1) Should an obsolete temporary anti-spam hack freeze blocks at 1MB? (2) Should a centralized dev team soft-fork the blocksize to 1.7MB? (3) OR SHOULD THE MARKET DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE?https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5pcpec/the_debate_is_not_should_the_blocksize_be_1mb/
Core/Blockstream are now in the Kübler-Ross "Bargaining" phase - talking about "compromise". Sorry, but markets don't do "compromise". Markets do COMPETITION. Markets do winner-takes-all. The whitepaper doesn't talk about "compromise" - it says that 51% of the hashpower determines WHAT IS BITCOIN.https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5y9qtg/coreblockstream_are_now_in_the_k%C3%BCblerross/
Clearing up Some Widespread Confusions about BUhttps://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/602vsy/clearing_up_some_widespread_confusions_about_bu/
Core deliberately provides software with a blocksize policy pre-baked in.
The ONLY thing BU-style software changes is that baking in. It refuses to bundle controversial blocksize policy in with the rest of the code it is offering. It unties the blocksize settings from the dev teams, so that you don't have to shop for both as a packaged unit.
The idea is that you can now have Core software security without having to submit to Core blocksize policy.
Running Core is like buying a Sony TV that only lets you watch Fox, because the other channels are locked away and you have to know how to solder a circuit board to see them. To change the channel, you as a layman would have to switch to a different TV made by some other manufacturer, who you may not think makes as reliable of TVs.
This is because Sony believes people should only ever watch Fox "because there are dangerous channels out there" or "because since everyone needs to watch the same channel, it is our job to decide what that channel is."
So the community is stuck with either watching Fox on their nice, reliable Sony TVs, or switching to all watching ABC on some more questionable TVs made by some new maker (like, in 2015 the XT team was the new maker and BIP101 was ABC).
BU (and now Classic and BitcoinEC) shatters that whole bizarre paradigm. BU is a TV that lets you tune to any channel you want, at your own risk.
The community is free to converge on any channel it wants to, and since everyone in this analogy wants to watch the same channel they will coordinate to find one.
Adjustable blocksize cap (ABC) is dangerous? The blocksize cap has always been user-adjustable. Core just has a really shitty inferface for it.https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/617gf9/adjustable_blocksize_cap_abc_is_dangerous_the/
What does it tell you that Core and its supporters are up in arms about a change that merely makes something more convenient for users and couldn't be prevented from happening anyway? Attacking the adjustable blocksize feature in BU and Classic as "dangerous" is a kind of trap, as it is an implicit admission that Bitcoin was being protected only by a small barrier of inconvenience, and a completely temporary one at that. If this was such a "danger" or such a vector for an "attack," how come we never heard about it before?
Even if we accept the improbable premise that inconvenience is the great bastion holding Bitcoin together and the paternalistic premise that stakeholders need to be fed consensus using a spoon of inconvenience, we still must ask, who shall do the spoonfeeding?
Core accepts these two amazing premises and further declares that Core alone shall be allowed to do the spoonfeeding. Or rather, if you really want to you can be spoonfed by other implementation clients like libbitcoin and btcd as long as they are all feeding you the same stances on controversial consensus settings as Core does.
It is high time the community see central planning and abuse of power for what it is, and reject both:
- Throw off central planning by removing petty "inconvenience walls" (such as baked-in, dev-recommended blocksize caps) that interfere with stakeholders coordinating choices amongst themselves on controversial matters ...
- Make such abuse of power impossible by encouraging many competing implementations to grow and blossom
He also needs to look in the mirror and search his soul and confront the sad reality that he's basically turned into a sellout working for a shitty startup getting paid by the 5th (or 4th or 2nd) "most connected", "systemically important", "too-big-to-fail", debt-and-derivative-dependent multinational
Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell is getting paid by the most systemically important
Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell is getting paid by a
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- 09:00 - 12:30 - Statement by the Candidate for President of the European Commission, with an MEP debate
- 18:00 - 20:00 - Election of the President of the European Commission
What is the European Commission?The European Commission is the institution of the European Union that is responsible for proposing new EU laws, representing the EU internationally, and ensuring that EU law is being followed by Member States. It is headed by a body of 28 College of Commissioners, 1 per Member State, which provide the political leadership of the institution.
The President of the European Commission heads the institution, helping to steer it in a certain political direction. They also represent the EU internationally such as at G7 and G20 summits.
How does the election work?On the 2 July 2019, the European Council nominated Ursula von der Leyen to become President of the European Commission.
During this session of the European Parliament Ursula von der Leyen will set out her goals as commissioner and there will be a subsequent debate by MEPs.
Ursula von der Leyen has to receive an absolute majority of the European Parliament to be confirmed, which currently corresponds to 374 MEPs (as 4 MEP seats are currently missing).
MEPs will be voting by secret ballot, so it cannot be determined how individual MEPs voted.
The vote starts at 18:00 CEST and the result should be known between 19:00 and 20:00 CEST.
Who is the candidate?Ursula von der Leyen is the current German defence minister. The European Council nominated her as President-designate on 2 July 2019. She would be the first female President of the European Commission, and the 2nd German President. She would also be the 3rd consecutive EPP President.
Von der Leyen was not designated as a ‘lead candidate’ (Spitzenkandidat) by a European political party, meaning she did not campaign in the elections or take part in debates.
Regardless of the outcome of the vote, she will resign as the German defence minister as of Wednesday.
Where do the political groups stand?Political groups are groups of MEPs that share a political affiliation and priorities in the European Parliament.
- European People's Party - for
- Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats - for
- Renew Europe - for
- Greens/European Free Alliance - against
- Identity and Democracy - against
- European Conservatives and Reformists - no formal decision yet, but less likely to support the nominee because the ECR candidate for the Employment and Social Affairs committee was rejected
- European United Left/Nordic Green Left - against
What happens next?If the European Parliament rejects her candidacy, the European Council has one month in which to propose another candidate by qualified majority vote. The whole process follows the same procedure.
The vote in the European Parliament to approve the new candidate may be held in September 2019, which is the next scheduled plenary session of the European Parliament. Only the European Council President-elect, Charles Michel, has been formally elected. The other aspects of the leadership package agreed by the European Council could potentially change. An emergency summit is potentially being considered for 23 July if Ursula von der Leyen is rejected.
If she is approved, she will become President-elect, due to take office on 1 November 2019. The next step will be to gather a team of Commissioners, who will be nominated by each individual Member State. The President-elect is in charge of distributing portfolios and setting out the internal organisation of the College of Commissioners.
In September, the committees of the European Parliament will hold hearings of the Commissioners-designate, designed to assess their suitability for their posts. They will then hold votes on whether or not to accept the candidates. Though the parliament has no formal power to reject individual Commissioners-designate, it does have to approve the College of Commissioners as a whole, and this threat of veto has been used successfully in the past to force individual candidates to withdraw.
The October European Parliament plenary will hold the vote to approve the College as a whole. The October European Council should then formally adopt the decision to appoint the new College, which would take office on 1 November 2019.
- Ursula von der Leyen makes final pledges to secure EU’s top job, The Guardian
- The scandal hanging over Ursula von der Leyen, Politico
- Von der Leyen spells out concessions to groups ahead of crunch vote, Euractiv
- Von der Leyen pledges social and climate reforms ahead of crunch EU vote, Reuters
- Von der Leyen: I will support opening of negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania, European Western Balkans
- German Socialists list von der Leyen failures in damning paper to EU peers, Euractiv
- Social Democrats issue demands for backing von der Leyen, Politico
- Von der Leyen offers groups concessions ahead of key Parliament vote, The Parliament Magazine
- A Union that strives for more - My agenda for Europe - Political Guidelines for the next European Commission 2019-2024
- EBS+ livestream
- European Parliament livestream
- Renew Europe’s letter to Ursula von der Leyen
- Reply to Renew Europe letter
- S&D letter to Ursula von der Leyen
- Reply to S&D letter
CommitmentsIn meetings with political groups, von der Leyen has made various commitments and promises as to what she would do with her Presidency. She will also provide a set of Political Guidelines that will be the Commission’s programme for the next 5 years.
The known proposals and suggestions are listed here:
- Making the EU climate-neutral by 2050, with this ambition being put into law within the first 100 days of her mandate
- The EU’s targets for CO2 reduction for 2030 should be at least 50% compared to 1990 levels
- A commitment to put forward a “comprehensive plan” to increase the EU’s target to cut emissions “towards” a 55% reduction by 2030. This plan would be published by 2021.
- The extension of the Emissions Trading System to include aviation and transport, with a consideration of including traffic and construction
- The introduction of a Carbon Border Tax
- Support for transitioning regions through a “Just Transition Fund”
- Parts of the European Investment Bank to be turned into a European Climate Bank
- The introduction of a Sustainable Europe Investment Plan
- The monitoring of the EU’s climate trajectory by an independent council of scientists
- Continuing to use the flexibility within the Stability and Growth Pact to support a “more growth-friendly fiscal stance in the euro area while safeguarding fiscal responsibility”
- Helping to deliver a “Budgetary Instrument for Competitiveness and Convergence” in the euro area, some form of Eurozone budget.
- Proposing a European Unemployment Benefit Reinsurance Scheme
- Work towards completing the banking union
- The European Semester system of budgetary coordination to be refocused to take the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals into account
- Supporting a common consolidated corporate tax base
- The “taxation of big companies” as a priority, working to turn the current Commission proposals into EU law
- An action plan for the “full implementation” of the European Pillar of Social Rights
- A “legal instrument” that would ensure every worker in the EU has a “fair minimum wage that allows them a decent living in the country they work in”
- A “European Child Guarantee” to be established, which would “help ensure every child in Europe at risk of poverty or social exclusion has the most basic of rights”
- The European Social Fund to be more focused on supporting childcare
- The Youth Guarantee to be turned into a permanent instrument to fight youth unemployment, with additional budgetary resources and regular reporting on its progress
- Improving the conditions of platform workers
- “Revitalising” the European anti-discrimination directive
- Proposal for an EU gender equality strategy, including measures to introduce binding pay transparency measures
- Working towards an unblocking of the “Women on Boards” Directive, which would introduce quotas for gender balance on company boards
- The formation of a gender-balanced College of Commissioners
- All levels of Commission management to have gender balance by the end of the mandate
- Supports the EU joining the Istanbul Convention
- Proposal to add violence against women on the list of EU crimes defined in the Treaty
- Supporting an “additional comprehensive European Rule of Law Mechanism”, with EU wide scope and “objective annual reporting”
- Attempting to ensure a greater role for the European Parliament in the mechanism
- Focus on “tighter enforcement, using recent judgements of the Court of Justice showing the impact of rule of law breaches on EU law as a basis”
- Support for the Commission’s proposal to link MFF funds to adhere to the rule of law
- Frans Timmermans, the current First Vice President of the European Commission, to keep the Rule of Law portfolio if he wants to
- Proposal of a “New Pact on Migration and Asylum”, with a “relaunch” of the Dublin system and a “new way of burden sharing”
- Supporting the Frontex standing corps getting 10000 border guards by 2024 instead of 2027
- Every new trade agreement agreed in her mandate to have a dedicated sustainable development chapter which respects “the highest” climate, environmental and labour protections and does not tolerate child labour
- Appointment of a Chief Trade Enforcement Officer to improve the compliance and enforcement of FTAs, and reports back to the EP
- Commission to propose that the provisional application of FTAs only takes place once and if the EP has given its consent
- Ensuring Commissioners debrief the EP at all stages of international negotiations
- Reaffirms the “European perspective” of the Western Balkans
- Standing behind the proposals to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania
- The establishment of a “Conference on the Future of Europe”, which would start in 2020 and last for 2 years. It should be well prepared with a defined scope, agreed between the EP, Council and Commission. It should bring together citizens, civil society, and European institutions
- A commitment to follow up on the main issues of the Conference, including potential Treaty change and legislative action
- Supporting a “right of initiative for the European Parliament”, where if an absolute majority of MEPs adopt a resolution asking the Commission to propose something, the Commission will respond with a legislative act, “in full respect of proportionality, subsidiarity and better law making principles”
- Proposal to broker talks between the European Parliament and the European Council
- Address the issue of transnational lists
- Improve the Spitzenkandidaten system to make it more visible to the wider electorate
- The Conference on the Future of Europe should come forward with legislative and other proposals on these matters by no later than summer 2020
- Commission to follow up these proposals where it has the competence and will support the EP in amending the electoral law and securing the agreement in the Council, with new rules in place for the 2024 elections
- Supporting a movement towards full co-decision powers for the EP and away from unanimity voting in the Council for climate, energy, social and taxation policies
- Support for the extension of qualified majority voting to external relations
- The College of Commissioners to consist of “two executive vice presidents”, in addition to the High Representative, with a First Vice President who will replace the President in their absence.
- A less hierarchical College with more inclusive leadership and work culture, with more transparency
- Supports the backstop in the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and EU
- Would be in favour of a further extension to the Article 50 process if more time is required and “good reasons are provided”