Saturday, January 16, 2010

Seeds Of Civil Disobedience

In less than a year of Democratic one party rule, it seems our government has produced the most feared of all political outcomes; a general sense of unease. Among Republicans, there is the predictable righteous indignation; with the so-called "progressives", there is the growing realization that they've been had; and for the highly prized independents, a simple case of buyer's remorse. All of which is fertile ground for a little mischief.

One of the interesting things about the financial blogs is, from time to time, there is a story about unusual forms and/or uses of money. At Global Trend Analysis, Mish notes the use of money in Iran as a form of communication.

Facing hard-line forces on the streets, Iran's anti-government demonstrators have taken their protests to a new venue: writing "Death to the Dictator" and other opposition slogans on bank notes, while officials scramble to yank the bills from circulation.

"What did they die for?" asked one message on a bill,...others were stamped with the imprint of a red hand, signifying the images of protesters showing bloodstained palms,...and "Down with Khamenei" scrawled across the edges.

"Death to the Dictator" might be a bit much for use in America, but "Jail the Banksters" might be appropriate. $Bill chimes in with the idea of stamping "Audit the Fed" on our money. "Got Gold?" and "End the Fed" are other possibilities. But, the obvious Ron Paul connection leaves out a lot of people. Something in a more general sense might be good too, like for $1 bills, "Real Worth 4 cents", or "Thanks from AIG". "Delivered By Helicopter" might be a little long.

Of course, there is that little problem of defacing the currency. It's not as clear cut as you might think. From the Department of the Treasury's
Bureau of Printing and Engraving
FAQ section is this about "celebrity dollars":

At least two statutes that may apply to celebrity notes are 18 U.S.C. ?? 333 and 475. 18 U.S.C. ? 333 provides: Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank note, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal Reserve System, with the intent to render such bank note, draft, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

Additionally, 18 U.S.C. ? 475 subjects to punishment anyone who writes, prints, or otherwise impresses upon or attaches to any such instrument, obligation, or security, or any coin of the United States, any business or professional card, notice, or advertisement, or any notice or advertisement whatever...A determination of the legality of any particular celebrity note is a matter within the authority of the Department of Justice. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing's position regarding this matter is that this and similar other treatments of United States currency are demeaning.

So the bottom line here is; does stamping a slogan on currency render it unfit for further distribution? Googling "Where's George" shows 712,000 places to buy rubber stamps for the express purpose of defacing currency. I think we're on pretty solid ground here, but then I'm not a Federal Court Judge, so what do I know. Proceed at your own risk.


Laurel said...

I didn't write that comment on the bill. It was that way when I got it. And of course I don't remember where I got it.

Local So-and-so said...

What dollar bill?...Oh, that dollar bill?...

Zeke said...

I hope that no one running for currently holding an office in our country believes that writing crap on a dollar bill is going to change our government.

What really changes behavior is punitive actions on offenders and monetary or operationally beneficial incentives.

Petitioner Congressman? Sure. Work yourself into an angry tizzy while renting and raving in the near and blaming all the woes of the world on "the Fed", Nancy Pelosi or the Illuminati? No.

I seriously believe that the family and friends of some of our Key Party Activists, need to start doing interventions. The rhetoric is increasing; even you, sir, used the term "Death To the Dictator" in this post. Not good.

The peaceful transference of power, after elections, is one of the greatest things about this country. If you studied history you know that our Civil War and every other damn Civil War the world's history was awful. Not a glorious remembrance of past days, but the bloodiest and most cruel war we've ever fought.

We don't need a repeat. Tone down the nonsense. Calm down your wingnut friends. Maintain.

Everybody gets to vote at the end of this year, and again in 2012. Elect people that agree with your philosophies and you will get your way.

Local So-and-so said...

Speaking of calming down, "Death to the Dictator" is what the Iranians are writing on their currency. Nowhere do I suggest anyone do the same.

I shouldn't have to tell you about the importance of civil disobedience when the cause is just. Civil disobedience is by definition a peaceful act that does no lasting harm to anyone.

Btw, I fully expect to get called every name in the book by your friends for no other reason than being Republican.

Laurel said...

Zeke, what blog post are you commenting on? Certainly not this one.