And now, it’s illegal to possess the silver coins

I’m a tad too young to remember nickel Cokes, though I can remember when they were a dime.

It’s tempting to say that in vending machines today “they’re now a dollar.” But in fact the four quarters you’re shoving in the slot consist mostly of copper and contain not a smidgen of silver, so your mistake lies in believing those four copper sandwich slugs add up to “a dollar.”

Go to a pawn shop or coin store and try to buy four battered old “common-date” pre-1965 silver quarters, today. You’ll pay at least $29 in greenbacks, and that’s only because those four quarters collectively contain not a full ounce of silver, but only .72 ounces.

That means, compared to 1964, the buying power of a paper “dollar” is now three cents.

As the dollar approaches the value of the currency of Zimbabwe or the old Weimar Reichsmark (think old pictures of Germans hauling wheelbarrows full of paper notes to the grocery store) Americans are going to need some alternative form of currency. Or did you think it was going to be easy to trade your services as a cocktail waitress to your dentist in exchange for getting a cavity filled?

Bernard Von NotHaus checked with the federal government to make sure there was nothing illegal about his plan to mint and sell one-ounce silver rounds. They told him “No problem.” Then they arrested him, seized his silver and gold to a value of millions of “dollars,” and put him in prison, supposedly for “counterfeiting.”

Now, Coin World magazine reports anyone out there holding such a silver round may find it subject to confiscation. (

Jill Rose, chief of the criminal division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, N.C., told Coin World Aug. 24 that the Liberty Dollar medallions are confiscable as contraband, even if they’re being exhibited “for educational purposes only.”

Rose, who served as lead prosecutor in the Von NotHaus case, said that “because von NotHaus’ conviction included violations of Sections 485 and 486 of Title 18 of the United States Code, the Liberty Dollar medallions were determined to be counterfeits, contraband and subject to seizure,” Coin World reported.

After all, since these rounds bear the legend “Liberty dollar,” some poor sap might get duped into accepting one of these FULL OUNCES of silver in place of an old, pre-1935 U.S. silver dollar, each of which contains 0.7734 ounces of silver, and which don’t circulate any more, anyway.

That’s right, leaving aside the “numismatic value” which might lead a collector to pay you more for an uncirculated old silver dollar with an “S” or “O” or “CC” mint mark, and also ignoring fanciful stampings on some of the von NotHaus one-ounce rounds which asserted they were worth “10 Liberty dollars” or “20 Liberty dollars,” the one-ounce von Nothaus “dollars” contain more silver, and are thus worth MORE — not less — than the “real thing.”

Now, von Nothaus was selling and redeeming his coins in some kind of multi-level operation which sought to establish a value for the things considerably above “melt.” Every multi-level sales operation I know about informs participants that the buyer is paying some premium, which flows “up-line” as commissions. This is perfectly legal, because no one is obliged to buy.

Von NotHaus had no power to require people to value his coins any higher than melt — unlike, say, the federal government, which has banned contracts calling for payment in gold or pretty much anything except their own increasingly worthless fiat greenbacks, the value of which (thanks to the Fed’s massive and purposeful ongoing inflation, now euphemized as “quantitative easing”) melts away like sugar cubes in the rain, even as you wait for your creditor to pay you back.

A “counterfeiter” whose coins are purer than any ever minted for circulation by the U.S. government? Think about it.

You’ll pardon me if I thus presume this is a first step toward endeavoring to make it illegal for U.S. citizens to hold and use any currency other than the increasingly worthless green paper-and-linen trading stamps of the fraudsters at the Federal Reserve, who hate competition from anyone marginally less crooked then they are.

Give them time. Soon, you’ll hear that our economic problems are being caused by “speculators and hoarders” attempting to salt away anything that could be of value during the forthcoming currency collapse. Like, oh, I don’t know … gold, guns and silver.

Meantime, like the old carnival huckster of Oz, urging Dorothy and her pals to “ignore the little man behind the curtain,” the mainstream media and even the Tea Party — who increasingly resemble a bunch of neocons who’ve merely been mistaken for smaller-government Libertarians — do everything they can to marginalize GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul, pretending he reveals himself to be some kind of “nutty professor” when he keeps talking about our Monopoly-money “dollar” and the cabal of private bankers known as “The Federal Reserve.”

“Paul is not a serious candidate,” opined Deborah Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle on Sept. 9.

Her proof? “During the debate, he advocated privatizing air traffic control and said that prescription drug regulation ‘does as much harm as good.’”

Oh, that proves it. Why, the next thing you know, he’ll be proposing we privatize railroads and the oil industry.

The FDA exists primarily to protect the monopoly of the big drug companies against upstart competitors who can’t afford to jump through the bought-off bureaucrats’ million-dollar hoops, threatening to jail people who advertise the established health benefits of vitamins and other natural herbs and supplements while providing cover for who knows how many toxic nostrums.

And challenging this set-up proves you’re “not serious”?

Paul, by the way, was given no chance to answer the Federal Reserve question — though the “leading” candidates were — at the Sept. 12 “Tea Party” debate in Tampa, Fla. What was more interesting, though, was the way he was initially applauded there when he said a lot of money could be saved if America embraced a Washingtonian policy of non-intervention, adding that the United States is in 130 countries and has 900 bases around the world.

But when Paul began to cite U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia and America’s policy on Palestine as being the causes of the Sept. 11 attacks, Jason M. Volack of ABC reports “The audience booed him.”

I get it. The murderers of 9-11 don’t need or deserve any justification.

But what does this tell us? Far from being the “hostage-taking, lynch-mob” government-slashers that the terrified Left would have you believe, the well-meaning but mathematically challenged Tea Party turn out to be all-too-typical mainstream Americans: insisting they want a smaller government and lower taxes, and then bridling at any suggestion that we phase out or cut back Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or a vastly expensive “Defense establishment” that’s in the business of permanently occupying — and selectively bombing — scores of countries overseas.

“Just cut foreign aid,” they say. Yeah, and maybe the Tea-Tasters Board. That’ll get it done.

2 Comments to “And now, it’s illegal to possess the silver coins”

  1. Vin Suprynowicz » Blog Archive » Ridiculing easily established facts Says:

    […] mentioned in my column of Sept. 18 (find the full version, as usual, at that the mainstream media, and even to some extent the Tea Party, seem to be doing everything they […]

  2. Earl Haehl Says:

    So, the way around this is to strike fantasy coinage as in “gold doubloons” and “pieces of eight” to fill your chest and bury like old Cap’n Flint. The big problem would be finding Wallace Beery, Jr,, as spokesperson although I do a reasonable accent myself. As long as it’s merely fantasy of the Spanish Main and not “current coin.” Unless….

    Unless, of course, there is a general confiscation under executive order as there was in 1933. In that case, it may be a situation I would not wish to see. Our military forces have been conditioned by Iraq to conduct house to house searches in search of contraband and fire upon civilians. While these were in far away places, one of the goals of behavior modification is transference to other situations. (I worked in a maximum custody prison where we attempted this on a regular basis.) This is not a prediction based on conspiracy theories, but a matter for discussion as to what we, as a society, should be thinking about.