Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder: Occupy Dollar Bills

I love this idea that Ben & Jerry are promoting of stamping dollar bills with 99% slogans.  This expression of free speech aimed at taking back our democracy is also referred to as “Occupy George” http://occupygeorge.com/.  If I might add my own suggestions:  “Money is NOT Free Speech!”, ‘This Dollar Bill CANNOT speak”, “Money Talks, but it doesn’t SPEAK!”  “Money’s ‘Speech’ is never FREE!”, “Invalid if used to Bribe Politicians or Pay Lobbyists”, “Invalid if used to pay Corporate CEO’s”, “NOT TO BE USED TO BAIL OUT BANKSTERS OR WALL STREET CROOKS”, “On my way to the Cayman Islands!”, “Kiss Me Goodbye, I’m off to the Orient,  along with your JOB”, and “On Temporary Loan by the 1%.”

One person pointed out in his comment on the above article that “Federal Reserve Notes” are not government money (that is, they are not issued by the government) and therefore the law against defacing currency does not apply.  The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces currency (as well as postage stamps) and the U. S. Mint produces coins; the Federal Reserve produces neither, instead producing only federal reserve notes, which the courts have ruled are “legal tender” and “lawful money”.  So, though a federal reserve note is considered the equivalent of government money, from researching this question it appears that the defacing issue applies more to coins than to paper money, except with regard to altering paper money  in an attempt to defraud (e.g. trying to make a $1 bill look like a $10 bill) or to such an extent that it is rendered “unfit to be reissued”.  See these links for more info:

http://voices.yahoo.com/is-illegal-write-draw-us-money-rules-about-5839668.html?cat=3

http://www.ehow.com/list_6535889_defacing-u_s_-currency-laws.html

http://www.positiveatheism.org/mail/eml9613.htm

http://moneyfactory.gov/historicallegislation.html

http://www.richmondfed.org/faqs/currency/

As many of us are aware, there is nothing “federal” about the Federal Reserve because though it is subject to some congressional oversight, it is a privately-owned,  independent central bank, which has the power to make the decision to print money, for instance. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Under_the_Federal_Reserve_Act_of_1913_the_what_powers_do_Federal_Reserve_banks_have  What is interesting is that while our paper money used to read “silver certificate” across the top, as it used to actually be redeemable for silver from the U. S. Treasury, these stopped being printed in 1964 and were replaced by federal reserve bank notes which had “national currency” written across the top until 1971, when they were replaced with the federal reserve note which reads “Federal Reserve Note”.

There is a movement to end the Federal Reserve  and put the power to create money back in the hands of the federal government and out of banksters’ clutches. Dennis Kucinich has authored a bill toward this end titled the “National Emergency Employment Defense ( NEED) Act”.  You can read more at: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/01/kucinich-bill-seeks-to-end-the-federal-reserve/. The following link to a YouTube video also brings up some important points regarding the printing of paper money and its relation to debt and how it would be advantageous for the government to take back the role of again printing money. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tr5BbH6X8s&feature=colike

Amazing, how the more “federal reserve notes” the Fed prints, the less the 99% benefits.  The idea of “Occupying Dollar Bills” is brilliant in my opinion and I’m going to order me some rubber stamps!

Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder: Occupy Dollar Bills

The People Need to Reclaim the Republic

It is telling that despite campaign promises to the contrary, the Obama administration hasn’t held the previous administration accountable for their abuses of power, has not rescinded the Orwellian practices of detention without trial, has sent even more troops to the Middle East, renewed the “Patriot Act”, went along with a bailout bill for greedy, irresponsible bankers over the strenuous objections of the voters and members of Congress, and kept all the Wall Street profiteers in key advisory positions. It appears that the same power brokers are pulling the strings, regardless of who is the governmental figurehead.

I would suggest that both the right and left wing are correct in their assessment that big government and big business are the problem as they are in league with each other and may even, as some fear, become an indistinguishable monolithic power. The ultra-rich 2% can afford to hire lobbyists but can we?  With the rapid disappearance of the middle class and our civil rights, we are becoming an impoverished slave class.

The alarming levels of corruption of government by corporate influence and the banking industry must be addressed if we are to reclaim our democracy.  We can start by rescinding the recent disastrous Supreme Court Citizens United decision that allows corporations to buy elections, pass the Fair Elections Now Act that imposes campaign spending limits, and pass legislation to end the revolving door between government regulatory agencies and corporate lobbying, among many other reforms, in order to reclaim government by and for the people.