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February 08, 2013

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I would think that there would be constitutional issues with a state issuing its own currency. Probably it's legal to prepare for doing that, though, if expensive.

Think about it: you'd have to invest X billions of dollars in the purchase of gold, silver or platinum metal to sit in a vault somewhere in case of economic collapse. Plus you'd have to invest some money in machinery or some means to strike that metal into coins.

You could just use blacksmiths like they used to, but coinage would be less uniform, and subject to shaving.

The US Constitution says that "No State shall ... make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts". So yes, there's a constitutional issue, but they're okay on that score.

(It's the Feds that can make paper money legal tender, and do; no conflict unless states attempt to make US paper money NOT legal tender)

So they CAN do gold or silver coinage. But not bills or copper pennies.

Gresham's Law says that if those state-issued coins are more valuable than current paper bills, they will disappear into hoards. If not, then no one will want to accept them at face value.

It's a losing game, but some GOPers are too blinded by ideology to see that, and still want to play. Hope they enjoy losing their shirts.

where the hell did they come with the number $17,440?

and yeah, article I section 10.

The GOPers could make coins in the shape of tiny (working) guns ... and/or bullets.

The coinage would meld "concealed carry" and "pocket change" into one ideological unit for easy transport across the frontier between their braincells and reality.


The first word of my Capcha was "Benjamin".

Ka-ching!

"where the hell did they come with the number $17,440?"

That's how much it will cost to subsidize Del. Bob Marshall's ruminations on this matter while sitting in a lawn chair at the site of the new Virginia Mint -- his garage.

So they CAN do gold or silver coinage.

They can recognize gold or silver coinage as legal tender for the payment of debts, but no they damned well cannot mint gold and silver coins and circulate them as money.

Article I section 10, sentence one, begins:

No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money;

No state shall coin money. Full stop.

The state of VA can forward a check to me, in the amount of $17,440, payable to 'russell', at their earliest convenience.

Count, do not forget that there already are golden pistol coins.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pistole

What good would this do in the event of a collapse of the Federal Reserve?

That is, what would you buy with "State of VA" official coins that you couldn't just buy with the same unofficial amount of metal - that is, by bartering?

Marshall: I'll give you a "Jefferson" for that chicken.

Farmer: Is that thing edible?

Marshall: No. But it is an official "Jefferson."

Farmer: Well, this is an official chicken, and it is edible, so leave me alone.

You want to talk about chickens, by?

Frank Costanza: Let me understand, you got the hen, the chicken and the rooster. The rooster goes with the chicken. So, who's having sex with the hen?

George Costanza: Why don't we talk about it another time.

Frank Costanza: But you see my point here? You only hear of a hen, a rooster and a chicken. Something's missing!

Mrs. Ross: Something's missing all right.

Mr. Ross: They're all chickens. The rooster has sex with all of them.

Frank Costanza: That's perverse.

russell has earned every dime of tha $17k, especially when you conside what result the study as commissioned could produce.

Chickens are decent people.

You don't see chickens coming home from work and beating the sh*t out of their hens, do ya?

Yever seen a chicken hook a guy's testicles up to a car battery?

No. Ya know why?

Cause chickens are decent people.

George Carlin

You don't see chickens coming home from work and beating the sh*t out of their hens, do ya?

Actually, Count, you do sometimes see exactly that. And, if you just have hens, you may still see the dominant hen going after one of the others -- sometimes even to the point where the victim loses all feathers on the head or even dies. "Peck rights" is, I believe, the technical term for the one with higher rank/status getting to hand out physical abuse to the one with lower rank. Those human cultures where that sort of thing is considered criminal between spouses are actually the exception.

Accuracy in humor.

Thanks. That occurred to me as I posted.

No battery-hooking up I trust, in the farm yard, although deep frying their nuggets is a distinct possibility.

For the record, the reason you don't see chickens coming home from work is because they were permanently laid off some time ago and as a result, the roosters and chickens and hens have a lot of time on their "hands" around the hen house and one thing leads to another, what with the stress and all.

Or maybe they live where they work, kind of a Chinese/Marianas/Dick Armey/Dickensian/Randian arrangement dear to those labor theorists who prize high productivity with little or no overhead.

Peck rights always win out over cock fighting on the home front.

Food for thought.

George Carlin was no Frank Perdue.

And Colonel Sanders had a battering kink, the better to indulge his "Peck" rights.

Since it's slow today:

I got money
like Charles Dickens
I got the girlies in the coupe
like the Colonel's got the chickens

(Eric Martin would know that one in a second.)

"No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money;"

Right. But you seem to have missed the real constitutional issue here: Article 1, Section 8 similarly says of Congress,

"The Congress shall have power...
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;"

So, it's true that the states can't coin money, and Congress can. But you'll search the Constitution in vain for any grant of power to print money. And, indeed, paper money was understood to be unconstitutional until after the Civil war.

Certainly too late to reverse this usurpation, but is there any good reason except that Supreme court justices are selected at the federal level, why only the federal government gets to violate the Constitution based on hokey arguments and dubious assertions of necessity?

And, yeah, Gresham's law is certainly a consideration, until federal bills become so worthless the legal requirement that people accept them breaks down.

"Actually, Count, you do sometimes see exactly that."

Yeah, only somebody who never raised chickens could seriously claim they were good people... Tasty, sure, but not "good". Murderous little cannibals...

Years ago, back when I lived in rural Michigan, the local paper ran a letter from a new resident, complaining of a local farm that raised pheasant for release and shoot hunts. Said the letter, "At least chickens are killed for food, not sport."

The paper's humor columnist replied, "Anybody who's raised chickens knows they're not killed for food, they're killed for revenge."

True, that.

Sorry Brett, I don't understand. Are you suggesting that the only monetary authority Congress has is to issue metal coins whose value is the value of their metallic content?

If so then why the power to "regulate the value thereof?"

If not, then what is the difference between minting a cheap coin and calling it "one dollar," and printing a piece of paper and calling that "one dollar."

Tis a slow thread as we deconstruct a chicken joke.

Actually, I think chickens are raised in irony, which now that I think about it, may have been Carlin's point.

After all, if chickens had opposable thumbs, their tragic flaws of character recited here would enable lead them to hook up a guy's testicles to a car battery, just like we do.

We, yes all of you Kemosabe, have the added drawback of being inedible, though I'll bet if I came back here in a day or two, the chinks in that armor would be exposed as well, accompanied by recipes, and then I could go all Abraham and Isaac all over everyone.

Murderous little "organic" cannibals .. is what I think Whole Foods calls our feathered friends, so that we may better taste our fowl revenge.

I'm going to stage a production of Macbeth, with chickens as the actors.

Perhaps later, a production of "Richard III" with a Rhode Island red in the lead.

I'm going to re-title it in the manner of the late Christopher Hitchens, Martin Amis, and Salman Rushdie during their drinking forays when they would play word games, like renaming Shakespeare's plays as Robert Ludlum (the Bourne author) entitled his novels, and during which Rushdie came up with "The Dunsinane Reforestation" for "Macbeth".

"Hamlet" became "The Elsinore Vacillation".

Ideas?

'If not, then what is the difference between minting a cheap coin and calling it "one dollar," and printing a piece of paper and calling that "one dollar." '

Chickenfeed.

"If so then why the power to "regulate the value thereof?""

It really helps to understand this stuff, if you realize that "regulate" at the time of the founding meant, "to make regular". You regulate the value of a precious metal coin by making the metal content consistent.

So they'd have "regulated" the value of the coins by setting a specific weight, and holding to it. A major problem with coinage in that era was inconsistent weights, Congress was empowered to coin money, and make sure that it was of a consistent value.

Only in today's fundamentally Orwellian environment would the power to "regulate the value" of a coin be understood to mean you could stamp out brass buttons, and dictate that they be treated as valuable as the same amount of gold...

Of course you can stamp out brass buttons and put the word "one dollar" on them.

You can even stamp out both brass buttons and gold coins and stamp "one dollar" on both, just as you could stamp "one Bellmore unit" on both. When it comes time to buy something, of course, there is no guarantee, absent some other consideration, that anyone will trade the same goods or services for the brass button as for the gold coin.

It really helps to understand this stuff, if you realize that "regulate" at the time of the founding meant, "to make regular".

No it did not. See Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824. You need to get back on your Metamucil.

You regulate the value of a precious metal coin by making the metal content consistent.

So if a gold coin can buy three chickens today but only two chickens two weeks ago, has the value of the coin gone down? And if you assume your taxes have remained constant in the meantime, do you have to gather more coins or fewer chickens to pay them?

The Fed issues "dollars", very few of which are made of anything. They are worth exactly one dollar. Each. Damned amazing if you ask me.

When do we begin making "regular" the use of the term -- "Orwellian"?

In the Founders' sense of the term "regulate" -- to make regular -- we could see the sense of regulating -- making regular one size to fit all -- say, for example, air pollution standards from the federal level rather than relying on 50 different air standards divided by imaginary State boundaries, which some to this day still desire.

I could term "Orwellian" the notion that the Second Amendment disallows regulatory differentiation between single-shot weapons and the high-capacity weapons technology of today, but I suspect some would find that highly irregular.

Etymologically, regulate and regular actually come from two different sources, with regulate coming from Latin and regular coming from Old French. Based on that etymology, I don't think that regulate never meant 'to make regular'. My OED is at school, so I can't check, but I'd be interested to see a usage where regulate meant 'to make regular'.

Earlier today, there was an ad on my TV for a "Trillion Dollar Commemorative Coin" for the low, low price of $10 plus shipping and handling. The ad warned against attempting to use the coin to pay your bills, or your taxes, or your share of the $16T national debt. Therefore, said the ad, there is a limit of 16 coins per order.

I swear I'm not making this up. Not even the Count could have made it up.

Okay, I just googled it: this is the ad.

So, somebody has spent actual money -- paper money, I suspect -- to air the ad. Also to manufacture the "coins", presumably -- though I bet they've budgeted more for marketing than for production, in the fine tradition of American entrepreneurship. I wish them well in their business, as it does not interfere with mine.

--TP

Universal background checks for weapons purchases.

To make regular.

Despite the Founders' original intent in the Constipation to sit on the pot for 237 years and refuse to chickensh*t.

"So if a gold coin can buy three chickens today but only two chickens two weeks ago ..."

That would be three or two "murderous little cannibals" to you. Which apparently could also be exchanged for a colonoscopy for those who have neglected to take their Metamucil under the Republican Party's health care plan for America.

From an interpretation of the "bird" symbolism in Orwell's "Animal Farm", though there are subcategories (pullets, hens, etc):

"The primary motto of Animalism is "Four legs good, two legs bad". The birds argued with this saying since it seems to exclude birds, which have two legs and two wings. Squealer set them at ease by explaining, "A bird's wing, comrades, is an organ of propulsion and not of manipulation. It should therefore be regarded as a leg. The distinguishing mark of man is the hand, the instrument with which he does all his mischief."

My mother knew the wisdom of that last sentence when she would knock on the bathroom door circa 1963 and ask in a singsong voice: "Others need to use the bathroom too, you know. Who is in there?"

It was just us chickens.


You regulate the value of a precious metal coin by making the metal content consistent.

How does this apply to the "and of foreign coin" part?

until federal bills become so worthless the legal requirement that people accept them breaks down.

What legal requirement?

You regulate the value of a precious metal coin by making the metal content consistent.

How does this apply to the "and of foreign coin" part?

I suspect it's done by disappearing from the thread until enough people forget the question was asked, but then I'm not a Constitutional scholar.

"I suspect it's done by disappearing from the thread until enough people forget the question was asked,"

And I suspect that some people here actually believe I don't have a life, that I'm in front of this computer 24/7, and just sometimes lurking instead of commenting. Actually, I was out at a park with my son, collecting stones for his rock tumbler.

You know what? That was actually a sound point, and I'll have to think about it.

"Four legs good, two legs bad".

For your amusement, "Piiiiiig Data".

That was actually a sound point, and I'll have to think about it.

Thanks Brett, I will look forward to your thoughts and comments.

The issue I always have with the metal money point of view is that it seems to be predicated on coins that are made of metal having some kind of intrinsic worth, that paper money doesn't have.

I'm not sure that holds up.

Any kind of money is a token. As opposed to barter, where items of actual, usable, intrinsic value are exchanged, money is a token of value. It's a representation, but not the actual thing. And, the only thing that makes it work is some kind of consensus about what - i.e. how much - real value the token can be considered to represent. However 'real value' is construed, i.e., whether it's hours of labor, or chicken dinners, or whatever.

The thing that is at issue is how that consensus understanding of the value of some more or less arbitrary object - an ounce of some metal, or a piece of paper, or a cowrie shell - is arrived at.

Money, in all of its forms, is just an agreement between people to exchange things of real, tangible value for whatever token folks happen to use in a given social context.

There's nothing magic about gold or silver. They're not even especially rare. They're durable, and they don't rust, which makes them useful for storing, but other than that they're no better or worse than any other tangible thing as a token of value.

Gold has some particular properties that make it valuable, but that seems to me to be a good reason not to tie it up as legal tender.

Silver, too. Platinum as well, come to think of it. Maybe our coinage should be aluminum, which is the most common metal on the planet that we can actually get to. It also has the advantage that its "rust" forms an extremely hard and transparent protective layer.

money = whatever

Here's what I like about it (from the link above):

The names of previous owners are passed down to the new one. In one instance, a rai being transported by canoe was accidentally dropped and sank to the sea floor. Although it was never seen again, everyone agreed that the rai must still be there, so it continued to be transacted as genuine currency. What is important is that ownership of the rai is clear to everyone, not that the rai is physically transferred or even physically accessible to either party in the transfer.

What legal requirement?

byomtov, if you look on a bill, you will find that it says "this note is legal tender for all debts, public and private." Someone who was not a lawyer might innocently assume that, if you owe someone money, they have to accept cash. But apparently that is not, in fact, the case. While the government has to accept them (e.g. for taxes), a private entity can choose whether or not to accept them. That is, they are effectively not legal tender for private debts after all.

Ain't the law a marvelous thing?

Gold has some particular properties that make it valuable, but that seems to me to be a good reason not to tie it up as legal tender.

The mischief begins when the state/sovereign says, "An ounce of this stuff is worth X."

While the government has to accept them (e.g. for taxes)

Actually, that is backwards. The government will not accept anything else in payment of taxes. This creates a demand for those creations of the "unconstitutional" Federal Reserve.

Also, one could refuse to accept the currency in payment for some private transaction, but the other party is equally free to ask, "Are you kidding me?"

Although there are three major units, (The Altairian Dollar, the Flainian Pobble Bead and the Triganic Pu) none of them count. The Altarian Dollar has recently collapsed, (again) the Flainian Pobble Bead is only exchangeble for other Flainian Pobble Beads, and the Triganic Pu has its own very special problems. Its exchange rate of eight Ningis to one Pu is simple enough, but since a Ningi is a triangular rubber coin six thousand eight hundred miles along each side, no one has ever collected enough to own one Pu. Ningis are not negotiable currency, because the Galactibanks refuse to deal in fiddling small change. From this basic premise it is very simple to prove that the Galactibanks are also the product of a deranged imagination.
Douglas Noel Adams

Having slept on it, I think it clear enough, (And the Supreme court agreed with me until after the Civil war.) that the power to coin money is not the power to print money. OTOH, I suppose the federal government likely has the power to coin money out of brass or plastic if they like, and declare it valuable; The Constitution gives the Congress the power to do many abusive things as an incidental consequence of empowering it to do needful things, and only a small minority of those abuses were specifically prohibited.

Got to look into "regulate", too.

One also suspects that the completely-unsupported-by-citation assertion that "paper money was widely understood to be unconstitutional" rests on a tenuous difference between "money" and "banknotes," since Congress was chartering banks to issue the latter as early as 1791.

One also suspects that a bunch of people who include professional writers and editors are about to be told that, despite an earlier assertion that "This word meant X in 1789” it now means two different things in the same sentence, and a third, unrelated thing in another amendment.

Dear Brett,

Is 3-D printing more like coining or more like printing?

Thank you!

Come on, Phil. Obviously a "well regulated militia" means all members are the same race, height, and weight. There is some scholarly dispute as to whether or not they all had to have the same color and amount of hair.

A debased militia is a threat to liberty.

Congress was chartering banks to issue the latter as early as 1791

That was a point that I wanted to make upthread a bit but...mobile interface sucks.

A friend of the family has been collecting banknotes for decades. These banknotes were issued by banks, not the federal government, and were printed by those same banks, and imprinted with their names.

Some examples here. Certainly not an exhaustive list. My friend (now deceased) had a MUCH more extensive collection.

Looking into the First and Second Legal Tender Acts might be a good idea for most people involved in this discussion. I include myself.

This I thought was interesting:

On this day in 1862, the U.S. Congress passes the Legal Tender Act, authorizing the use of paper notes to pay the government's bills. This ended the long-standing policy of using only gold or silver in transactions, and it allowed the government to finance the enormously costly Civil War long after its gold and silver reserves were depleted.

Most of what I've read seems to imply that legal tender means just what it says: that paper money and coins so stamped are in fact acceptable to settle debts. In other words, if someone demands e.g. gold in payment where dollar values are specified, they have to accept your paper money.

Lawyers may disagree, but that's the general flavor of what I've read. Correct me and I will thank you.

Sorry, that first sentence should have been blockquoted thus:

Congress was chartering banks to issue the latter as early as 1791
Is 3-D printing more like coining or more like printing?

Money is currently printed in 3D. Part of the anti-counterfeiting technology is raised ink.

I know: maybe not 3D enough to satisfy the aficionado.

Obviously a "well regulated militia" means all members are the same race, height, and weight.

Yes, just as regulated currency means that all denominations are the same denomination. No $5 or $100 bills anymore; just $20s.

I'm sure that was Brett's point, right?

I think the whole legal tender business for private transactions works like this:

1. If you have a contract with someone the two of you are free to specify whatever payment you like - gold, peanuts, euros, etc. There is no requirement that payment be made in dollars, unless that's what the contract specifies which, in the US, it usually will.

2. In the absence of a contract there are situations where a seller has to accept dollars. I think there was a case about a restaurant wanting gold or something and being required to take dollars because that's how the prices on the menu were stated.

3. A dollar is what the government says it is.

4. There is an incentive to accept dollars, partly because you have to use them to pay taxes, but mostly because they are a social convention, and an extremely useful one.

... the power to coin money is not the power to print money. OTOH, I suppose the federal government likely has the power to coin money out of brass or plastic if they like, and declare it valuable;

That makes no sense. It's like the argument that the Air Force is unconstitutional because only the Army and the Navy are authorized by the Constitution.

Effectively, you are saying that the Constitution gives Congress the power to create tokens to be used as money, as long as they are round and and not made of paper. That's literal-mindedness gone mad.

Currently the government loses money minting pennies, which are now mostly zinc.

In other news, dimes are no longer silver.

I think that governmental authority to do fairly well as it pleases as regards coinage is firmly established in precedent. It's likely that there are some good reasons why coins are not (yet) plastic.

Almost forgot: nickels are now only 25% nickel by weight.

Yes, just as regulated currency means that all denominations are the same denomination. No $5 or $100 bills anymore; just $20s.

Nobody said anything about "regulated currency". Brett's point was that "regulate" meant only "to make uniform" and therefore value must be regulated by making uniform the metal content of all coins of that value - ie, all members of the class of coins with that value.

Reasoning analogously, a "well-regulated" militia would be one in which all members are uniform with regard to some property. It's another illustration of the absurdity of insisting that "regulated" be interpreted in Brett's preferred manner - as if Russell's post weren't enough.

Brett's point was that "regulate" meant only "to make uniform" and therefore value must be regulated by making uniform the metal content of all coins of that value - ie, all members of the class of coins with that value.

So? Some things about the Army are regulated, as are some things (not all) about currency.

My only point in saying what you responded to was that it was as absurd to argue that regulation of all soldiers would require them to have the exact same appearance, dimensions, etc as it is to say that regulation of currency means they all have to have the same appearance, value, etc.

It's kind of a mutually assured destruction of argument by absurdity.

...and I'd also agree with the position that regulation of currency doesn't inherently mean that coinage has to carry the face value of metal.

Which itself can be problematic, when people start melting coins down and selling the metal for value.

Actually, "regulate the value" of money can more sensibly be interpreted as what the Fed does - control the money supply.

Actually, that is backwards. The government will not accept anything else in payment of taxes. This creates a demand for those creations of the "unconstitutional" Federal Reserve.

Actually, one can quite easily show that in any developed economy, this mechanism actually makes sure that only government money circulates widely.

Every person in the US needs dollars to pay taxes. So do the businesses. Even if a business would sell something for, say, rare sea shells, it would need to buy dollars with some of those sea shells to pay the sales taxes and the payroll tax. Similarly, even if your wages were paid in yen, you would need some dollars to pay your income tax.

As government is, by a good margin, the largest user of money in the real economy, it esatablishes a very good market for dollars. There is very surely a place which will accept your dollars for valuable purpose: paying your taxes. This means that for most people and businesses, working in any other currency is economically very inefficient and risky.

The real problems with a currency begin only when the government starts accepting or requiring some other currency for tax payments.

Lurker,

What you say is true, but even aside from taxes there are plenty of reasons for money to be standardized.

If you want to facilitate trade by eliminating the need for barter then having two or three different types of money is worse than having one.

Actually, "regulate the value" of money can more sensibly be interpreted as what the Fed does - control the money supply.

Well sorta'. Mostly what they control are interest rates.

Mostly what they control are interest rates.

Fair enough, but that too is done to "regulate the value of money," by, for example, raising rates to ward off inflation, etc.

With deference to Brett, the legality of the federal government directly printing money was not settled until the https://www.google.com/#hl=en&tbo=d&sclient=psy-ab&q=legal+tender+cases&oq=legal+tend&gs_l=hp.1.2.0l4.2718.4985.0.8134.10.10.0.0.0.0.83.583.10.10.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.1.2.hp.GppgDrGvf_s&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42080656,d.cGE&fp=fc557c271682dae3&biw=1600&bih=775>legal tender cases in the late 19th century.

However, that the Founders could have a rather elastic take on the question of "coining money" is demonstrated quite clearly by looking at the initial capitalization of the first Bank of The United States in 1791. The federal government was obligated to purchase the first $2million of the inital share offering of $10million. It did so by borrowing the money from the bank. How's that for financial legerdemain!

So how did government spending trend after that? Well, they incurred a good deal of debt. In 1810, for example, total government expenditures were $8.7million. Debt rung up that year was $1.7million, about 15% of spending. Were that we could be so profligate today.

Andy Jackson, that good slave owning Democrat, ended all such nonsense in 1831 when the Bank's charter was not renewed and all federal debt paid off....plunging the economy into one of the worst recessions of the 19th century.

Before somebody fillets me, current deficits are a higher % of spending these days-but the point remains-the fed are not spending enough, and the accumulation of public debt is not the end of the world.

As to the mechanics of government spending in the days of the Founders, it would be interesting to know how they worked. Did they lug boxes of coins around to pay all their bills? Somehow I don't think so--not for every single purchase. The logistics strike me as prohibitive.

"but the point remains-the fed are not spending enough, and the accumulation of public debt is not the end of the world"

I think we're entitled to become concerned somewhat before "the end of the world", perhaps even far enough in advance to avert it.

I think we're entitled to become concerned somewhat before "the end of the world", perhaps even far enough in advance to avert it.

That's a two-way street. Concerns over more immediate economic contractions and the attendant suffering they entail are equally valid when discussing net government expenditure. It seems the defense industry realizes that spending cuts can be damaging in ways similar to tax increases, given their reaction to the possibility of sequestration.

I think we're entitled to become concerned somewhat before "the end of the world", perhaps even far enough in advance to avert it.

Does that opinion extend to climate change?

"It seems the defense industry realizes that spending cuts can be damaging in ways similar to tax increases, given their reaction to the possibility of sequestration."

Well, I expect they would accept whatever level of taxes would keep them on a growth trajectory, up, down, doubled, eliminated, whatever, as long their funding was left intact and growing.

The only reason they didn't find tax DECREASES damaging, which they WERE to the budget of the United States Government during the 2000-08 Bush years, was because the defense industry's budget and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were sequestered from suffering decreases or flatlining growth by the borrowing facilities of the U.S. Government.*

As Reagan said, if you want more armaments, refuse to pay for them with your hard-earned tax dollars.

"Does that opinion extend to climate change?"

No.

In fact, if global warming had wiped out the two dozen+ kids at Sandy Hook Elementary instead of gunfire, we would be asked, no, warned, by the usual suspects that discussion about ameliorating global warming must not commence too soon after the most recent deaths, maybe later, yawn, I don't know, after dozens of more mass killings, or even entire school districts were wiped out by the effects of global warming.

Even then, it would be a hoax ordered by Obama.

Unless, of course, the schools were private not public, and then public money would have been sought with much fanfare to sandbag the premises and how bout them polar bears, huh?

The problem is mental illness. Not enough of it. We'll know we have enough of it when what passes for the Republican Party is back in the majority in all three branches of government.

There's an asteroid passing by pretty closely next Friday.

All you need to know, and keep this mind with everything else you've been told by the ever-proliferating mentally ill among us, is that asteroids don't kill people.

Remember this too: Guns don't kill people, people with guns kill people" and its analogue: "Global warming doesn't kill people, people who cause global warming kill people, but we're not sure yet who to shoot in self-defense cause it might be us, so just deny the whole thing."

Hold on, everyone keep their hands up until we get to the bottom of this.

Therefore, all efforts to deflect or destroy the asteroid using tax dollars and the instruments of government, should it get close enough to do damage, must be met with violence by the people using the guns that don't kill people.

*Unlike the stereotypical professional liberal, I am not a professional and don't favor cutting the Defense Department at present, nor anything else in government, until the unemployment rate reaches its minimum, say 3%.

Unless the engineers who would be laid off in the defense industry could be re-directed, if they so chose, and financed thru government grants, to design highly sensitive firearms that would refuse to fire when aimed at human flesh.

Instead, a little flag would pop out of the barrel of the weapon which would declare "Surprise! This gun refuses to kill people, which means, if you think about it, that people no longer kill people ... with guns"

You'd need to read both sides of the flag to get the full gist of the boilerplate.

Rest assured, alternative methods of killing would still be available, so Ted Nugent could beat a boar to death with a Stratocaster Guitar for all I care, if his gun mistook a wild boar for a people and jammed.

I didn't know this when I wrote the 6:23 pm silliness above:

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/02/ted-nugent-state-of-the-union-gun-control.php?ref=fpa

Once again, silly satire, such as it is, is badly behind the curve of the background radiation of howling insanity in this travesty of a civilization.

Let us review:

Not too long ago, Ted Nugent, subhuman vermin begotten of subhuman vermin and whose noxious alien seed has begotten even more subhuman anti-American vermin was strutting around a stage with some big honking infinite-shot firepower on each hip which he then invited, said threat amplified bluetooth via a sound system, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to "suck on", which I believe for the strict literal textualists out there, meant no less than that he would shoot the two of them in the mouth, or did we stumble into metaphor from an unlikely source here?

My cat has scratched better poetry. Robert Frost wouldn't turn his nose up at some sweet poontang.

And this speck of feces, this self-expressed threatener of assassination of not one, but two Presidential candidates just four years ago is now invited to place his ass in an honored seat in the very hall, the Capitol Building, where both threatened victims will be within firing range of the individual, a "people" he might call himself, who threatened publicly to murder them.

Where's Jack Ruby when you need him as an assassination prophylactic for once in his life?

It seems the last time someone threatened to kill a U.S. President and his advisors, we ended up invading Iraq (no coinage or currency involved apparently, just IOUs and IEDs) and cornering the perpetrator (anyone want to tell me he was an entertainer, too?) in a hidey hole for later butchering.

Now, the estimable Slick LaPierre will point out that only video games, not people or guns, kill people and that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would be in much more danger if someone brought a video simulation of Ted Nugent to the SOTU which threatened to murder the two of them.

That's The State Of The Union, right there.


Does that opinion extend to climate change?

-byomtov

FOR. THE. WIN.

I hope Mr. Obama ends the paragraph in the SOTU regarding gun control or the lack thereof with these words "Suck on that, Ted", and then continue with some amusing remarks on his surprise that the Secret Service OKed the placement of the would-be assassin in the balcony, of all places, where he might get off a clear shot or two, depending on the specifications of the weapon he's concealed carrying.

The Obama could speculate that it could be worse, they could have left the President vulnerable from behind, from whence most cowardly Condederate f*cks, history being any kind of a cautionary guide, like to stalk their victims.

Before proceeding into the thickets of drone policy and its possible application against enemies of the State here at home, Obama could then look up directly to the gallery in Nugent's general direction, fart loudly, and notice in a measured voice that Ted brought his lovely wife, Betty Poontang Sue, with him.

Does that opinion extend to climate change?

-byomtov

FOR. THE. WIN.

I took this as evidence that deep down in his heart of hearts, Brett is a reasonable guy...

this speck of feces

More accurately, wearer of his own feces.

Creative draft-dodging, as we used to call it.

Nugent at the SOTU seems fine to me. Heighten those contradictions, morans.

i would love to see Obama open with the YouTube clip of Nugent threatening to kill Obama and Clinton.

It would be even better if the Secret Service just took him into custody on the spot, just as they do with any other threats of violence to the person of the President.

I vote for cleek's proposal, followed by Slarti's. I'd add that the SS should then release Mr. Nugent once outside to be interviewed by Oprah "on the street" so that all the broadcast and cable networks could interrupt their SOTU coverage.

Win win, I think.

Maybe Brian de Palma should produce this SOTU, with some help from Quentin Tarentino.

After the YouTube clip of Nugent (but ... but ... he's an entertainer! Yes, and John Wilkes Booth was an actor who did voiceovers for John Calhoun and Osama Bin Laden was one hell of a tap dancer), and the bucket of pig's blood positioned over Obama's head by the enemies of the Republic has emptied its contents, the lighting can go all crimson and the President from the podium and with the satanic powers attributed to him by the 27% he will now direct the destruction of the entire anti-American Republican political power structure .. live on television.

The heavy doors of the Capitol will slam shut and lock from without. Chandeliers will break loose from their moorings and swing sharp-edgedly and decapitatingly at neck heighth over the now-panicking and stampeding enemy filth as they stumble over their "colleagues" to escape.

Tarentino machine gun enthusiasts will do a little inglourious basterd action from their box seats.

Great gouts of enemy Republican blood will be seen pouring from the exterior windows of the Capitol and washing into the reflecting pool.

Steve Stockman and Ted Nugent and their lovely respective poontang groupies, the latter's broken high heels removed for faster getaway stickocity, will somehow find escape and hotfoot it toward the Washington Monument, like wild pigs through the Michigan underbrush.

Far overhead, military drones with tactical nuclear payloads (finally to be used on real enemies), remotely controlled now by the President's witch doctor mind f*cking abilities, will have the fleeing SOTU party (Nugent, party of four? Run this way, please) in its grainy video sights and ... ... well, before we witness the inevitable fine pink aerosol spray of vaporized martyr, we'll cut here and go to the FOXNews post-SOTU analysis team to learn if my fever dreams lived up to theirs and Ted's.

Until the screen goes blank and that's when things will become very unpredictable.

It would be even better if the Secret Service just took him into custody on the spot

IMO this would be granting him far more importance than he deserves.

Better, Obama could personally welcome Nugent and just ask him to hold his fire until after the event or at least until he heard the word sockdologizing from the podium.
Will Hillary Clinton be present, btw?

"IMO this would be granting him far more importance than he deserves."

Granted, but some people insist that he be treated as if he really is that important. If he is, then he should be arrested. If not, why give him the time of day?

ok, you talked me into it.

lock him up.

"Does that opinion extend to climate change?"

Sure, when it threatens to destroy the world, rather than, say, increase agricultural productivity in Canada.

Frankly, I'm convinced enough that I believe we should drop the artificial barriers to nuclear power, and proceed at our best speed to replace fossil fuels with nukes.

After all, even if I doubt the planet is going to get dangerously hot before we run out of coal, I do kind of like coral.

Coral notes the ringing endorsement.

"Frankly, I'm convinced enough that I believe we should drop the artificial barriers to nuclear power, and proceed at our best speed to replace fossil fuels with nukes."

I might be persuaded regarding nuclear power, too.

But, what are the artificial barriers that I need to drop? What, no fence between me and the nuclear waste site?

Is prevailing public opinion against nuclear power, whether it is informed or not, an artificial barrier or a real, tangible barrier.

And what force, besides government force, which I assume ranks lower than coral on some favorites lists, could possibly overcome negative public opinion and resistance to a vibrant nuclear power industry.

If the private insurance carriers refused to underwrite a proliferating nuclear power industry, would you accept a federally insured nuclear power industry, taxpayer backed.

Or would that eventuality cause you to become an artificial barrier to nuclear power development in this country?


Give me an environment where the heads of nuclear power companies get publicly hanged* in case of major incidents and are in general required to live and work on site and obliged to be the last to evacuate should something happen. Then we can talk about a nuclear renaissance.
The way it is now would only lead to those responsible being treated like Oil/Gas CEOs or 'to big to fail' bankers, i.e. the worst that would happen to them would be a threat of reduced bonuses. At the moment I have zero trust in assurances that no corners are cut in running nuke plants in the US.

*since flogging to death and boiling in oil are no constitutional options. Please ignore for a moment that I am opposed to capital punishment.

It seems rather odd to focus entirely on what happens in Canada. It's a big country, sure, but there's lots of other real estate in the world, much of it more densely populated than Canada.

And do we really have to wait until it threatens to destroying world? You seem to want to take steps on inflation which, even if it threatened, which it does not, will surely not destroy the world, and from the effects of which recovery is possible, though briefly painful. I think you're operating on a double standard there.

Also, what Hartmut said. You may believe that nuclear execs won't cut safety corners in the interests of profits. I'd say that's naive.

Here is who is intensely interested in, concerned about, and making plans to deal with, the consequences of global warming:

US Dept of Defense
CIA
Every insurance company on the planet

So, I'm guessing there's something to it.

Regarding the Commonwealth of VA's plans for minting their own coin, the thing I find most troubling about it is that it is just one more example of the whole states' rights / nullification / sovereign state horsecrap.

Didn't we already fight a horrendous bloody war about this?

If there's that much of a clamor to get out of the union, maybe what we should look at is a Constitutional change spelling out an orderly process for secession.

I can tell you that I personally would not shed a drop of blood or a penny of treasure to keep any state that wants out, in.

If you don't want to be part of the country, GTFU. If you want to be in, you don't get to pick and choose what bits of federal law please you.

If need be, I will be personally happy to dig up the moldering remains of John Calhoun and drive a spike through wherever his contentious heart was. I'm sick of this country being haunted by his gibbering ghost.

I wonder if there isn't a realtively simply way to reduce the chances of nuclear execs cutting safety corners. Require that all senior execs in companies running nuclear reactors, and all of the members of their board of directors, live within 3 miles of one of their nuclear plants. And down wind.

Suddenly, the incentives shift away from short-term profits. Especially if they are required to remain there for several years after they leave that position.

Just a thought experiment -- and not even necessarily the best specific solution. But I think it does indicate that there are ways to craft the incentives to avoid that particular issue.

"russell, zombie crank slayer" is a movie i would watch.

Sure, when it threatens to destroy the world, rather than, say, increase agricultural productivity in Canada.

And if the price of a marginally higher but probably insignificant wheat yield is the deaths by drowning of thousands or millions of ooga-booga brown people on islands and in low-lying coastal areas, well, vive le progresse!

I'd give a virtual coin purse-full of Amazon coins (backed by the full faith and credit of Jeff (because I said it's money, that's why) Bezos and four live chickens to attend the opening of "Russell, Zombie Crank Slayer" and the after-party bonfire.

"Didn't we already fight a horrendous bloody war about this?"

If you do a rough calculation on the back of an envelope, you'll realize the enormous profit to be made from sequels -- Civil War II -- now in the works. For those who just didn't get the gist of the plot line and denouement the first time around. Actor John Wilkes Boothe, who hasn't worked since 1865 except for some dinner theater in rural all-you-can-eat horse trough restaurants, will reprise the assassin role, but the special effects and weaponry available today are going to blow us all away.

I'd be up for this: the next time (wait a day, maybe two) a wanna-be John Calhoun (Rick Perry would fill about a quarter of Calhoun's codpiece, so we'll let the former off this time, given as how his incontinence in the manly sphincter areas wouldn't have been up to the job anyhow) throws the secession card on the table, the Federal government should present to the secession fan the same deal I watched an upperclassman in high school present to a bully on the sports school bus who was threatening a couple of 7th graders -- the upperclassman, an otherwise bookish type, got in real close to the bully's face and said: Tell you what, I want you to punch ME in the face, and if you refuse, I'm going to beat the crap out of you. What happens if I do punch you, saith the bully in quaver-voice? Well then, said the upperclassman, I'm going to beat the crap out of you just the same.

The bully considered this proposal, HIS sphincters coming unmoored from their functionality, and he finally gave the upperclassman a half-hearted sock on the jaw, and two jabs and a roundhouse later, the bully, well, he started to cry from a less than upright position.

So, let's say the next time some Texas or South Carolina, or Wyoming foghorn wag says, ya know, I think we'll be leaving this here Union, the President, through his Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman, should respond: Y'alright, Representative Bilgemouth, you've got 48 hours do get her done. Get the f*ck out. I've ordered all military and missile assets in your former state dismantled as we speak and pulled back to the new borders ... of this... so-called country you think you've created and turned around facing you so that they are aimed at your crotch. We'll set up refugee camps along our new U.S. border to succor the 70% or so of your former State's population that will decide to get as far away from you, Mr. Ground Zero, as possible. Course, all of the other administrative functions we have provided to you these two and a half centuries of whinging bullsh+t will cease -- Marjorie, how quickly can we shut all of that down -- Oh, in roughly 90 minutes, Mr. President -- let's say, in 90 minutes. Back taxes are owed just so you know, and there is the matter of the federal land and property that belongs to the citizens of the U.S., but those loose ends can be handled with a few well-placed airstrikes, should there be a holdup in resolving those details.

And what if we de-de-decide not to secede, Mr. O.. Mr. President. I mean, a little loose talk, what's the harm?

Well Bilbo, my pappy (you've got to go all sly folksy mode with these characters, lest they misunderstand one's intentions) always said "In the beginning was the Word, and you sir, Mr. Bozo .. Mr Bilbo, whomever the f*ck you are, have spoken the Word -- Secession -- and there is no turning back from the Word once it has left the inarticulate confines of your pea brain and emerged from your thin, poisonous and literal lips.

48 Hours. We're done here.

Marjorie, get me FEMA's emergency White House cleaning crew on the line ...
There is one hell of a stubborn stain on the Oval Office carpet in front of the President's desk.

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