Tag Archives: gold standard

Do McDonald’s and Walmart Epitomize Communism or Capitalism? (A debate ongoing with Robert Stark of Santa Barbara and Robert Hurt of Clearwater)

Dear Bob & Robert:

You have read my response to Robert Stark’s incoherent and erroneous complaint regarding Capitalism as inimical to social hierarchy and the maintenance of elite classes and tastes, and now you ask me to risk wasting my time since I can never convince you of anything, but I’ll give it my best whirl here:
Communism arose (and still arises) from the desire to break down all social and cultural (i.e behavioral and material) class barriers between people.

This egalitarian tendency is what leads some to assert that communism and Christianity are compatible, or that Thomas Jefferson foresaw and advocated communism in the Declaration of Independence. Communism, most simply and purely defined, is radical egalitarianism—making every person like every other person.
I should note as an aside that while I understand both the 1776 Jeffersonian and the primitive Christian antecedents of communism, as a moral precept regarding the commonality of human needs and wants, both Jefferson and the primitive (i.e. Roman and Mediaeval) Christian Churches were inimically opposed to credit lending and banking of any kind. “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” said Jesus, and then he drove the money changers out of the Temple, saying “You have made my Father’s house into a den of thieves.”

The next day, Jesus then washed his apostles feet before the last Supper and instructed them to serve one another and the people, as he served them, although he was their leader, the first to die and the first to be reborn—his Father’s great gift to all mankind.

Jesus and St. Paul both emphasized a certain leveling effect of the Christian concept of the salvation of the soul—but they asked that this be done as a matter of charity and giving, and voluntary service. Jefferson, for his part, fought Federalists Hamilton and Adams bitterly over the question of the banks, which he correctly regarded as the arbiters of slavery—as debt, throughout history, has always been the fundamental basis for slavery (since Ancient 3rd Milleniums Sumerian, Second Millennium Early Babylonian times and probably long before—as acknowledged in the Hebrew Bible’s celebration of the 7 year “Jubilee”—marking the period relief from debt established in and derived from Mesopotamia).

Marx & Engels’ Communist Manifesto published in London in February 1848 sought to establish an eternal system of debt to centralized institutions from which there would never be another Jubilee until the end of time. Their Manifesto systematically focuses in turn on every aspect of this leveling process: urban and rural life should be the same. Agriculture and Industry should be the same. Men and women should, as nearly as biologically possible, be the same.

In short: all barriers between, all distinguishing characteristics differentiating people should simply be erased. No one should own or consume more than s/he needs to survive, so there is some acknowledgment of differential need, but no one should own real estate, which is the fundamental basis of all social existence. Karl Marx and his followers directed that education should be restructured so as to mould all individuals into good servants of the communist plan.

As I have pointed out and written and rewritten so many times, the sinister hidden fact behind the Communist Manifesto and Marx’ entire career was the practical reality envisioned by Marx (great grandson and grand-nephew of the Rothschilds, especially Mayer Amstel Rothschild): leveling of all classes and destruction of all boundaries between people could only be achieved through central banking and leveraged buyouts through inflationary credit, and the abolition of gold and silver as monetary bases.

Although Marx & Engels focus on the leveraged buyout of land in the Manifesto, it is fairly clear that the only way that all systems of production and distribution of all industrial and agricultural goods could only be ultimately centralized through the same system of central bank financing of large “industrial armies…..especially in agriculture”, just as the only way to create a centralized apparatus of roads, highways, canals, and vehicular transport for the centrally produced products could only happen through government credit—making predatory pricing possible to wipe out all the small merchants, shop-keepers who were the very heart of capitalism which Marx & Engels so thoroughly despised.

And exactly what has Walmart done? Throughout the world, Walmart has driven small vendors out of business, even out of existence. Walmart has destroyed all vestiges of private business in countless towns and neighborhoods throughout America, Canada, and the world.

And What has McDonald’s done? Together in lock step with its mirror image brand names Burger King, Jack-in-the Box, and Wendy’s and stylistic variants like Sonic, and ethnic cuisine variants such as KFC, Popeye’s, and Taco Bell, McDonald’s has led the way in revolutionizing how and what people eat—down to the lowest common denominator—exactly what Robert Stark was complaining that capitalism did.
The construction and opening of a Walmart just next door to Teotihuacan, the largest and most extensive ruined city remaining from all of ancient, pre-Hispanic, Mexico, symbolizes to me the triumph of American-style Fabian Communism over all other forms of living and modes of production.
Yet this IDEAL of the LCD among people was NOT a Capitalistic idea, but a communistic idea.

Walmart & McDonald’s fulfill, more than any system invented in the Soviet Union, the class-leveling purpose of communism. EVERYTHING is available under one roof, of modest-to-good quality at the lowest possible price, prices made possible only by government credit extension to fund the unitary GLOBAL, WORLDWIDE centralized production and distribution of agricultural and industrial goods.

I wrote my earlier piece in response to Robert Stark’s commentary that he disliked Capitalism because Capitalism created Walmart and McDonald’s. Robert Stark could not be more wrong. Not only do Walmart and McDonald’s manifest the ideological and more importantly PRACTICAL apogee of communist aspirations for material and class leveling and merging of all classes through centralized global systems of production, distribution, and planned consumption, but Walmart and McDonald’s were NOT CREATED BY CAPITAL—i.e., by hard money investing.

Rather, in the aftermath of World War II, supermarkets and retail chains expanded and expanded ever further with governmental sponsorship though systems of direct Federal Reserve Lending and tax credits. A&P and Sears had their origins in the Railroad monopolies of the late 19th century which in turn arose from Abraham Lincoln’s first great experiments in central economic planning, the vast “credit” extended to these companies by enlisting the US Frontier Cavalry and Infantry, organized after the Civil War for the First Time as a permanent, large standing army, to preserve, protect and defend NOT the Constitution of the United States but the three great Transcontinental Railroad corporations and their land holdings—larger units of regional planning than the Tennessee Valley Authority or any other project of FDR’s New Deal, and to support the central planning of the economy of the West implied by these brainchildren of the 16th President and his Whiggish and Hamiltonian antecedents.

But the A & P, Safeway, Sears Roebuck, and other similar predecessors and antecedents were but Fabian gradualist stepping stones on the way to the perfected communism of Walmart & McDonald’s, in which all discrimination, really and truly, is ended, except for the discrimination of the integrated corporate-financial government against the people….

So compare Jeffersonian and Christian notions of equality with Marxism: only Marxist Communism, born of the Rothschild’s family lineage, advocated the use of central banking and leveraged buyouts through inflationary credit as the means of abolishing private property and centralizing all production, distribution, and standardizing all consumption in the world. In other words, only Marxist Communism had designed and prepared a road map for how to coerce the entire world into uniformity and submission.

And uniformity and submission are exactly what Walmart & McDonald’s have achieved to a degree unparalleled in the history of the world. Now they could not have done so without the Federal Reserve, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citibank, and those entities could not have existed without the blessings and tolerance of the United States President, Congress, and Supreme Court in utter subversion of the Constitution, as well as the teachings of (at least) the  Christian Bible.

In final response to your (Bob Hurt’s) and Robert Stark’s questions, I would say that the only relic of capitalism to be found at Walmart or McDonald’s is the cashier’s (whether automated or human) acceptance of cash payments in the legal tender known as Federal Reserve Notes which, by “evolutionary” heritage, trace their ancestry to notions of actual capital. The relationship between Federal Reserve Note Dollars and Capital, however, is exacty the same as the relationship of a heathen (Roman or Greek) Ghost to the human body—that relationship was called a “Shade” (Umbra) or shadow— and so, in conclusion, I would say that the cashier’s receipts of FRNs at Walmart and McDonald are merely the ghostly shades of capitalism, the mere transactional formalities of paying—against which Marx and Engels never protested.
In fact, Karl Marx always presumed a “cash” economy and wrote of the State Collecting rents from all real property, of a progressive income tax, and of minimum wages. The mere existence of cash, however, in the form of inflationary credit units, has no more relationship to capitalism than wind does to the spirit which animates a living body.

What if the world really did end on Friday, December 21, 2012, and the event was so trivial that nobody noticed?

On this December 21, 2012, did our World’s, our America’s Heart of Darkness really stop? Is this really the way the world ends?  Neither with a bang nor even a whimper?  Has the old order really been burnt and snuffed out like the straw effigy of Guy Fawkes on Bonfire Night?  What if the world really DID end and nobody cared?  Are we all just stuffed and masked images of dead white male revolutionaries now?  Two years ago I arrived in New Orleans with my son Charlie from his first Semester in College at Saint John’s in Annapolis—and now without rhyme or reason he never calls me, writes me, nor even sends smoke signals—and yes, that does make me feel really rather Hollow….. I grow old, I grow old, but I shall never wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled…. But is anything really real in this night after the world ended?  Today was the day, wasn’t it?  

The Hollow Men

T. S. Eliot (1925)

Mistah Kurtz—he dead.

      A penny for the Old Guy

      I

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

      II

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer—

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

      III

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

      IV

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

      V

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
                                For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
                                Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
                                For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

1925 was a great year.  T.S. Eliot published the poem reproduced above.  In other events that year, on January 3, 1925 (my wonderful Grandfather’s, Alphonse Bernhard Meyer’s, 27th Birthday), Benito Mussolini asserted dictatorial powers in Italy.  On July 18 of that year, the future Austrian Chancellor of Germany finished and published his autobiography entitled “My Struggle”, and on the date that, 35 years later, would later become my birthday, F. Scott Fitzgerald published “The Great Gatsby.”    

On February 21, 1925, the New Yorker Magazine went into publication for the first time, introducing Eustace Tilley and his Monocle to the World.

One month later, as a direct result of this first publication (and the fact that Eustace Tilley was examining a Butterfly—just as an evolutionary biologist would), on March 21, 1925, the State of Tennessee outlawed the teaching of evolution and immediately “went ape”, immediately proceeding to arrest (on May 5, 1925, 42 years later to become my wife and son’s mother Elena K.’s birthday) indict and prosecute one certain Mr. John Scopes for violating this law in the magnet schools of Metropolitan Dayton, Tennessee.  On July 21, 1925, a mere three days after the publication in Germany of “My Struggle,” John Scopes was found guilty of teaching evolution in his native Dayton and fined $100.00, despite representation by Chicago Attorney Clarence Darrow.  Scopes appealed but later dropped his appeal after a settlement.

In other miscellaneous news, on April 3, the United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa all went back on the gold standard (that didn’t last too long, though…) and on June 1, 1925, Percy and Florence Arrowsmith were married in Hereford, England. This couple, who celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary June 1, 2005 (Percy aged 105, and wife Florence 100), were (apparently erroneously) acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records as record-holders for the longest marriage for a living couple and the greatest aggregate age of a married couple.  Percy only survived a fortnight after their anniversary, dying on June 15, 2005.  There’s a French couple that may have been married longer but 80 years is still a really long time….

Two fortnights after the Arrowsmiths were married, a major earthquake struck the beautiful city of Santa Barbara, California, leveling the entire downtown on June 29, 1925.  FEMA did not then exist, so Santa Barbara recovered rapidly. 

Back on the Western shores of the Atlantic, the second (1915 renascent) Ku Klux Klan demonstrated and held a parade in Washington DC including 40,000 male and female members of the Klan marching down Pennsylvania Avenue in front of “Silent” Calvin Coolidge’s White House.  In 1925, an estimated 5,000,000 members belonged to the Ku Klux Klan, making it the largest fraternal and social organization in the United States.

During 1925, several important events in the development of Television took place in the U.S. England, including on June 13, Charles Francis Jenkins achieves the first synchronized transmission of pictures and sound, using 48 lines, and a mechanical system. A 10-minute film of a miniature windmill in motion was transmitted 5 miles by “radio” from Anacostia to Washington, DC. The images are viewed by representatives of the National Bureau of Standards, the U.S. Navy, the Commerce Department, and others. Jenkins called this “the first public demonstration of radiovision”.   In Great Britain, between March 25, and October 30, 1925, Scottish engineer John Logie Baird’s developed and put into service Britain’s first television transmitters at Selfridge’s Department store in Soho.

Finally, on Christmas Day, 1925, for whatever it might be worth to note, IG Farben was formed out of the consolidation, conglomeration, and merger of BASF, Bayer, Agfa, Hoechst, and two other companies.

If Restoring the Gold Standard is a Tease, it is a very smart tease—otherwise the Republicans really should endorse a Constitutional Amendment to emphasize the truth and restore some modicum of reality or “honest” to the government—at least to the point of admitting its lies….

I would actually support a straight constitutional restoration of gold AND silver as the sole media of legal tender in the United States—not just gold and not just silver.  Otherwise the Constitution should be amended in an effort to restore honesty and integrity to the government.  We could, for example, restore ancient Indo-European currency based on cattle (“fee” and “pecuniary” are just two of the words we have inherited from our cattle-exchanging ancestors), mix it with the ancient Aztec-Maya “Cacao” standard that operated for at least two thousand years before the Spanish conquest in Mexico, but the “credit” standard based on an empty Federal Reserve (empty of substance, but papered over full of lies) has got to stop!  It would almost redeem Romney—almost, if he would endorse a restoration of Constitutional Currency—or to amend the Constitution to authorize “fiat currency based on nothing, issued by a private bank in the name of the U.S. Treasury.”

The Original U.S. Constitution of 1787 states, in Article I, Section 10:

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.”

Article I, Section 8, Clause 5 stated [Congress shall have Power … ] To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, …;

Note that there is no such prohibition against Congress, or any delegated power to make anything legal tender. Congress was originally understood to have no power to make anything legal tender outside of federal territories, under Art. I Sec. 8 Cl. 17 and Art. IV Sec. 3 Cl. 2, but in 1868 a Supreme Court packed by Pres. Ulysses S. Grant, in the Legal Tender Cases, allowed Congress to make paper currency issued by the U.S. Treasury, backed by gold, legal tender on state territory, a precedent that remains controversial to this day, when courts allow paper currency not backed by anything to be considered “legal tender”.

Seventh Amendment

The only money amount in the Constitution or its amendments is in the Seventh Amendment regarding civil jury trials:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

In 1789 the “dollar” was a coin, the Spanish (Austrian-Bohemian-Habsburg-Imperial originated) taler, mostly those minted in Mexico City, Havana, Cartagena, or Lima, containing 371.25 grains of pure silver, or 416 grains of silver of standard (coin grade) purity.

A troy ounce, the standard measurement unit for precious metals, is 480 grains, so a “dollar” contains 0.7734 troy ounce of pure silver, and 20 such coins would weigh 17.3333 troy ounces and contain 15.46875 troy ounces of pure silver. One can use one of several historically analyzed currency converters to to find out what the current value of that amount of bulk silver would be in federal reserve notes. For example, on June 15, 2000, $20 dollars in Spanish Silver would have been worth about $87.71 in federal reserve notes, but the price is much higher now.  However, keep in mind that the world trading price for gold or silver is the bulk, wholesale price, for ingots, in minimum quantities of 400 troy ounces, and the trading is generally only a tranfer of title and not a physical delivery of the ingots, for which an additional transport charge may be made. As single coins it would have about twice that bulk value, so the constitutional threshold under the Eighth Amendment would (in 2000 again) have been closer to $176 in federal reserve notes. That would be the minimum “value in controversy” that would preserve the right to trial by jury in a civil case.

Since Congress has the power to set weights and measures, Congress could regulate the exchange rate between gold and silver and “the dollar” if Constitutional currency, or any mix of Constitutional and traditional substantive economic currency in cattle, sheep, cacao, or cowrie shells were ever to be restored.  But this week, the focus on on the sad Republicans.

Republicans tease with gold standard, but idea seen full of bugs

Reuters – 2 hrs 46 mins ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Republicans have all but guaranteed the backing of the “gold vote” this November by raising an idea that even the most bullish mainstream bullion boosters believe is unrealistic – a return to the gold standard.

Gold prices would likely surge to $10,000 an ounce, the greenback’s credibility would vanish and global superpowers would risk a new trade war if Republicans were to restore the link between the U.S. dollar and gold that was severed 40 years ago.

But that isn’t stopping Republicans from considering the idea, who will call for a commission to look at restoring a fixed value for the dollar, according to a draft of the party platform to be adopted at theRepublican National Convention that begins on Monday in Tampa, Florida.

Gold has returned to the political discourse recently with the growing prominence of politicians like Ron Paul, the congressman from Texas who has said that he decided to enter politics on the day thatPresident Richard Nixon shut the “gold window” in 1971, and with the Tea Party, which helped Utah pass a law last year to make gold legal tender.

But their support won’t change the practical hurdles that would face such a wrenching shift in the currency system, one likely to have catastrophic effects on trade and growth.

To back the U.S. monetary based currently at around $2.56 trillion by the 262 million ounces of gold held by the United States government means bullion prices would soar as high as $10,000 an ounce, Capital Economics strategists said.

A sudden appreciation of the dollar’s value would crush the greenback’s credibility as the world’s reserve currency and severely undermine the international trade balance.

“It is hard to conceive of the circumstances under which no one would want to hold any dollars,” they said.

The World Gold Council, a trade group funded by gold mining companies to promote the many uses of bullion, including by investors, deems such a move “unlikely,” citing international disagreement over the converting price and the fact that annual growth in gold stock may not match the monetary base.

Even the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA), a group dedicated to exposing what its founders say is a conspiracy by Wall Street banks, the Federal Reserve and others to depress the price of goldand silver, doesn’t see it happening.

At best they’re hoping that the RNC will provoke an audit of U.S. holdings, proving GATA’S claim of a conspiracy.

“It really would be something for the Republican platform to call for a truly independent audit of the Fed and U.S. gold reserves,” said GATA’s chairman, Bill Murphy, a former Boston Patriots wide receiver who worked as a commodity broker on Wall Street before founding GATA in 1998.

CENBANKS STOCK UP

Despite widespread disbelief, a reintroduction of the gold standard has gained more support in recent years amid an intensifying debate over how to tackle U.S. debt levels and spending, and increased global anxiety over the stability of fiat currencies – a government-issued currency whose value is based on the issuer’s guarantee to pay the face amount on demand.

“The idea is that it forces the U.S. to live within its means,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist of broker-dealer Janney Montgomery Scott, which has around $54 billion in assets under management. “Think of it as a person with a debit card rather than a credit card. The debit card holder can only spend to what he or she has in the bank.”

Governments abroad are also renewing their interest in owning gold as part of their reserves due to economic uncertainty. World central banks as a group became net buyers in 2010 after two decades of net sales. Official-sector purchase is on track to rise to a record high this year, WGC said.

The world official sector currently held about 29,500 tonnes, or 17 percent of the world’s above-ground stocks. This compares to 19 percent held by investors and nearly half of the stocks made into gold jewelry.

REAGAN REDUX

The Republican proposal is reminiscent of a Gold Commission created by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, 10 years after President Richard Nixon broke the link between gold and the dollar during the 1971 oil crisis.

Reagan’s commission ultimately supported the status quo, saying “restoring the gold standard does not appear to be a fruitful method for dealing with the continuing problem of inflation.”

In 1973, the U.S. government raised the official dollar price of gold to $42.22 per ounce. A year later, Americans were permitted to own gold other than just jewelry.

The U.S. Congressional Budget Office warned on Wednesday that massive government spending cuts and tax hikes due next year will cause even worse economic damage than previously thought if Washington fails to come up with a solution.

REAL POLITICAL MOTIVE

Instead of planning for a gold standard return, the Republicans are trying to placate supporters at next week’s RNC and to gain more firepower in the party’s promoting responsible U.S. fiscal and monetary policies in the upcoming federal elections in November, analysts said.

Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting suggests the U.S. central bank will adopt stimulus fairly soon unless economic conditions improve dramatically. Some expect Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke could use his speech at the central bank’s gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, at the end of this month to send a strong message to markets.

“Examining a return to the gold standard is one avenue to show the public and markets a level of seriousness about the U.S. dollar, monetary policy and the budget deficit,” said Jeffrey Wright, managing director of Global Hunter Securities.

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

Coin and Currency Collecting as Economic and Political History Lessons…

Chinese Gold Customs Unit 5000 Closeup of Two

I have just come into possession of a collection of 515 immediately post-World War II Chinese banknotes issued by the “Central Bank of China” “Customs Gold Currency Units” and Yuan, plus a couple of 1918-1919 “White Russian”, Post-Imperial-anti-Bolshevik partisan (“South Russian High Command of the Armed Forces”) pro-monarchist pre-Soviet banknotes, in addition to a small (ca. 40 lb) grab bag of 19th-20th Century Coins (with a few earlier) and after a hiatus of five years away from my life-long hobby, I find myself collecting coins and currency again.  

My career as a coin collector dates to a very special summers day in England when I was a tiny tot of 3 or 4 or so on which I went on a rare trip wandering through the countryside with my Dad into the woods and cornfields in and around Southwold, a small town by the north sea in Suffolk shire.  I suppose there’s some evidence that some of our ancestors might be traceable back to that little town  or village in what was before 1066 in Anglo-Saxon times known as East Anglia (the east Angles were divided into a “North Fork” and a “South Fork” = Norfolk & Suffolk).  But long before the first Angles had arrives from Jutland and Northern Germany that part of Britannia was known as the territory of the Iceni…a fierce tribe of “Barbarian” Celtic Britons who resisted the Roman Conquest.  

I remember that trip because it’s literally one of the only two or three memories I have of being with my father alone and doing something really fun from that time horizon, before I was six.  It was  also the first time I had ever walked in a field of “American Corn” (aka Zea mays Linnaeus) and additionally the first time remembering hearing about Texas and in particular the East Texas cornfields near where I was born in Commerce, Texas….  and I also learned some of the uses of corn which to me at that age were very traumatic….  walking through the cooler woods was more fun but in those freshly ploughed cornfields my dad spied a shiny thing and picked it up…. and it turned out to be a silver coin, but no ordinary silver coin.  Upon cleaning and examination it turned out to be an ancient pre-Roman coin of the Iceni tribe of Boadicea….the Celtic Warrior Princess who fought the Romans to the death…. celebrated in English legend and story ever since.  

But that one 1900 year old coin coin from about A.D. 60 was just the beginning and I started collecting coins with first my dad and then my mother’s and then my grandparents’ help…. and it is by far my oldest and most cherished hobby, and surely one of the reasons I ended up entranced both by history and archaeology/anthropology….. My Dad was a linguist and tried to teach me a bit of Welsh and Cornish but it definitely didn’t stick….but the coin collecting did….

Taken from a dusty town, by a set of curious chances, wafted by a favoring gale, as one sometimes does in trances…. over the past couple of days I have found myself in possession of a new and surprisingly large collection of coins and currency, and I just felt the need to share and start writing about it and maybe getting information from others—

I have found some information on the web, and the Central Bank of China (Taiwan) has issued this statement about non-redeemability:

http://www.cbc.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=29903&ctNode=859&mp=2

but I want to know more about two things in particular: about the historical use and circulation of the Central Bank of China’s Customs Gold Units, my examples appear to be WWII and Post, having been collected by a U.S. Air Force veteran….

July 9th 2009—Today in History—the Cross of Gold

Today was a good day for the Declaration of Independence in the Military, but a bad day for Supreme Court Justices Benjamin Cardozo and Earl Warren, but the most interesting anniversary was William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” Speech delivered in 1896.  Few keynote addresses at national political conventions were ever more memorable or more relevant to the history of the populist decline of the United States.  William Jennings Bryan advocated abandoning the Gold Standard as a three-time Presidential Candidate, so it is probably not coincidental that he became Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson and then and there part of the government which implemented the Federal Reserve Bank and under which the Income Tax was established.  “Progressive Populism” under Bryan was clearly the forerunner to “New Deal Socialism” under Franklin D. Roosevelt and Henry Agard Wallace—and proves that no matter how eloquent or persuasive an orator may be, it is important to remember that ANY argument to subvert the constitution (e.g. by abandonment of the Gold Standard) is a step away from the most rational and solvent democratic-republic in history, which was the Early United States.

Today in History — Thursday, July 9 (Tom Hanks)

The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, July 9, the 190th day of 2009. There are 175 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 9, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read aloud to Gen. George Washington’s troops in New York.

On this date:

In 1540, England’s King Henry VIII had his 6-month-old marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, annulled.

In 1816, Argentina declared independence from Spain.

In 1850, the 12th president of the United States, Zachary Taylor, died after serving only 16 months of his term. (He was succeeded by Millard Fillmore.)

In 1896, William Jennings Bryan delivered his famous “cross of gold” speech at the Democratic national convention in Chicago.

In 1918, 101 people were killed in a train collision in Nashville, Tenn. The Distinguished Service Cross was established by an Act of Congress.

In 1938, Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo died in Port Chester, N.Y., at age 68.

In 1947, the engagement of Britain’s Princess Elizabeth to Lt. Philip Mountbatten was announced.

In 1951, President Harry S. Truman asked Congress to formally end the state of war between the United States and Germany.

In 1974, former U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren died in Washington at age 83.

In 1982, a Pan Am Boeing 727 crashed in Kenner, La., killing all 145 people aboard and eight people on the ground.

Ten years ago: A jury in Los Angeles ordered General Motors Corp. to pay $4.9 billion to six people severely burned when their Chevrolet Malibu exploded in flames in a rear-end collision. (A judge later reduced the punitive damages to $1.09 billion, while letting stand $107 million in compensatory damages; GM settled the lawsuit in July 2003 for an undisclosed amount.)

Five years ago: A Senate Intelligence Committee report concluded the CIA had provided unfounded assessments of the threat posed by Iraq that the Bush administration had relied on to justify going to war. The International Court of Justice ruled that Israel’s planned security barrier in the West Bank violated international law. Paul Klebnikov, the American editor of Forbes magazine’s Russian edition, was gunned down near his Moscow office. Actress Isabel Sanford died in Los Angeles at age 86.

One year ago: Prosecutors cleared JonBenet Ramsey’s parents and brother in the 1996 killing of the 6-year-old beauty queen in Boulder, Colo. Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, battling a brain tumor, walked into the Senate to cast a dramatic vote in favor of long-stalled Medicare legislation. Iran test-fired nine missiles, including ones capable of hitting Israel. Gunmen stormed a guard post at the U.S. consulate in Istanbul, touching off a firefight that killed three police officers and three assailants.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-singer Ed Ames is 82. Actor James Hampton is 73. Actor Brian Dennehy is 71.

Actor Richard Roundtree is 67. Author Dean Koontz is 64. NFL Hall of Famer and (finally) connvicted felon O.J. Simpson is 62.

Actor Chris Cooper is 58. TV personality John Tesh is 57. Country singer David Ball is 56. R&B singer Debbie Sledge (Sister Sledge) is 55. Actor Jimmy Smits is 54. Actress Lisa Banes is 54. Actor Tom Hanks is 53. Singer Marc Almond is 52. Actress Kelly McGillis is 52. Rock singer Jim Kerr (Simple Minds) is 50.

Actress-rock singer Courtney Love is 45. Rock musician Frank Bello (Anthrax) is 44. Actor David O’Hara is 44. Rock musician Xavier Muriel (Buckcherry) is 41.

Actor Scott Grimes is 38. Actor Enrique Murciano is 36. Rock musician Dan Estrin (Hoobastank) is 33. Actor-director Fred Savage is 33. Country musician Pat Allingham is 31.

Actress Megan Parlen is 29. R&B singer Kiely Williams (3lw) is 23. Actor Mitchel Musso is 18. Actress Georgie Henley (“The Chronicles of Narnia” films) is 14.

Thought for Today: “Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.” — Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator and reformer (1875-1955).