We’ve written a few times over the years about Bernard von NotHaus and his brave alternative currency scheme called Liberty
Dollars (New Millenium Moolah, LV Tribune 2004 and Give Us Liberty And Give Us Silver! page-11 2006). Backed entirely by gold and silver, the Liberty Dollars had grown to over $20 million in circulation, the most successful alternate currency of its day.
But alas, the federal government apparently didn’t like the plan and indicted von Nothaus and confiscated everything in sight, in a pre-dawn raid of the company’s Idaho and Indiana facilities, including 9 tons of silver and gold that back the currency. The charge, you ask? “Counterfeiting!”
And just last week von Nothaus had his day in court, but despite a very strong trial defense, was found guilty by jurors of multiple counts of criminal fraud and counterfeiting. Jurors came to the unanimous verdict after only two hours of deliberation.
“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism,” U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins said in a March 18 FBI press release boasting of the verdict.
Doug Hornig at Casey Dispatch writes –
Von Nothaus sees himself as a true patriot, offering a product that can function as a citizen’s defense against the ravages of inflation brought on by the systematic debasement of the greenback.
Thus was born his “money,” consisting of silver “rounds” – which are perfectly legal, as opposed to “coins,” which would not be – and certificates redeemable in silver. (There is a smaller number of gold dollars and certs, too.) I have a Liberty Dollar in my hand right now. (Does this make me a potential co-conspirator?) It was minted in 2006, has a face value of $20, and contains an ounce of .999 fine silver. A real bargain at today’s prices.
The documentary “Good Food” spotlights organic farming in America’s Pacific Northwest, if you’ve been paying any attention to the mood of consumers across this nation who are weary of contaminated food and wary of what’s in the meat, produce, eggs, and other food items they purchase in supermarkets, you may have noticed a quiet but profound revolution. In their landmark film, Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin are not merely offering the viewer just a few more hundred facts about our food supply, but rather, sharing an intimate portrait of an emotional, perhaps even spiritual movement that is burgeoning in the United States in search of heartfelt connections around a fundamental human need: eating.
To examine the movie and the movement, consider that organic farming in the Pacific Northwest is increasing by 20-30% each year. Consider also that the number one cause of death among small farmers is suicide. Of course, the latter statistic is not unique to the United States. Physicist and activist, Vandana Shiva, has passionately pointed out the relationship between massive suicides among farmers in India and the amount of debt foisted on them by the influences of industrial agriculture in that nation. However, as David Suzuki in “Good Food” argues: The bill for large agriculture is coming due. I believe that it is coming due not only in terms of these suicides, but in a revolutionary demand for food that is grown locally and organically.