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Bernard von NotHaus awaits his sentencing for ‘domestic terrorism’

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Bernard von NotHaus

“The thing that fires me up the most,” von NotHaus will say, “is this is what happens: When money goes bad, people go crazy. Do you know why? Because they can’t exist without value. Value is intrinsic in man.”

His name is Bernard von NotHaus, and he is a professed “monetary architect” and a maker of custom coins found guilty last spring of counterfeiting charges for minting and distributing a form of private money called the Liberty Dollar.

Mr. von NotHaus managed over the last decade to get more than 60 million real dollars’ worth of his precious metal-backed currency into circulation across the country — so much, and with such deep penetration, that the prosecutor overseeing his case accused him of “domestic terrorism” for using them to undermine the government.

Of course, if you ask him what caused him to be living here in exile, waiting with the rabbits for his sentence to be rendered, he will give a different account of what occurred.

From New York Times: Prison May Be the Next Stop on a Gold Currency Journey

“This is the United States government,” he said in an interview last week. “It’s got all the guns, all the surveillance, all the tanks, it has nuclear weapons, and it’s worried about some ex-surfer guy making his own money? Give me a break!”

The story of Mr. von NotHaus, from his beginnings as a hippie, can sound at times as if Ken Kesey had been paid in marijuana to write a script on spec for Representative Ron Paul. At 68, Mr. von NotHaus faces more than 20 years in prison for his crimes, and this decisive chapter of his tale has come, coincidentally, at a moment when his obsessions of 40 years — monetary policy, dollar depreciation and the Federal Reserve Bank — have finally found their place in the national discourse.

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State-Owned Banks Can Save The Economy! …

… and stick it to Wall Street at the same time! Sounds like the best of both worlds to us!

In November 2009 Ellen Brown wrote at AlterNet that bailing out the banking system “…has only fixed the economy for bankers and the wealthy; it has not done much to address either the fundamental problem of unemployment or the debt trap so many Americans find themselves in.”

The Bank of North Dakota may seem like a sole-surviving relic of a bygone era.  As a “state-owned” bank, it offers discounted loans to farms and agriculture, students and education, andsmall companies.  It serves as an important  economic development agency and a “banker’s bank” that reduces the loan risks of private banks and assists the private banks to finance bigger business projects.

The Bank of North Dakota The Bank of North Dakota had over $5 billion in assets and a $4 billion loan portfolio at the end of 2009, and it made nearly $60 million in profits in that year, setting a record for the seventh straight year. This was at a time when the entire banking and financial sectors were reeling from the collapse.   Over the past 10 years, the bank channeled over $300 million in profits to North Dakota’s state treasury.

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U.S. govt out to make forms of bartering illegal?

Liberty Dollars dangerous precedent

   — Weapons of “domestic terrorism?”

The U.S government may be positioning to establish private currency barter of any sort as an unlawful transaction, pursuant to a recent criminal conviction of Liberty Dollar’s founder Bernard Von NotHaus for “counterfeiting” and “conspiracy,” supposedly intending to illegally mint and replace US currency with a private one using silver and gold-based coins and silver-backed paper dollars.

See – Liberty Dollars Creator Convicted of Federal Crimes

And the US Attorney in charge of von NotHaus’s successful prosecution, is now parlaying the conviction to say that this ruling sets forth a precedent against “…any private barter transactions that use any form of currency besides established Federal Reserve Notes and U.S. minted coins.”

The federal government also is seeking to take permenant receipt of eight tons of silver and gold ($7+ Million dollars) bullion and silver ‘Liberty Dollars’ that were minted and sold by von NotHaus.

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Liberty Dollars Creator Convicted of Federal Crimes

We’ve written a few times over the years about Bernard von NotHaus and his brave alternative currency scheme called Liberty

Bernard von NotHaus

Bernard von NotHaus

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 –

Liberty DollarsVon 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.

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