21 June 2016

Crime of 1873

In the late 1800s, an ongoing battle between silver and gold for Legal Tender supremacy was being played out to conclusion. Silver was widely traded for routine transactions, gold for large transactions. In the bimetallic economy, the value ratio between silver and gold [historically 10:1 to 15:1 for millenniums] was a moving target determined by the Market. Law continuously tried to legislate and fix the value ratio to accommodate debt contracts. Since both gold and silver were Legal Tender, arbitragers could, and did, make plays on slight differences between the Market ratio and the Legal ratio that allowed debtors to pay off debts at the expense of the lender. Both forms of money could not coexist as Legal Tender if debt contracts were to function, one had to go.

The Crime of 1873 is best explained by Alexander del Mar [1836-1926] - a political economist, historian and author. He was born in New York City, 1836, and was educated as a Civil and Mining Engineer at Polytechnic. He became the Director of the Bureau of Statistics of the United States and Mining Commissioner to the United States Monetary Commission of 1876 and nominated for Secretary of Treasury.

In his book, History of Monetary Systems 1895, Alexander del Mar lists the Laws that were concurrently passed in the United States, Europe, Russia, Japan, India, and South America to undermine the Legal Tender status of silver. This is the Crime of 1873. Gold and Law combined to undermine Silver on an international scale, and gold became the singular form of Legal Tender throughout the world. Debt and taxes still had to be paid with Legal Tender, now gold only, no more arbitrage games. Silver took on a commodity status and was greatly devalued, no longer accepted as Legal Tender for debt and taxes. This was a truly spectacular collaborative conspiring effort. But alas, eventually, even gold had to drop out the Legal Tender race, not able to keep up with the exponential growth demands of Legal Tender.

Coinage Act of 1873 - Wikipedia – questionably slanted.

History of Monetary Systems by Alexander Del Mar, 1895, Excerpts

Crime of 1873 – The New Mint Code

There is no mistaking the identity of that golden thread which runs through the Latin Union Codes of 1867, the British Mint Code of 1870, the German Mint Code of 1871, the New Mint Code of the United States of 1873, and the Codes of numerous other countries. It is of precisely the same issue in all of them.

France and the Latin Union - A conference between the four states whose monetary system rests on a numeration by francs - France, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy - resulted in the Latin Monetary union of December 23rd, 1865. When the international delegates met again [June 17th, 1867], it discussed the entire monetary question, and carried a resolution in favor of what is called gold monometallism in the shape of a New Mint Code. In 1873, France and the Latin Union limited the coinage of silver.

Great Britain - By the Act of 1816, the mints were closed to the private coinage of silver, and all silver coins, whether light of heavy, were limited in tender. In 1870, a New Mint Code was enacted.

Germany - On December 4th, 1871, an Act stopped the further Private Coinage of full legal-tender silver and ordered a new coinage of gold pieces of full legal-tender. The German Act of 1873 suspended the Private Coinage of silver. All new silver coins were limited in tender.

Portugal and Brazil - Portugal in 1854 copied the British System of 1816, suspended the Private Coinage of silver, limited the legal-tender of silver.

Scandinavia - On September 20th, 1872, a monetary union was adopted by Sweden, Norway and Denmark, which was followed by a New Mint Code. Under this code the private coinage of silver was suspended, and the legal-tender of silver coins limited.

Japan - In 1872 this state adopted a New Mint Code, forbade the Private Coinage of silver, limited the legal-tender of silver and adopted what is known as "the gold standard." In 1878 after "the gold standard" had duly departed from the country, the full legal-tender of silver coins was restored and Private Coinage again permitted. In 1894 the Private Coinage of silver was again suspended.

Holland - The laws of May 21st, 1873, limited the legal-tender of silver coins.

Italy - Under a renewal of the Latin Monetary Union dated January 31st, 1874, and the law of July 17th, 1875, the Crown limited the legal-tender of silver coins.

Spain - The law of August 20th, 1876, suspended the Private Coinage of silver, except as to metal produced by the mines of Spain.

Russia - The law of November 13-15, 1876, adopted gold coins as sole full legal-tenders, and reduced the legal-tender of silver coins.

Austro-Hungary - The decree of March, 1879, suspended the Private Coinage of silver, but did not limit the legal-tender of silver coins.

Turkey - In 1882 full legal-tender was limited to gold coins.

British India - An order Council, dated 23rd June, 1893, suspended the Private Coinage of silver.

Argentine Republic - The law of September 29th, 1875, authorized the Private Coinage of gold, admitted certain foreign gold coins to full legal-tendership, limited the legal-tender of silver coins and forbade the Private Coinage of silver.

Chili - Law of November 26th, 1892, stopped the Private Coinage of silver, limited the legal-tender of silver.

United States of America - The New Mint Code of February 12th, 1873, destroyed the Private Coinage of silver by indirection, in omitting the word "dollar" from the empowering clause relating to silver coins. December 1st, 1873, the Code Commissioners made an unauthorized and unwarranted alteration of the law by limiting the legal-tender of "all" silver coins, including the outstanding silver dollars, which had been full legal-tenders since the foundation of the Republic. Both these Acts (of 1873) were passed during a suspension of coin payments, and without eliciting public attention. This surreptitious legislation was not discovered, nor did it attract public attention until 1875-6.

Mr. Carlisle, since Secretary of the Treasury, said in the House of Representatives, February 21st, 1878, "The conspiracy which seems to have been formed here and in Europe to destroy by legislation and otherwise from three-sevenths to one-half of the metallic money of the world, is the most gigantic crime of this or any other age. The consummation of such a scheme would ultimately entail more misery upon the human race than all the wars, pestilences and famines that ever occurred in the history of the world." Mr. John Jay Knox, one of the officials who in 1869-70 lent his assistance to the preparation of the American Mint Code, when the matter was brought home to him acknowledged his part in it, and boasted that he was "proud of his work."

From the foregoing recital it will be observed that the practical political outcome of the Gold Movement of 1865-73 has been to concentrate the gold coins in the world banks of four or five principal States.

The election of 1896, between Williams Jennings Bryant and McKinley, was all about whether silver or gold was going to be the preferred form of Legal Tender. Bryant delivered his famous ‘Cross of Gold’ speech.

"You shall not press down upon the brow of labor a crown of thorns.
You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

Gold won the election, silver’s last hurrah. Eventually the growth of debt outstripped the growth capacity of gold, and Legal Tender had to disconnect itself from gold, no longer a commodity based money, to become Fiat Legal Tender: the perfect form of money for a debt based monetary system.  A severely flawed form of money.

20 June 2016

Constitution Series

This series draws primarily from two primary sources: An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States by Charles Beard, 1913, and The Anti-Federalists by Jackson Main, 1961.

Charles Austin Beard [1874-1948] is widely regarded as one of the most influential American historians of the early 20th century. He is most widely known for his radical re-evaluation of the Founding Fathers of the United States, whom he believed were more motivated by economics than by philosophical principles.

It is difficult to conceive of the Constitution as an economic document. It places no property qualifications on voters or offices; it gives no outward recognition of any economic groups in society; it mentions no special privileges to be conferred upon any class. The concept of the Constitution as a piece of abstract legislation reflecting no group interests and recognizing no economic antagonisms is entirely false. It was an economic document drawn with superb skill by men whose property interests were immediately at stake.

Jackson Main [1917-2003, Academic and Historian]:
I had chosen to tackle Beard’s Economic Interpretation with the notion that Beard erred, but discovered that the secondary literature supported him, at least in general if not in detail.

The Power of the Purse by E. James Ferguson, 1961, Excerpt
Beard’s major thesis that the Constitution was the handiwork of the classes of American society possessing status and property cannot be ascribed to him alone. What shocked Beard’s contemporaries and still provokes the most criticism was his purported demonstration that many of the founding fathers held securities and stood to profit from their work. Although his declared object was merely to identify the founders as members of an economic class, the implication was that they had a profit motive.

Howard Zinn:
When economic interest is seen behind the political clauses of the Constitution, then the document becomes not simply the work of wise men trying to establish a decent and orderly society, but the work of certain groups trying to maintain their privileges, while giving just enough rights and liberties to enough of the people to ensure popular support. The American system is the most ingenious system of control in world history.

Cornell Chronicle: Scholars explore Constitution's history in May 26 panel
21 Jun 2016
Klarman, Professor at Harvard Law School, in his forthcoming book, “The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution,” explains how and why the constitution that was ratified differs from what was expected. It gave the federal government almost unlimited taxing power and military power, along with the power to regulate commerce. The goal of the framers was to ensure that the federal government never fell under the sway of populist demands for debt relief laws.


1776: Declaration of Independence
1777: Continental Congress drafts Articles of Confederation
1781: Americans defeat British at Battle of Yorktown
1783: Treaty of Paris signed
1786 to 1787: Shays' Rebellion
1787 May: First meeting of Philadelphia Convention
1787 Sep: Proposed Constitution signed, ratification called.
1787 Oct: First Federalist Paper appears:
1789 Mar: First United States Congress is seated.
1789 Apr: George Washington is inaugurated as the first President of the United States.
1791 to 1794: The Whiskey Rebellion

15 June 2016

Circumcision in the News

Blood stained anti-circumcision group holds protest in Idaho Falls
19 Jul 2016
The demonstrators are part of Bloodstained Men & their friends – a group with the mission "to protect children and future generations from genital cutting." "Babies who bleed become men who bled," group spokesman Jason Fairfield tells EastIdahoNews.com. "We want to raise awareness that circumcision is more harmful than people realize."

Anti-Semitism row splits Germany's AfD populist party
06 Jul 2016
It's worth noting that AfD has reportedly dropped a proposal to ban circumcision from its recently published manifesto.

Israeli court fines woman for refusing to circumcise her son
28 Nov 2013
An Israeli woman has been fined by a religious court for refusing to circumcise her infant son. The rabbinical court ruled last week that circumcision was for the child's welfare and that the woman must pay 500 shekels (£86) a day until the child has had the procedure. The woman told the court she refuses to physically harm her son. The case is the first time a religious court in Israel has punished a parent for refusing to circumcise a child. There is no law requiring circumcision in Israel, but the vast majority of Jews are circumcised, in line with Jewish law. Rabbinical courts have authority over certain family matters. The justice ministry, which is representing the mother, said on Thursday it would be likely appeal the case to Israel's supreme court.

Egypt girl's death puts spotlight on genital mutilation
19 Jun 2013
The death of a 13-year-old girl during a genital mutilation procedure has brought the issue back into the spotlight in Egypt. While some Egyptians are fighting for the practice to be eradicated, others justify it in the name of religion. It has been condemned by international health organizations for years. It was made illegal in Egypt in 2008, and yet it is still very widely practiced. In some rural areas in Egypt, it is estimated that more than 75% of women have had the procedure, but it is common in urban areas too. About 140 million girls and women worldwide are living with the consequences of female genital mutilation. Dangers include severe bleeding, problems urinating, infections, infertility and increased risk of newborn deaths in childbirth. The practice is mainly carried out by traditional circumcisers, who play other central roles in communities

UN hails drop in female genital mutilation
07 Feb 2013

Figures that reveal that fewer girls in Africa and the Middle East are being subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) show it is possible to end the practice, the UN has said. The UN data said it was particularly in decline amongst the young in Kenya. Kenyan women aged between 45 and 49 are three times more likely to have been cut than girls aged 15-19, it said.

Circumcision: German law will allow practice
10 Oct 2012
The German government has backed new legislation aimed at ending a legal dispute over the religious tradition of circumcision. Earlier this year, a regional court ruled that circumcision of newborn boys amounted to assault, prompting protests from Jewish and Muslim organizations. The new law will make circumcision explicitly legal, as long as it is carried out by trained experts, and parents are informed of any medical risks. Jewish leaders say the row has brought anti-Semitism back to the surface in Germany. The ruling also renewed debate over the practice in the US, one of the countries where circumcision is most common.

Germany Jews and Muslims protest at circumcision ruling
09 Sep 2012
Jewish and Muslim organizations have staged a joint protest in the German capital Berlin over a regional court's ruling that the circumcision of young boys constituted bodily harm. About a thousand people joined the protest to hear speeches from the chief rabbi of Berlin and other religious leaders. Both Jews and Muslims feel that, whatever the court intended, the ruling will be used as a way of attacking their religions. 

German postage stamp honors circumcision as ancient tradition
26 Aug 2012
As debate over circumcision rages in Germany, the postal service in that country has issued a commemorative stamp likely to play into the hands of those supporting the custom. The stamp, which will be released on September 11, contains a passage from the New Testament describing the circumcision of Jesus: “On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus” ‏(Luke 2:21‏). [Holy Prepuce]

Circumcision, the ultimate parenting dilemma
20 Aug 2012
While Europe increasingly questions the practice of circumcising boys, US pediatricians are about to say that the medical case for it is getting stronger. Most US adult men are circumcised, but the number of newborns having the op is falling, and is now below 50% in some states - intensifying the dilemma for parents. Three-quarters of American adult men are circumcised. Circumcision rates vary wildly across the country - from more than 80% of newborns in states including Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Kentucky, to around 20% on the West Coast. Unlike in Europe - where rates are low, and circumcision is mostly confined to the Jewish and Muslim communities - circumcision is one of the most common operations in the US.

Replace circumcision with symbolic ritual, says Norwegian children's watchdog
07 Aug 2012
Norway's ombudsman for children's rights has proposed that Jews and Muslims replace male circumcision with a symbolic, nonsurgical ritual. "Muslim and Jewish children are entitled to the same protection as all other children," adding that the practice caused unnecessary pain and was medically unbeneficial. Ervin Kohn, president of Oslo's Jewish Community, said that Norwegian Jews "will not be able to live in a society where circumcision is forbidden." 

German MPs vote to protect religious circumcision
19 July 2012
German lawmakers have passed a cross-party motion to protect religious circumcision, after a regional court ruled it amounted to bodily harm. Germany's main political parties - together with Jewish and Muslim groups - have criticized the ruling by the Cologne court in June. Chancellor Angela Merkel said it risked making Germany a "laughing stock". The motion says the government should "present a draft law that guarantees that the circumcision of boys. Jewish and Muslim religious life must continue to be possible in Germany. Circumcision has a central religious significance for Jews and Muslims." Thousands of Muslim and Jewish boys are circumcised in Germany every year.

Muslim and Jewish groups denounce German circumcision ruling
12 Jul 2012
European Jewish and Muslim groups have joined forces to defend circumcision for young boys on religious grounds after a German regional court ruled it amounted to bodily harm. A joint statement says the practice is fundamental to their faiths and calls for it to be awarded legal protection. Germany's Medical Association told doctors not to perform circumcisions. The ruling by the Cologne court followed a legal case involving a doctor who carried out a circumcision on a four year-old that led to medical complications. The court said that a child's right to physical integrity trumped religious and parental rights.

Circumcision ritual under fire in New York due to risk of herpes infection
07 Jul 2012
A controversial Jewish circumcision ritual is under fire after allegedly causing the deaths of two infants and exposing potentially thousands more to the risk of herpes infections. A circumcision ritual called "metzitzah b'peh," typically practiced by ultra-Orthodox Jews, during which the mohel, or person performing the procedure, orally sucks the blood from the infant's newly circumcised penis. The legislation was proposed after 11 infants contracted neonatal herpes between November 2000 and December 2011, after the circumcision ritual. Two of the infants died.

German court: Child circumcision 'an assault'
26 Jun 2012
A court in Germany has ruled that circumcising young boys for religious reasons amounts to bodily harm. In a decision that has caused outrage among Jewish and Muslim groups, the court said that a child's right to physical integrity trumps religious and parental rights.

Zimbabwe's MPs to be circumcised in bid to fight HIV
22 Jun 2012
A group of Zimbabwean MPs is getting circumcised as part of a campaign to reduce HIV and Aids cases. Research by the UN has suggested male circumcision can reduce the spread of HIV and Aids. The country was one of 13 African states identified in 2007 as a priority for the development of male circumcision programs by the WHO and UNAids. The circumcision program had attracted a lot of attention in Zimbabwe, and had divided opinion.

San Francisco circumcision ban struck from ballot
28 Jul 2011
A San Francisco judge has struck a proposed male circumcision ban from a November ballot, ruling that the city cannot regulate medical procedure and citing religious freedom protections. The ruling was applauded by opponents of the proposed ban, who attacked it as anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim. California law gives the state, not a city, authority to regulate medical procedures.

Russell Crowe 'sorry' over circumcision Twitter comment
2011 Jun 14
Hollywood star Russell Crowe has apologized for criticizing the ritual of circumcision on his Twitter account. Crowe said the procedure was "barbaric and stupid" but later deleted his comments. He later wrote: "I'm very sorry that I have said things on here that have caused distress. My personal beliefs aside, I realize that some will interpret this... as me mocking rituals and traditions of others. I am very sorry," he added. San Francisco voters are due to face a proposal in November on banning circumcision for under-18s. Opponents say such a move would violate the rights of groups including Jews and Muslims who consider the practice a sacred religious rite.

Anti-circumcision comic offends Jewish leaders
2011 Jun 07]
An Internet comic featuring a blond Foreskin Man battling an evil Monster Mohel intent on circumcising a baby has angered local Jewish leaders who say it is anti-Semitic. In a comic book written by Hess and distributed at foreskinman.com, hero Foreskin Man takes on the evil Monster Mohel, who, the comic says, likes nothing more than "cutting into the infantile penile flesh of an 8-day-old boy." Foreskin Man is a strapping blond who wants to save the baby from the procedure that will be done by Monster Mohel, who is a depicted as a dark, bearded Jew in Orthodox garb, looming over a naked child on a table. A mohel is a Jew trained to perform religious circumcisions on babies.

'Intactivists' to San Francisco: Ban circumcision
19 Nov 2010
In the California city that banned Happy Meal toys, outlawed sitting on sidewalks during daylight hours and fined residents for not sorting garbage into recycling, compost and trash, Lloyd Schofield wants to add a new law to the books in San Francisco: A ban on all male circumcisions. Schofield and like-minded advocates who call themselves "intactivists" seek to make it "unlawful to circumcise, excise, cut, or mutilate the whole or any part of the foreskin, testicles, or penis" of anyone 17 or younger in San Francisco. The circumcision debate has passionate advocates on each side.

South African prisoners to be offered circumcision
29 Oct 2010
Prisoners in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province are to be circumcised to fight the spread of HIV in jail, the region's health minister has said. 148 prisoners had already been circumcised. Since April, when the health authorities in KwaZulu-Natal began their circumcision drive, more than 10,000 men have opted to be circumcised, the South African Press Association reports.

Circumcisions kill 20 boys in South Africa
18 Jun 2010
Twenty South African boys have died following botched circumcisions in the Eastern Cape Province. "The deaths occurred over the past 12 days, with nine of them occurring over the past 24 hours," said a provincial health spokesperson. Some 60 boys have been rescued from 11 initiation schools which have since been closed. "All 60 of them have septic wounds and are dehydrated," said Eastern Cape health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo, "Four of the boys even need their genitals removed completely, as it could result in death if it's not. We are just waiting for consent from their parents to perform the procedures."

Uncircumcised Pupils Sent Home
12 Feb 2007
A Kenyan secondary school has sent home 20 boys because they were not circumcised, saying it feared they would be bullied by other students.