Thursday, July 30, 2015

Legislation Is Introduced in the United States Senate to Replace Dollar Bills with Coins

           Senators John McCain, (R-Arizona) and John Enzi (R-Wyoming), who chairs the Budget Committee, introduced legislation in the United States Senate today to require the federal government not to expend more funds in the production of currency than its face value, among various other proposed savings.  The legislation would thus require the replacement of $1 Federal Reserve Note with a dollar coin.  

           Switching from paper bills to metal would save between $4 and $14 billion because of the significantly longer durability of coins than paper.  Proponents of replacing dollar bills with dollar coins believe that ending the printing of the $1 bill would be an essential step in promoting the use of dollar coins.

            In my post, Use Dollar Coins and $2 Bills, from October of 2011, I encourage the use of dollar coins in the meantime to save the federal government money, as well as $2 Federal Reserve Notes.   I had posted about the benefits to the taxpayers of dollar coinage and refuted some of the objections to it in three earlier posts.  See Dollar Coins Are Not a Waste of Money, from September of 2011,, Follow-Up: Dollar Coins Are Not a Waste of Money, from October of that year,, and the Obama Administration is Pennywise and Pound Foolish About Dollar Coins, from December of 2011,

            The currently-minted Dollar coins are smaller and weigh less than Silver Dollars and Eisenhower Dollars, but not as small as Susan B. Anthony Dollars (1979-1981, 1999), which were smaller and weighed less than Half Dollars, even though Anthony Dollars were of the same composition.  I note Dollar coins, which are currently only minted in collectors’ sets, are smaller and weigh less than the equivalent value of Half Dollar coins or   Quarter Dollars.  Dollar coins are visually distinguishable in color, as they are composed of manganese brass, but also have distinctive edges, so as to be distinguishable for those who are vision-impaired. 

            Many foreign states have replaced their paper currency with coins with the same denomination of one of the state’s monetary unit.  Dollar coins are popular in El Salvador and Ecuador, where the U.S. Dollar is the official monetary unit, which suggests the American public would also be more accepting of them, especially if there were no more $1 bills printed.

            The legislation offered by the fiscally conservative Senators at least educates Congress and the American people that printed currency in its smallest denomination is more expensive to produce than coins and might encourage innovation in the printing of currency and mintage of coins that is more fiscally responsible.  I hope it also serves to encourage greater use of dollar coins in the meantime.  

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Moldova Forms a Pro-European Government

           After recent parliamentary elections, three pro-European parties formed a coalition government this week for Moldova.  Their alliance means that the Communists will be excluded from the next executive, unlike in the current Government. 

           In my post last June, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova Sign Trade Deals with the European Union,, I noted Moldova’s concern about Russian aggression and its interest in European integration as a counterweight.  Transnistria, which is inhabited, like Eastern Ukraine, by ethnic Russians, is a separatist region of Moldova.  Without the Communists, the new Moldovan Government will have a freer hand to pursue further European integration to safeguard its security, as well as to make it more prosperous.  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cuban Tyrant Raul Castro Validates Barack Obama’s Dictatorial Acts

Cuban Communist Dictator Raul Castro is urging United States President Barack Obama to use executive power to circumvent the law that requires an American trade embargo against Cuba

This request from such a despot validates the argument that Obama’s serial use of such power to legislate by decree is not only unconstitutional because it violates the Separation of Powers doctrine, but dictatorial, as well. 

Genocide Denial Re: Turkey and Bosnia

Russia recently vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution declaring the slaughter by Bosnian Serbs, who had coined the phrase “ethnic cleansing” to describe their policy, of thousands of Muslims in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 “genocide.”  The Serbs had been stirred by the Communist Serb leader of Yugoslavia who was using extreme nationalism to maintain his dictatorship.  The Russian Communists sided with their fellow Slavs of the Government of Serbia, who had opposed the measure, which was timed for the twentieth anniversary of the massacre.  The United States had supported the resolution.

Alas, earlier this year, the U.S. failed to join much of the international community, led by the Holy See, in declaring Turkey’s genocide against Armenians as such at its centennial, despite the promise by Barack Obama during the presidential election campaign that the U.S. would.  Instead, bowing to pressure from Turkey’s Islamist Government, American statements fell short of using the word. 

It is imperative to be able to identify genocide in order to prevent it ever from happening again.

The Flawed Nuclear Weapons Deal Legitimatizes and Rewards the Iranian Regime

           In my post in May, Obama Legitimatizes the Iranian and Cuban Dictatorships,, in which I commented on the preliminary deal between Iran and all of the Great Powers, including the United States, as well as Germany, to eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program, I noted that other critics had pointed out the deal’s numerous flaws.  Now that the details of the Obama Administration’s final agreement have been announced, there are even more concessions to Iran and worse flaws.

            As other critics have analyzed the deal thoroughly, it is necessary to make only a few general observations.  In the first place, it is not only futile, but counterproductive to the interests of the United States to legitimize an untrustworthy dictatorship by engaging in negotiations with it, especially one that is terrorist-sponsoring, such as the Iranian regime.  As I have noted in other posts, such negotiations confer diplomatic legitimacy, which is a propaganda victory for the dictatorship and a loss of morale for political prisoners and other dissidents who are subjected to its tyranny. 

Iran, like other dictatorships that agree to treaties, will certainly cheat on the terms of this nuclear deal, as the Islamic Republic already did on the terms of the preliminary nuclear agreement while negotiating the final one.  The Iranian regime believes it can get away with cheating because either it will not be detected or the consequences of being discovered would be minimal, particularly because of Russia and China’s potential vetoes of the requisite United Nations Security Council resolution to restore economic sanctions.  Even if the sanctions were restored, Iran would benefit not only from their easing, but from the unfreezing of well over $100 billion its assets.  Any trade contracts it would sign in the meantime would nevertheless be honored under the terms of the nuclear deal, even after sanctions might be restored.  Therefore, the net benefits to Iran of cheating are significant, while any price it might pay in terms of a military strike by the U.S. is obviously not credible, either to Iran, or to American allies.  

As this deal with Iran will thereby boost its terrorism-sponsoring capability, it will allow the Islamic Republic to provide more aid its main ally, Bashar Assad’s Baathist regime of Syria, another state-sponsor of terrorism.  Combined with the Obama Administration’s lackluster effort at balancing the need to fight both al-Qaeda and “Islamic State” Islamist terrorists in Syria with the necessity of replacing Assad with an ally in the War on Terrorism, the deal suggests the Administration has given up on any serious effort to overthrow Assad.

            The nuclear deal also rewards Iran for its nuclear weapons program because it allows the ending of economic sanctions unrelated to its nuclear program, specifically those in regard to terrorism and ballistic missile technology, the latter of which can be used to deliver nuclear warheads.  Iran already can reach Europe and is known to be developing even longer-range missiles. 

Therefore, the message the deal sends is that the way for even rogue states to obtain what they want from the United States and the other Great Powers, in terms of diplomatic legitimacy or concessions, is to develop a nuclear weapons program. 

It was obvious also that the Obama Administration wanted a deal with Iran, because it had no stomach for war or it sought the glory of a diplomatic achievement.  The Islamic Republic effectively exploited this tactical weakness to its benefit. 

Conservatives must urge Congress to reject the Obama Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, as well as to strengthen economic sanctions against the Iranian regime, support more comprehensive and effective policies to roll back Iranian-inspired Islamist revolution, to oppose more rigorously those terrorists sponsored by Iran and its allies, and to support more strongly policies in support of liberty for the Iranian people.  Such policies, coupled with a credible military threat, would better deter the Iranian regime from obtaining a nuclear weapon.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Racial Segregation: Another Reason to Remove Franklin Roosevelt’s Portrait from the Dime

           Last month, I posted about the controversial plan by the Obama Administration to remove the portrait of Alexander Hamilton from the $10 United States Federal Reserve Note and the ongoing movement to remove Andrew Jackson’s image from the $20 bill. 

In my post, The Obama Administration’s Plan to Replace Alexander Hamilton’s Portrait on the $10 bill is Divisive and Patronizing,, I mentioned Jackson’s mistreatment of certain Native Americans and ownership of slaves as the reasons that some people, especially liberals, object to his portrait on the $20 bill.  I wrote that by that reasoning, Franklin Roosevelt’s portrait should be removed from the Dime because, as President, the Democrat interred and otherwise violated the civil rights of many American citizens and loyal permanent residents, without trial, on the sole basis of national origin.   

The current controversy over the Confederate Battle Flag reminds me of an additional reason to remove Roosevelt’s image from the Dime: Commander in Chief Roosevelt, even during the Second World War, a time of great peril that necessitated unity among Americans, maintained the racial segregation of the U.S. military.  The Continental Army under George Washington during the American Revolution had been racially integrated, but while the Confederate Army during the Civil War was racially integrated, the Union Army was not.  The U.S. military remained racially segregated during the Spanish-American War and the First World War.  It was not until after the Second World War, under President Harry Truman, that the American military was racially integrated. 

Surely, if at least certain people have a new right not to be offended and thus to ban types of expressions by the government or public officials they deem offensive, even if the reasons they take offense are mistaken, as if they may insist that their interpretation of a word, symbol or image of a person means only what they think it means instead of its original intent, and if the Confederate Battle Flag is to be banned because it offends those who associate it with racism and racial segregation, then Roosevelt’s image would be even more offensive because it ought to remind everyone of racial segregation in the military that even the Confederates did not commit.  Of course, most liberals are probably not aware of this fact, but even if they were, their usual selective indignation might cause them to excuse Roosevelt for his overall favored policies, in contrast to how they regard Jackson, the Founding Fathers, Christopher Columbus, and any other great figure in Western history with whom they do not totally agree.  Perhaps liberals might even consider not judging historical figures apart from the standards of the times in which they lived and instead give these figures credit for the overall progress they achieved, in contrast to liberals’ current iconoclasm.  It must be noted, however, that Roosevelt did not make significant progress on advancing the equal treatment of blacks, in contrast to the Founders and others who are now coming under attack by the liberal iconoclasts.  Roosevelt’s interments based upon national origin would be enough for any liberal to object to honoring him publicly if he were anything less than a liberal hero, but his racial segregation ought to force them to join with conservatives in opposing such an honor for one who violated civil rights and equality.  Of course, consistency is hardly the hallmark of liberalism. 

            As I have noted in several posts, American coins or currency should not feature images of people, except perhaps for the major Founding Fathers, as they should be unifying, not divisive, which is why the Founders established the practice on the first coins to feature only the allegorical female human figure of Liberty and other symbols, instead of self-promoting portraits of current leaders or of any other human.  Featuring images of humans creates controversy and also makes it difficult to maintain the custom of changing coin or currency designs periodically, lest the admirers of the person whose image is proposed to be replaced be offended.  All too often, as in the case of the Democratic Congress only a few months after Roosevelt’s death in 1945, images are authorized to be placed on coins or currency out of emotions and partisanship, long before presidential documents are publicized, including those classified as “top secret,” to allow adequate historical research and well before sufficient historical precedent can allow for proper consideration and judgment about the individual to be honored. 

           If Roosevelt’s image is not replaced with that of Liberty or some appropriate symbol, then I suggest it be replaced with a portrait of James Madison, the Father of the Constitution that Roosevelt violated.