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Monday, January 14th 2008 Christopher Hansen
I received a letter from Nevada Assemblyman Bob Beers today. (This is NOT Senator Bob Beers. Senator Bob Beers never responded to my questions about what a dollar is or is not.) In his response Assemblyman Bob Beers clearly answers a few very simple questions that I have been asking many government officials for years. I always believed the answers were simple and it appears I was right.
1. What law states that a Federal reserve note is a dollar?
Here are the answers I received from Assemblyman Beers :
Henderson, Nevada 89074
According to a monograph written by Edwin Vieira, Jr., even those who purport to print our money don't really know what a dollar is.
No statute defines - or ever has defined - the "one dollar" Federal Reserve Note "FRN" as the "dollar," or even as a species of "dollar." Moreover, the United States Code provides that FRNs "shall be redeemed in lawful money on demand at the Treasury Department of the United States ...or at any Federal Reserve bank." Thus, FRNs are not themselves "lawful money" - otherwise, they would not be "redeemable in lawful money." And if FRNs are not even "lawful money," it is inconceivable that they are somehow "dollars," the very units in which all " United States money is expressed."
People are confused on this point because of the insidious manner in which FRNs "evolved" - actually, degenerated is a more appropriate verb - from the late 1920s until today. FRNs of Series 1928 through Series 1950E carried the obligation "The United States of America will pay to the bearer on demand [some number of] dollars." Prior to 1934, the notes carried the inscription "Redeemable in gold on demand at the United States Treasury, or in gold or lawful money at any Federal Reserve Bank." After 1934, the notes carried the inscription "this note... is redeemable in lawful money at the United States Treasury, or at any Federal Reserve Bank" (post-1934). Starting with Series 1963, the words "will pay to the bearer on demand" no longer appear; and each FRN simply states a particular denomination in "dollars."
The replies you received to your query from both John Ensign's office and the Treasury Department reveal just how confused this situation is. Being a man who considers his word his bond, I would have to say that the FRN is and remains a contract; whether or not the government chooses to admit this...they printed the things. At the top of the contract they proudly proclaim it to be a Federal Reserve Note. At the bottom they declare the value, as in the dollar bill as One Dollar. The value of goods or services the note may purchase has changed, albeit not for the better. However, if you hold a 1900 $20 gold piece, you can still purchase what that coin could buy when it was minted.
The situation with coinage is more complex, but equally (if not more) confusing. The United States Code provides for three different types of coinage denominated in "dollars": namely, base- metallic coinage, gold coinage, and silver coinage.
The base-metallic coinage consists of "a dollar coin," weighing "8.1 grams," "a half dollar coin," weighing " 11.34 grams"; "a quarter coin," weighing "5.67 grams": and "a dime coin," weighing "2.268 grams." All of these coins are composed of copper and nickel. The weights of the dime, the quarter, and the half dollar are in the correct arithmetical proportions, the one to each of the others. But the "dollar" is disproportionately light (or the other coins disproportionately heavy). In this series of base metallic coins, then, the questions naturally arise: Is the "dollar" a cupro-nickel coin weighing "8.1 grams"? Or is it two cupro-nickel coins (or four or ten coins) collectively weighing 22.68 grams? Or is it both? Or is it neither, but something else altogether, to which the weights of these coins are irrelevant?
Similarly, the gold coinage consists of "a fifty dollar gold coin" that "weighs 33.931 grams, and contains one troy ounce of fine gold"; "a twenty-five dollar gold coin" that "contains one-half ounce of fine gold"; "a ten dollar gold coin" that "contains one fourth ounce of fine gold"; and "a five dollar gold coin" that "contains one tenth ounce of fine gold." The "fifty dollar," "twenty-five dollar," and "five dollar" coins are in the correct arithmetical proportions each to the others. But the "ten dollar" coin is not. Therefore, is a "dollar" one-fiftieth or one-fortieth of an ounce of gold? It appears to be undecided.
I would have to say that, based on the oath I took when I assumed this office; the US Government has not upheld its part on a contract begun back when it first began printing monetary notes. We still trade the notes for goods and services, but the trust is no longer there.
Original Signed by Assemblyman Bob Beers
355 Cavalla Street
So here are the answers I found from this rare elected government official:
Question: 1. What law states that a Federal reserve note is a dollar?
Question: 2. Is a Federal reserve note a "dollar"?
Question: 3. Are Federal reserve notes, "lawful money"?
Question: What is the legal definition of "dollar"?
Nemo est supra leges. No one is above the law.
STATE LIMITS OF POWER
A. POLICE POWERS:
The courts have held that the states have a power known as the "police power." You should know what the "police power" is as well as know about some of the laws which the courts have declared unconstitutional as outside the police power. Here are some of those cases:
Adams v. Tanner, 244 U.S. 590, 37 S.Ct . 662 (1917): state law prohibiting employment agencies was void.
Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 43 S.Ct. 625 (1923): state law forbidding teaching foreign languages in school was void.
Jay Burns Baking Co. v. Bryan, 264 U.S. 504, 44 S.Ct. 412 (1924): state law mandating bread weight restrictions held void.
Weaver v. Palmer Bros. Co., 270 U.S. 402, 46 S.Ct. 320 (1926): state law preventing use of "shoddy" in mattresses held void.
Tyson & Bro.-United Theatre Ticket Offices v. Banton, 273 U.S. 418, 47 S.Ct. 426 (1927): state's ticket broker price restriction law held void.
Lanzetta v. New Jersey, 306 U.S. 451, 59 S.Ct. 618 (1939): being mere member of gang can't be made penal.
Town of Greensboro v. Ehrenreich, 80 Ala. 579, 2 So. 725 (1887): prohibition on selling used mattresses held unconstitutional.
Crawford v. City of Topeka, 51 Kan. 756, 33 P. 476 (1893): prohibition on advertising signs held unconstitutional.
In re Opinion of the Justices, 207 Mass. 601, 94 N.E. 558 (1911): statute preventing young women under 21 from entering Chinese operated hotels held unconstitutional.
Chenoweth v. State Board of Medical Examiners, 57 Colo. 73, 141 P. 137 (1913): prohibition on placing ad in paper beyond police powers of board.
Spann v. City of Dallas, 111 Tex. 350, 235 S.W. 513 (1921): law preventing building without consent of neighbors held beyond police power.
Goldman v. Crowther, 147 Md. 282, 128 A. 50 (1925): ordinance preventing business in home held unconstitutional (zoning case containing good cites and quotes).
Bruhl v. State, 111 Tex.Cr.R. 233, 13 S.W.2d 93 (1928): law regarding optometrists held beyond police power.
Travlers' Ins. Co. v. Marshall, 124 Tex. 45, 76 S.W.2d 1007 (1934): state mortgage foreclosure moratorium held unconstitutional.
City of Miami Beach v. Cohen, 47 So.2d 565 ( Fla. 1950): ordinance prevented entertainment at night club found beyond police power.
Town of Bay Harbor Islands v. Schlapik, 57 So.2d 855 (Fla. 1952): restriction on building during certain months held unconstitutional.
Berry v. Summers, 76 Idaho 446, 283 P.2d 1093 (1955): dental technicians law held beyond police powers.
Corneal v. State Plant Board, 95 So.2d 1 (Fla. 1957): law to control nematodes for citrus trees held beyond police power and constituted a taking.
People v. Bunis, 9 N.Y.2d 1, 172 N.E.2d 273 (1961): prohibition on selling magazines without covers held unconstitutional.
Delmonico v. State, 155 So.2d 368 (Fla. 1963): possession of spearfishing equipment law held unconstitutional.
City of Detroit v. Bowden, 6 Mich.App. 514, 149 N.W.2d 771 (1967): ordinance re shouting at cars on street held beyond police powers.
Bruce v. Director, Dep't. of Chesapeake Bay Affairs, 261 Md. 585, 276 A.2d 200 (1971): crabbing restriction limited to resident's own county held beyond police powers.
Maryland State Bd. of Barber Examiners v. Kuhn, 270 Md. 496, 312 A.2d 216 (1973): law making distinction between parties allowed to cut male and female hair held beyond police powers.
McGuffey v. Hall, 557 S.W.2d 401, 414 (Ky. 1977): compulsory medical malpractice insurance not shown within police power.
State v. Lee, 356 So.2d 276, 279 (Fla. 1978): law provided funds to good drivers vis a vis "bad':
"The state's police power cannot be invoked to distribute collected funds arbitrarily and discriminatorily to a special limited class of private individuals."
Alford v. Newport News, 220 Va. 584, 260 S.E.2d 241 (Va. 1979): law preventing smoking in restaurants held unconstitutional.
Rogers v. State Board of Medical Examiners, 371 So.2d 1037 (Fla. App. 1979): chelation treatment held not a valid reason for revocation of doctor's license.
City of Baxter Springs v. Bryant, 226 Kan. 383, 598 P.2d 1051, 1057 (1979): prohibition on dancing in disco found unconstitutional: "Healthful and harmless recreation cannot be prohibited by a municipal corporation."
City of Junction City v. Mevis, 226 Kan. 526, 601 P.2d 1145 (1979): proscription on merely carrying gun in car beyond police power.
State v. Stewart, 40 N.C.App. 693, 253 S.E.2d 638 (1979): law preventing shining light off road after dark held beyond police power.
Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Assoc. v. Div. of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, 397 So.2d 692, 695 ( Fla. 1981):
"This statute effectually requires payment of money to a private association to do with as it chooses. This is an unlawful exercise of the police power."
Daniel v. Dept. of Trans. & Devel., 396 So.2d 967 (La.App. 1981): cutting down historic tree.
Ailes v. Decatur County Area Planning Comm., 448 N.E.2d 1057 (Ind. 1983): prohibition on junkyards amounted to taking and beyond police power.
Louis Finocchiaro, Inc. v. Neb. Liquor Control Comm., 217 Neb. 487, 351 N.W.2d 701 (1984): prohibition on giving volume discounts for liquor beyond police power.
Haller Sign Works v. Physical Culture Training School, 249 Ill. 436, 94 N.E. 920, 922 (1911): city ordinance which prevented the construction and erection of advertising signs within 500 feet of any park or boulevard held void. See also Condon v. Village of Forest Park, 278 Ill. 218, 115 N.E. 825 (1917); People v. Weiner, 271 Ill. 74, 110 N.E. 870 (1915); People v. Chicago, M. & St. P. Ry. Co., 306 Ill. 486, 138 N.E. 155 (1923); and Heimgaertner v. Benjamin Electric Manuf. Co., 6 Ill.2d 152, 128 N.E.2d 691 (1955). See also State Bank & Trust Co. v. Village of Wilmette, 358 Ill. 311, 193 N.E. 131, 133 (1934); East Side Levee & Sanitary Dist. v. East St. Louis & C. Ry., 279 Ill. 123, 116 N.E. 720, 723 (1917); Schiller Piano Co. v. Ill. Northern Utilities Co., 288 Ill. 580, 123 N.E. 631 (1919) ("An act which has no tendency to affect or endanger the public in any of those particulars and which is entirely innocent in character is not within the police power"); Town of Cortland v. Larson, 273 Ill. 602, 113 N.E. 51 (1916); City of Zion v. Behrens, 262 Ill. 510, 104 N.E. 836 (1914).
People v. Brown, 95 N.E.2d 888 (Ill. 1950): a person's trade or business is property.
Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 535, 45 S.Ct. 571, 573 (1925): State law requiring children to be sent to public schools held unconstitutional:
"The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations."
SPEECH, PRESS AND RELIGION:
Martin v. City of Struthers, 319 U.S. 141, 63 S.Ct. 862 (1943): freedom of speech and press include right to pass out flyers.
Murdock v. Comm. of Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105, 63 S.Ct. 870 (1943): license tax to sell religious tracts and books held unconstitutional.
People v. Swartzentruber, 170 Mich.App. 682, 429 N.W.2d 225 (1988), and State v. Miller, 196 Wis.2d 238, 538 N.W.2d 573 (1995): reflector law requiring slow moving vehicles to display symbol; held violative of 1st Amendment.
CANNOT LICENSE CERTAIN OCCUPATIONS :
Bessette v. People, 193 Ill. 334, 62 N.E . 215 (1901)
People v. Beattie, 89 N.Y.S. 193 (1904); see also Application of Jacobs, 98 N.Y. 98.
In re Aubrey, 36 Wash. 308, 78 P. 900 (1904)
Territory v. Kraft, 33 Haw. 397 (1935)
Wright v. Wiles, 173 Tenn. 334, 117 S.W.2d 736 (1938)
Bramley v. State, 187 Ga. 826, 2 S.E.2d 647 (1939)
Buehman v. Bechtel, 57 Ariz. 363, 114 P.2d 227 (1941)
State v. Cromwell, 72 N.D. 565, 9 N.W.2d 914 (1943)
Sullivan v. DeCerb, 156 Fla. 496, 23 So.2d 571 (1945)
Moore v. Sulton, 185 Va. 481, 39 S.E.2d 348 (1946)
State v. Ballance, 229 N.C. 764, 51 S.E.2d 731 (1949)
Abdoo v. Denver, 156 Colo. 127, 397 P.2d 222 (1964)
Jackson v. State, 55 Tex. Cr. R. 557 (1908): barbers can't be licensed.
Gray v. Omaha, 80 Neb. 526, 114 N.W. 600 (1908): can't license sidewalk builder.
Vicksburg v. Mullane, 106 Miss. 199, 63 So. 412 (1913): privilege tax does not apply to plumber.
Sampson v. Sheridan, 25 Wyo. 347, 170 P. 1 (1918): can't license masons.
Howard v. Lebby, 197 Ky. 324, 246 S.W. 828 (1923): can't license house painters; see also Priddy v. City of Tulsa, 882 P.2d 81 (Okl.Cr. 1994): unconst. to license sign
painters; State v. Wiggenjost, 130 Neb. 450, 265 N.W. 422 (1936).
Frazer v. Shelton, 320 Ill. 253, 150 N.E. 696 (1926): can't license public accountants.
Rawles v. Jenkins, 212 Ky. 287, 279 S.W . 350 (1926): can't license real estate agents.
Doe v. Jones, 327 Ill. 387, 158 N.E. 703 (1927): can't license private surveyors.
Dasch v. Jackson, 170 Md. 251, 183 A. 534 (1936): paper hangers can't be licensed.
S.S. Kresge Co. v. Couzens, 290 Mich. 185, 287 N.W. 427 (1939): can't license florists.
State v. Harris, 216 N.C. 746, 6 S.E.2d 854 (1940): can't license dry cleaners .
Palmer v. Smith, 229 N.C. 612, 51 S.E.2d 8 (1948): can't control opticians .
HB 823 Clarifies Right to Carry Handgun in Vehicle NRA-ILA August 30, 2005
The following press release was issued today by State Representative Terry Keel regarding HB 823. TO: Media FROM: Terry Keel, State Representative, Austin
RE: FIB 823 by Keel, Effective 9/1/05 Clarifies Right to Carry Handgun in Vehicle While Traveling
PRESS RELEASE DATE: August 30, 2005
It is well established in Texas that a person who is traveling has a right to possess a handgun for personal protection. The practical problem with this right has historically been that courts have disagreed on the definition of "traveling". The legislature has likewise never defined "traveling" because a definition invariably has the unintended effect of unfairly limiting the term to a narrow set of circumstances.
FIB 823 becomes effective September 1, 2005 , shoring up the right of citizens to carry a concealed handgun while traveling. There have been many inquiries to my office from citizens and media regarding the upcoming change in the law and what it means.
HB 823 provides for a legal presumption in favor of citizens that they are travelers if they are in a private vehicle with a handgun that is not in plain view, they are not otherwise engaged in unlawful activity nor otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, and they are not a member of a criminal street gang.
In plain terms, a law-abiding person should not fear arrest if they are transporting a concealed pistol in a motor vehicle. There is no longer the need for a law enforcement officer to apply a subjective definition of what constitutes "traveling" where the citizen is cloaked with the presumption per the terms of the new statute. Under those circumstances the citizen should be allowed to proceed on their way.
HB 823 represents the first time a presumption has been crafted in favor of a defendant in the modern penal code of Texas. The presumption applies unless the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the facts giving rise to the presumption do not exist. If the state fails to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the facts giving rise to the presumption do not exist, the jury must find that the presumed fact exists. By enacting this evidentiary standard in conjunction with the presumption, the legislation is intended to have the practical effect of preventing in the first place the arrest of citizens who meet the newly specified prerequisites of being a presumed traveler.
It should be noted that the very real problem of citizens having to prove their innocence after arrest by the assertion of their right to carry a firearm while traveling was the reason for a 1997 legislative change which replaced the "defense" of traveling with a classification of the statute of UCW as instead entirely "inapplicable" to a traveler. This change was well-intentioned but did not have the intended effect of protecting honest citizens from potential arrest because the term "traveling" was still left to individual police or judicial officials to define on a case-by-case basis. As a consequence, law-abiding citizens who availed themselves of their right to have a handgun white traveling continued to face arrest and often later prevailed only in a court of law after proving that they were indeed traveling.
In enacting HB 823, the 79th legislature, like all previous legislatures, declined to define traveling as a narrow set of particular circumstances. For example, to require someone to have an overnight stay in a journey in order to be classified as a traveler would be unfair to persons traveling great distances in one day. Likewise, a requirement that a citizen be "crossing county lines" may make no sense, such as in areas of Texas where travelers drive hundreds of miles without leaving a single county. Moreover, the ability of police to elicit such evidence and consistently apply its subjective terms on the street in a traffic stop has not proven practical, at all. The new statute instead focuses on a defined set of relevant, objective facts that are capable of being determined on the spot by law officers.
There are several additional important points that should he made in regard to the enactment of FIB 823 and its interface with current law. HB 823 does not give "everyone the right to carry a gun in a car". State and federal laws applicable to firearms must he noted in conjunction with the new statute's terms, particularly the limitation of the presumption to persons who are "not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm." For example, persons subject to an active protective order are not covered by the presumption, nor are persons with any felony conviction or even some misdemeanor convictions for offenses, e.g., family violence. The presumption is likewise inapplicable to persons associated with a criminal street gang, even if they have no conviction for any offense. These as well as all other existing limitations on firearm ownership and/or possession make the new statute inapplicable to persons covered by such prohibitions.
Furthermore, as stated in the statute, the presumption will not apply to persons who are otherwise engaged in any criminal conduct. This would include persons who are driving while intoxicated, driving recklessly, committing criminal mischief, or committing any other criminal offense outside that of a minor traffic infraction.
The presumption also does not apply where the gun is openly displayed.
The enactment of HB 823 was the culmination of study, committee hearings and debate by the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence. I am confident that the new law will assist law enforcement in doing its job while at the same time protecting law-abiding citizens from the threat of arrest for merely exercising their right to arm themselves while traveling----a right to which they are already entitled.
CORPORATIONS 1 TAC § 79.31
§ 79.31. Characters of Print Acceptable in Names
(a) Entity names may consist of letters of the Roman alphabet, Arabic numerals, and certain symbols capable of being reproduced on a standard English language typewriter, or combination thereof.
(b) Only upper case or capitol letters, with no distinction as to type face or font, will be recognized.
(c) Arabic numerals include 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.
(d) The symbols recognized as part of a name may include ! " $ % ' ( ) * ? # = @ [ ] / + & and - .
Source: The provisions of this §79.31 adopted to be effective January 1, 1976 : amended to be effective September 15, 1981, 6 TexReg 3249; amended to be effective January 2, 1992, 16 TexReg 7469.
The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas :
This court has held that there is no such license known to Texas Law as a "driver's license."
We have held that there is no such license as a driver's license known to our law.
An information charging the driving of a motor vehicle upon a public highway without a driver's license charges no offense, as there is no such license as a driver's license known to the law.
There being no such license as a "driver's" license known to the law, it follows that the information, in charging the driving of a motor vehicle upon a highway without such a license, charges no offense.
The practice of law is an occupation of Common Right ," as per Sims v. Ahrens, 277
S.W. 720 (1925) and upheld that "they [attorneys] cannot represent any private citizen nor any business as the State cannot license the practice of law" as per the ruling of the Supreme Court in Schware v. Board of Examiners. 353
U.S. 238. 239.
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