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Have fun & make a statement while improving your very own American currency

By "Alan Greenpants"

"Alan Greenpants" gives me undue credit for inspiring his idea. While I'll take all the credit I can get, readers of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress know I swiped Simon Jester (with very much due credit) from Robert Heinlein. Now Mr. Greenpants continues the legacy, expanding and improving upon it.

And that, after all, is precisely how Simon Jester comes to life -- on this planet or any other. You are encouraged to copy and circulate this article. Share it with your friends. Have fun.

I should add, of course, that doing the following may be illegal, and that neither Alan Greenpants nor I advocate doing anything illegal -- particularly such such heinous acts of criminal destruction as replacing lawful currency with paper counterfeits.

I have taken Claire Wolfe's "Be a Simon Jester" idea from her book 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution to a different level, coming up with a new tool for sowing the seeds of liberty in the minds of the sheeple and infuriating the "forces of good." I call this tool the Liberty Buck.

Liberty Bucks are Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs) upon which I have printed thought-provoking, freedom-minded slogans.

For example, each new-style European-look FRN that passes through my hands leaves my hands with the phrase "MONOPOLY is a registered trademark of Parker Brothers, Inc." typed across the back.

I've also whipped up some denomination-specific slogans that I like to put on the back of certain bills: "Slick Willy's House of Ill Repute" for twenties (which show the White House); and "Spend all you want! We'll print more!" for tens (which show the Treasury). On the back of a five-spot (the Lincoln Monument), I might print:

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutitional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it. -Abraham Lincoln

Do you wish to point out the deception inherent in our present form of "money"?

Although this note is legal tender for all debts, public and private, it has no inherent value and is in violation of Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution.

Still, deceptive though they may be, FRNs do have their advantages:

Cash is Y2K compliant! (Is your checkbook or debit card?)

Patriots know dozens (sometimes hundreds) of "liberty quotes." Many of these make excellent "sound bites" to print on FRNs, so that their impact is spread to the God-knows-how-many sheeple who will read them. And of course, the next liberty-loving patriot who gets that bill will likely experience an unexpected morale high! ("Hey, there are others like me! I wonder where the patriot who did this lives?") That person may even decide to copycat.

Technical details

The actual production process will take some experimentation. I have tried this only on my printer and have no idea which other inkjet or laser printers can reliably feed FRNs (although I suspect most will). Check to see if your printer software has a setting for C6 envelopes, which are just 1/4-inch wider than FRNs. This would help, but is not absolutely necessary.

I always use a monospaced "typewriter" font. I like the way it imparts a Unabomberesque "some-nut-with-a-typewriter-did-this" feel. (And besides, it encourages others who have a typewriter, but no computer, to participate as well.)

A typewriter can certainly be used to produce Liberty Bucks. But remember, every typewriter has unique flaws and peculiarities in the metal forms used to impress the letters' images. This gives each machine the uniqueness of a fingerprint, and means that every typewriter can be linked to the documents typed on it (ala Ted Kaczynski and countless episodes of Hawaii Five-O). Weigh the risks and act accordingly.

My inkjet printer's draft/economy setting works best. It puts out the least amount of ink, which keeps it from bleeding into the FRNs' fabric-like paper. Also, the effect is subtle; it will be seen by anyone who takes time to look at the bill, without jumping off the paper at the casual observer. A slogan that is TOO visible may attract the immediate attention of the cashier, then the store manager -- then a cop! The few cashiers who have appeared to notice the "subtle" slogans haven't said anything to me, as if they're thinking, "Hmmm. Some idiot typed on the back of this bill. This guy must not have noticed."

I print only on the back; the fronts are too cluttered with dark ink.

Finally, I try to use a slogan that will be framed nicely within the light space on the back of the note. This space is about 1 1/4 inches high x two inches wide on a single (especially suited for short quotes); 1 1/4 inches x four inches on a five; 1 1/4 by 4 1/2 inches on a ten; and 1 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches on a twenty.


I like to use only twenties and smaller. Cashiers inspect fifties and hundreds for genuniness due to their rarity and value. Small bills attract the least attention.

Strike your own balance between passing as many Liberty Bucks as possible and not getting caught with a wallet full of them. Defacing money is a federal felony. (What isn't, these days?!) If some cashier balks at accepting it, you can say, "Yeah, I saw that, too. But I got it from an ATM, so I figured if it was good enough for the bank, it's good enough for me." If that doesn't work, you can just act ignorant about the bill's "defect," exchange it for an undoctored one, and tell the cashier you'll promptly return it to the bank you got it from. (If all the money in your wallet has been doctored, you're going to have some explaining to do.)

Whenever possible, I like to mix one or two Liberty Bucks in with a group of unaltered FRNs. Like any good paperboy or street vendor, I keep all my bills "faced" in my wallet -- that is, with all their fronts and tops pointed in the same direction. If my store total comes out to, say, seventy-five dollars, I'll give the cashier four twenties or three twenties and two tens. They'll all be face up, so the slogans don't show, with one or two Liberty Bucks in the whole batch.

I try to spread them as far as possible within my local area. I don't mind driving past one perfectly good Kmart to spend some Liberty Bucks at the one across town. (Ed. note: This was written before gun owners began boycotting Kmart because of its odious spokesthing, Rosie O'Donnell. Pass 'em at Walmart instead!) I do this to dilute the effect of releasing them into the community. If a whole passel of them showed up at various merchants within a few miles of each other, it might call attention to them too quickly. The goal is to circulate, circulate, CIRCULATE them far and wide!

As I said, there are hundreds of good "liberty quotes" out there. I try to distill them to their essence, so as not to bore or confuse the target audience. This can be quite a challenge for some quotes, as our Founding Fathers were not of the "sound-bite" mentality. But you can always use the quotes found throughout Claire's 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution. Or try the wisdom from some bumper stickers found at gun shows and preparedness expos.

There you have it. Now get out there and have a ball! Here are some sample slogans to get you started:

Americans used to roar like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security. - Norman Vincent Peale

No government is better than our government.

A well-regulated population being necessary to the security of a police state, the right of the Government to keep and destroy arms shall not be infringed.

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. - Edward Abbey

Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. - George Washington

Men must choose to be governed by God, or they condemn themselves to be ruled by tyrants. - William Penn

In all history the only bright rays cutting the gloom of oppression have always come from men who would rather get hurt than give in. -- Jeff Cooper

God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it. - Daniel Webster

They have rights who dare to maintain them. - James Russell Lowell

You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harm it would cause if improperly administered. - Lyndon Baines Johnson

Yes, government is far too big. But that's not to say that it has much control. It makes a million laws and can't enforce most of them. So many laws, so little order. - Joseph Sobran

An armed society is a polite society. - Robert Heinlein

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. - Thomas Jefferson

Government: Baby burning, mother-killing, lying, thieving habit

There are no victims, only volunteers. You volunteer by looking uncertain and afraid. You volunteer by being, as grass-eaters invariably are, unprepared to confront the hazards of life.

SUPPORT EDUCATION: Close government schools.

You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence. - Charles A. Beard

Whatever danger evil human beings represent as individuals is nothing as compared to the dangers of evil human beings in charge of governments. - J. Neil Schulman

(c) 1999 by "Alan Greenpants"

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05 June, 1999