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Jim Lee: Consider case for Carroll currency

With Virginia lawmakers considering a move to establish their own currency I have to wonder whether Carroll County will follow in their footsteps.

Ylan Q. Mui, in a story in The Washington Post last week, noted that a proposal to create a 10-member commission to study "the need, means, and schedule for establishing a metallic-based monetary unit to serve as a contingency currency for the Commonwealth" passed the Virginia House by a 2-1 margin. The bill's future in the Senate, Mui wrote, is uncertain.

The impetus behind the move, apparently, is a fear about the federal government's monetary policies and a general fear overall of government overextending itself. Those fears have also led to more calls from the extreme right for a return to the gold standard, when the value of money was tied to gold. Republican President Richard Nixon ended the gold standard though, and since that time the value of the dollar has been backed by the authority of the U.S. government.

Virginia lawmakers, apparently, are getting ready for the day when the value of the dollar collapses and chaos reigns in our country.

Given that our Board of County Commissioners has spent a considerable amount of time over the past couple years railing against the state and federal governments, I can't help but think that emulating Virginia in preparing for our national apocalypse would sound like a good idea to them.

Last March, Commissioner Richard Rothschild said the county should invest a portion of its reserves in gold and silver. And it was just last week that Rothschild railed against the federal Race To The Top education program, which places an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics in schools. He said offering money was the federal government's way of bribing schools to teach a certain curriculum and ominously warned, "In the end it will turn our schools into propaganda institutes of the federal government. We should be resisting this."

Rothschild has warned about the state or federal government, or even the United Nations, threatening to take over Carroll County on other occasions, too.

When the board took office, one of their first actions was to get Carroll County out of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, a purely advisory group with no regulatory authority that brings together communities to share best practices in sustainability.

According to the group's website, ICLEI "promotes local action for global sustainability... The ultimate aim is to achieve healthy and happy communities."

Definitely not something Carroll would want to be a part of.

Cost of membership was cited as a factor at the time. But the board approved getting out of the group, whose membership includes hundreds of towns and cities across 84 countries because, in part, Rothschild thinks it is a UN effort to control the world.

Rothschild also led the charge in going all the way to England to find someone who argued against scientific experts around the world on the topic of climate change, and then held a "summit" in Pikesville featuring a string of climate change deniers because, again, all this talk about sustainability and land use is apparently a front for a UN takeover.

And while most of the more bizarre antics this board has engaged in have originated with Rothschild, it is important to remember that there are five commissioners, so at least two others had to be nodding their heads in agreement with him in the areas where votes needed to be taken.

Given that, it really isn't a far stretch to imagine that upon getting a whiff of what's going on in Virginia our board will soon be having discussions about instituting a Carroll currency.

The biggest question to arise from such a move, of course, would be whether the commissioners issue a series of gold coins of equal value with each of their likenesses stamped on the front, or whether they get into squabbles over whose likeness goes on the higher value gold coins and whose likeness goes on the smaller value coins.

Perhaps they will avoid any hard feelings by putting the likeness of Ronald Reagan on the front of the coins and an image of them all seated in their Ronald Reagan meeting room on the back.

Or perhaps they will take their cue from tea party Republican Sue Lowden of Nevada, who during her failed quest for the GOP nod and right to face Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in last November's election said we should use chickens to barter for health care coverage.

Gold coins, ultimately, is probably the better bet. It's pretty tough to get live chickens through an ATM.

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