The Beast Comes to Bayou?

Reach into your pocket, extract a dollar bill. Printed on that bill is a phrase officially making it money; "this note is legal tender for all debts, public and private".  Legal tender, for all debts. This is an unambiguous statement.

Yet the state of Louisiana has decided that, well, money can't be used as money - at least if they decide it can't.

The State Legislature recently passed, and it was signed into law in July by the Governor , HB 195 which says that anyone buying or selling second hand goods cannot use cash in the transaction. So America's legal tender is not legal tender when dealing with certain debts.

Practical implications aside, this strikes at a number of fundamental American liberties and values; by state fiat it strikes down Article I, Sec. 8 of the U.S. Constitution. According to said Constitution the Congress shall have:

"Power To...coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures."

Yet a state legislature is declaring that very power null and void.

But that's not the worst aspect of this; the purpose is to make it possible for government to follow all financial transactions involving anything not purchased from a licensed retailer.  It is a fundamental civil liberty to be able to use cash to pay for things that are wanted or needed. The freedom to buy or sell as one pleases (subject to fundamental restrictions on the public safety and rights) is absolutely fundamental; without it a nation is not free but a despotism. This is the equivalent of a national parole officer supervising consumers.

I understand the reasoning; I work in Real Estate and know that thieves sell copper stolen from houses, and there are usually no questions asked. Antique shops often buy rare items with little concern for where those items originated. But a free society has to accept certain risks. Take away the freedom to bargain and you have tyranny.

In the Book of Revelations the Beast - the man who exemplifies history's greatest tyrant - derives his power from the ability to prevent people from buying and selling as they see fit. According to Revelation 13:17:

"And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."

While Louisiana may not be requiring a mark on the hand or forehead, it apparently has taken a page from the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition. How long before an I.D. card is required to make financial transactions? How long before that card is surgically implanted to prevent identity theft? This may seem unreasonable, but who would believe that a state in the Union would deny the public so fundamental a right?

"Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (666)"

Hat tip to Ron De Haan.

Timothy Birdnow is a St. Louis based writer. His website is