My Dandelion Dollar

Someone sent this dollar bill to my attention at Make magazine. The front of the bill had a URL for a video. I’m giving it to my daughter to pin on her cork board. Thanks to whoever sent it! Dandelion Dollars promotes the spiritual practice of sending off dandelion seeds of LOVE, JOY, and HOPE… READ THE REST

I plan to do the same, and I hope that Sapphire appreciates those sentiments after her energetic performance set to Warrant’s 1990 masterpiece “Cherry Pie”.


United States Code
§ 333. Mutilation of national bank obligations

Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or
unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill,
draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking
association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal Reserve System,
with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence
of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or
imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

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Eh, I think in this instance, they really DO have more important things to deal with than marking up a buck.
Besides, kinda hard to prove who did it…

And yet, no one seems to care about this, which has been around for quite a few years now:

Your “concern” is noted but, seriously, no one gives a shit about this law.

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Yeah. Real sad. Can you help us out with other legal stuff, like the Fourth Amendment as it may apply to recent revelations? Might be a little more interesting.

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At least WheresGeorge has switched to red ink, which doesn’t make the bills unusable in vending machines.

Don’t assume your apathy is universal.

Yeah, this sort of thing is so wonderful. It’s just a joy if you work in customer service and have to make change for people that want to use vending machines, and you have to dig through 20+ bills in order to make change for a five.

This again? Well, let’s view this as a teaching moment. I draw your eye to this:

“Unfit to be reissued” means that it wouldn’t be accepted as “money” by someone. And “with intent” means you seriously have to want to make it unfit to be accepted as “money”. Scribbling on a bill, putting stickers on it, as long as it’s recognizable as a bill and has its serial numbers intact, it’s fine, and the Money Police aren’t going to spring out from behind the register at McDonald’s if you spend it.


The law saws nothing about red ink or vending machines.

Also, I don’t think you understand the law, much, anyway.

Really? 20+ bills in each till, every day, have doodled-on dollar bills? Riiiight.

Your hyperbole is not all that impressive.

I said nothing about the law. I simply made an observation about WheresGeorge taking steps to stop making bills unusable in vending machines. The underlying implication being that your comment about no one caring, was incorrect, but the switch in ink colors does help them care not as much.

The number of bills accumulates, because people do not want to take the marked up bills as change. So after going through a bankers pack of one hundred dollar bills, perhaps five of them are marked up and get stuck in the till. A week later, and other $100 pack, there are ten unwanted bills… repeat ad nauseum.

I work in a hotel. There is only one till. Due to requiring a credit card to rent a room 99% of our use of one dollar bills is to make change for customers using the vending machines. They accumulate rapidly because the only other way to get rid of them is to take them to a bank. So yes, once they get in the till, they are still there pretty much every day.

I tore a Do Not Remove Under Penalty Of Law tag off a pillow once in Reno, just to watch it die.

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UH-OH. You better be careful! The feds are certainly lookin’ for you now, @Antinous!!

Somehow, I am still not particularly impressed about something so incredibly mundane. Oh, dear, you have to flip through a few dollar bills every now and again for customers. Your life is very hard.

…I was talking about the law. Specifically. In reply to a comment about the law. Which was rather clear.

It’s not hard, just annoyingly repetitive for silly reasons.

The only thing abundantly clear was your need to be condescending.

People cared about the law, and about WheresGeorge’s blue ink stamps making the bills unusable in vending machines, thus, as pointed out in posts higher up, making the bills “unfit to be reissued”. To avoid it becoming a legal issue, they switched to red ink which doesn’t get picked up by the scanners in vending machines. Then, as you so kindly pointed out, most people stopped caring.

Now, enough time spent responding to troll bait.

Indeed, a teachable moment. You can ask Aaron Swartz who gets to interpret the law. “Unfit to be reissued” means whatever Treasury says it means when they decide to pile on the charges after you’ve done something naughty. No, the money police won’t get you, just as, in Georgia, the police won’t pull you over for yakking on your phone while driving. What they WILL do is pile on additional charges after you run that red light. If a cop thinks nothing of shooting you in the face with pepper spray for standing on the wrong street corner, he’s not going to blink at piling on more charges after he arrests you for obstructing his justice. People think the modern prosecutorial system exists to punish only well defined crimes. All you have to do is step on the wrong side of a political line to find yourself facing a wide array of nebulous and overly broad charges.