Wednesday 21 April 2010

US Coin Collectors Opposed to Import Controls

Some highlights from the discussion on the extension of the Italy MOU from one of the coiney forums: Collector:
I sent mine tonight and I managed to be polite. I just hope we aren't putting ourselves on a sucker list (I realize that's not the intention of the ACCG - any concerns of this would be an unintended consequence), serving our addresses up on a silver platter for these goons to come after us.
[Well, why not? "Dear State Department, I have a large collection of ancient coins at home which come from a variety of dubious and unknown sources"]

If they [CPAC - PMB] decide incorrectly, it'll be our patriotic duty to disobey, just like some of my ancestors on both sides of the family did [...] You don't have to have famous ancestors to fight for what is right. This is OUR hobby. We're not hurting anyone. These ghouls and jackals won't take it away. We will fight!

Dealer and list owner [to a collector who was expressing some (justifiable) doubt about the facts behind the inflamatory rhetoric used in the discussion]:
The idea of banning the import of Roman coins into America while continuing to permit trade within the EU is bizarre and anti-American. The restrictions don't apply to the UK. You don't live in America, so the restrictions don't apply to you. We are not discussing banning imports to the UK. You are under the mistaken impression that this is an appropriate place for discussion and debate of this issue. You are under the mistaken impression that it is OK for you, who does not live in the U.S., to express your support here for this bizarre MOU, which does not impact you. It is not.
[the collector concerned is in fact a US citizen and was absolutely right to challenge what the forum was being told by the ACCG].

What is interesting about this four- (at the moment) page thread is that almost to the end the people shooting off faxes to the CPAC were to a man (and woman) convinced that what they were fighting against was an attempt by Italy to claim ALL Roman artefacts from wherever as "Italian cultural property". This is of course what the ACCG had told them, and nobody had atempted to check (nobody except the hapless Bill R. who as we saw above got a slapdown from the dealer-list owner for his efforts to get to the bottom of the matter). Sadly, this means that a goodly proportion of the several hundred faxes sent to the CPAC from among the membership of this forum (19500 members apparently) will thus automaticaly be rejected as "off-topic" by those responsible for passing to the CPAC the views of the public. Obviously if a collector is voicing opposition to a proposal that has not been made, then it is unlikely that this voice cannot count towards assessing public reactions to what actually is on the cards. State Department officials would be quite correct not to pass these opinions to the CPAC as unrelated to the Italy MOU extension under discussion. Thus the ACCG scare tactics have totally backfired.

Are these crazy anti-government rabble rousers and conspiracy theorists really the best the US coin collecting community can find to represent them to the federal government? It is scary to look at the coiney forums and realise that that is probably the case.


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