After doing a google search on the subject, it seems that I am one of a very few people who don't like the smell of US currency. There's apparently something in the manufacturing process, maybe some kind of anti-counterfeiting measure, that just plain stinks. It might be the chemical that reacts with the fake-bill marking pen that every cashier has. Whatever the smell is, over time it builds up in my wallet until it is just overpowering.

If you want to magnify the smell just to see what I'm talking about, put a few bills ($20's are the worst) into a toaster oven and warm them up at about 130 degrees for fifteen minutes. Or better yet, if you've got one of those food dehydrators, spread some bills on a rack and set the temperature for 130. In a very few minutes the whole room will be filled with a nauseating funk.

I tried lots of measures to remove the smell. Soap and water, saltwater, baking soda, vinegar, ethanol, propanol, activated charcoal, freezing, baking, shaking in powdered activated charcoal and aquarium ammonia remover. I didn't try bleach for fear of bleaching the ink off the bills. Nothing removed the smell.

Finally, I tried Windex. Put a capful in a pint of water and soak your bills for a couple of hours. Dry them out and the smell will be 90% gone. I suspect it's the ammonia that zaps the smell. If the stink of folding money bothers you as much as it does me, then give this technique a try.


New York Congressman Charles Rangel wants to reinstitute the military draft. His reasoning is that our leaders will be more reluctant to go to war if they thought their children might have to serve and share the danger.

What a load of manure!

You need look no further than our own courageous leaders to see that the draft does not affect the children of privelege. While the blue-collar kids were fighting in Viet Nam, the children of privelege sat out the war in Ivy Leage comfort.

Rangel's measure would insure that when our brave, courageous, wise, benevolent, honest and sincere leaders start their next war there will be no shortage of blue-collar manpower. The idea that having more available soldiers would make our leaders reluctant to start another war must have been formulated on Bizarro Opposite Crossed Fingers Day.

Rangle's line that the draft would expose rich and poor to equal risk is hooey. It's just plain old salesmanship. He himself might believe it (although I don't see how, since he himself is a veteran of the Korean War), but the planners who formulated the proposal for him are just selling a proposition to build up the army.

I think the terrorists will take encouragement from this policy change in the way a football team takes encouragement if they see the opposing team deviating from their original game plan. It means they've successfully stopped plan A and the opponents have begun to improvise. They also know that a draft is bound to be unpopular on the home front. They'll also assume that starting the draft indicates that the US is having trouble getting its citizens to serve and must resort to coercion. They also know that draftee armies are less motivated and less effective than volunteer armies. Every time the bad guys go up against our professional army they get slaughtered by the bushel. I'm sure they'd rather fight draftees.

RTJ 11/19/2006

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