"Mistrust those in whom the urge to punish is strong." Friedrich Nietzche

"Any and all non-violent, non-coercive, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm other people or their property or directly and immediately endangers same, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, and that is done in private, especially on private property, is the inalienable right of all adults. In a truly free and liberty-loving society, ruled by a secular government, no laws should be passed to prohibit such behavior. Any laws now existing that are contrary to the above definition of inalienable rights are violations of the rights of adults and should be made null and void." D. M. Mitchell (from The Myth of Inalienable Rights, at: http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com/)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Looking For It: a poem

He looked into the barrel once again.
What was it he was looking for?
And was it there?
He forgot what he was looking for.
So, deeply did he drink once more.
But only for a moment did he forget.
Then, what it was he was looking for,
He did go looking for it once again.
He looked into that narrow pipe once more.
Deep down inside it and, there…
Yes, there he found it. He was sure.
Yes, he saw it waiting there.
So, deeply did he drink once more.
Then slowly releasing his breath,
He reached forth carefully with his finger.
Squeezed carefully his finger seeking it…
And found it.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Myth of Rights

As a child I was taught that the United States of America was a wonderful place because we had rights and that some of those rights were inalienable, which meant that they couldn't be taken away or voted away, that they were ours because we exist...especially, because we exist in the good old U.S. of A. Imagine my shock, several years ago, when I discovered that we really don't have rights. What we have are privleges granted to us by the government.

That's quite a statement, isn't it? Aren't we fighting in the Middle East so that the people there can have democratic governments...and rights? How can I prove my statement that we don't have rights? It's quite simple really, if we use logic.

First of all, if you don't have the right to own property, then you have no rights whatsoever. (This is presented here as a given. I hope you understand. I don't want to take the space in this blog to write several paragraphs of explanation why the right to own property is crucial to all rights.) If you do have the right to own property, then you must also have a right to use or dispose of that property as you wish, just so long as you do not violate the rights of others in so using or disposing of said property. If you cannot use or dispose of the property as you wish, then you do not truly or fully own the property.

For example, lets us say that you buy a refrigerator. It is yours. You own it and can use as you wish. However, if the government tells you that you can't use it to store butter, or ice cream, or beer (because they are bad for you), which are some of the very things for which you bought the refrigerator, then you don't have absolute use of your property when your use does not violate the rights of others. The government, in this case, controls your use. That is, the government is the actual owner of your refrigerator because the government can tell you what you can and cannot use it for.

Second, your most basic property, without which you cannot be a truly free person in a truly liberty-loving society, is yourself--your body and your mind. If you cannot use yourself as you wish, where in so using yourself you do not violate the rights of others, then you are not the true owner of yourself and the person or entity that can, by force if necessary, tell you how you can use your most basic property is the true owner...which makes you a slave, in fact, to that person or entity. (By logical necessity, minor children are not included in the myth of rights. That is, they don't have full adult rights...if ever there was such a thing.)

It is well known that the addictive and dangerous drugs nicotine and alcohol (alcohol being a true narcotic drug), just in unnecessary deaths alone, cause sixty times more such deaths than all the presently illegal drugs combined. (There are 200,000 deaths per year related to the use of alcohol and over 400,000 to nicotine...but fewer than 10,000 to the presently illegal drugs.) But billions (by one estimate, 100 billion dollars a year for all levels of government--local, state, and federal)are being spent to eradicate the use of the presently illegal drugs. This is tantamount to having a broken leg with the bone sticking out and a cut on your thumb and giving priority to the cut on your thumb while ignorning the leg.

But more to the point, if you own the property of your body and mind then you have a right to use any drug you wish. You have a right to abuse yourself with drug use, even to the point that it kills you--as alcohol and tobacco do to over 600,000 people every year. Almost all the violence surrounding the use of the presently illegal drugs is caused, not by the mere use of the drug (as is the case with alcohol), but by the laws which make these substances illegal, thereby opening the door for organized crime and violent street gangs to make huge profits...and to use deadly force to collect those profits when they believe it is necessary. (And, gosh, if the presently illegal drugs were re-legalized--think about it--then how would terrorists be able to make money by selling them...well, of course they couldn't. So, in fact, the war on drugs actually helps the terrorists!)

But again I digress. The point is that if you own yourself and you are not violating the rights of others, then the personal moral and religious beliefs of some (which are what our present drug laws are based upon) should not, under a secular government, be used to force you to live by the personal moral and religious beliefs of those others. It is not for your neighbors to tell you how to live your life as long as you are not violating their rights or anyone's rights. And the only legitimate purpose of a secual government is to protect our right to live our lives as we wish, whether our neighbors like it or not.

This issue of (the myth of) inalienable rights is not just about drug use. That is only one of many ways the the government is used to violate, not protect, our rights. However, for a more in depth discussion of how the present drug laws not only violate our rights, but are based on lies and misinformation, I have a 16-paged dissertation available ($2.00, including shipping and handling). Contact me at todscwaml@hotmail.com for mailing instructions.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Your Diet: What Is Myth What Is Truth?

Have you ever heard of the Weston A. Price Foundation? The Weston A. Price Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charity founded in 1999. The purpose of the foundation is to spread the information gathered by Dr. Weston Price in the 1920,s and 1930,s regarding the health and dietary habits of small groups of people living isolated from the industrialized world. Dr. Price (who I should point out was a dentist and was, at least initially, concerned with diet and dental problems) came to the conclusion that the best diet for humans, one that maximizes both physique and health, was a nutrient-dense diet of whole foods (minimally processed, i.e., cleaned and cooked), including the meat and fat of animals.

In July of 2000 (later revised in January of 2002), Stephen Byrnes, PhD, RNCP, of the Weston A. Price Foundation, wrote an article titled The Myths of Vegetarianism. It was originally published in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. In that article, Dr. Byrnes discussed 15 points as to why a vegetarian diet was not natural and could be unhealthy. As a member of the Weston A Price Foundation, of course, he stated that for humans to be fully healthy they need to ingest animal products: meat, saturated fat, certified raw milk, and so forth.

In A Critique of “The Myths of Vegetarianism...”, by Andrew Paterson (June, 2002), Mr. Paterson, who is a vegetarian, states that he has known unhealthy vegetarians and unhealthy meat-eaters, as well as very healthy specimens of both types of people. But, says Mr. Paterson, “statistically, vegetarians are healthier than meat-eaters." He does acknowledge, however that “experts have different opinions” and that “scientific knowledge is often conflicting and open to much interpretation.”

I believe this is a topic that should be discussed openly. One thing that both Dr. Byrnes, and those at the Weston A. Price Foundation, and Mr. Paterson, among other knowledgeable vegetarians, all admit: Sugar, white flour, highly refined and processed foods of all types, modern feeding techniques of animals for food, pesticides, herbicides, and hormonal treatment of food animals, among other things, are a major part, if not the very basis for much of our modern health problems.

What the rational meat-eaters and vegetarians (if I may call them that) are talking about (the ethics of killing an animal for food notwithstanding) is what is the best diet for humans if grown organically and processed minimally: meat-based or pure vegetarian? Both sides claim that not only human health is at issue, but the very environment of the Earth, where we all must live is at stake in the long run.

If you wish to find out more about this very important issue, go to the following two addresses for a starter.

Myths and Truths About Vegetarianism: http://www.westonaprice.org/mythstruths/mtvegetarianism.html

A Critique of "The Myths of Vegetarianism" by Stephen Byrnes

There is one last thought I wish to leave you with. A wise vegetarian once said that "it is healthier to be a happy meat-eater than an unhappy vegetarian." Try to enjoy what you have--mainly yourself as yourself--and if you have a lot, try to share it with deserving others. It will make you feel better and that will help your digestion--whether you are a vegetarin or a meat-eater.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Are Corporations Dangerous?

"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." Thomas Jefferson said that more than 200 years ago. Unfortunately, corporations have only gotten stronger since then.

Lord Acton said that "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." But from where does power come? Money...and lots of it. Very large corporations, especially international ones, have tons of money and they use it to get what they want, which is more money. To a corporation (a fictional legal entity that cannot be held directly responsible for its actions like a private citizen could) all that matters is the bottom line. Make a profit. Keep making a profit. And damn the consequences.

Our oceans are polluted because of corporations. Rain forests are being cut down because of corporations. Herbicides, pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics pollute our food supply because of corporations. Tobacco is the number one addictive, disease-causing, death-dealing drug in the world because of corporations. The list just goes on and the government does little if anything to stop it. Why would that be?

In September of 1998, Loyola Law School professor, Robert Benson, in conjunction with 30 public interest groups, filed a lawsuit against Union Oil of California (Unocal) for various legal and human rights violation around the world, including the United States. The 127 page legal brief was rejected by the then California Attorney General in just five days. I don't know if you have ever read a legal brief, but a 127 paged brief is rather hard to read, research, digest, and answer in just five days.

Does that mean that the extremely rich international corporation known as Unocal has enough money, therefore the power, to corrupt a government? It is hard to believe that such a thing could even be remotely possible in America today, isn't it?. Therefore, I refuse to believe it. Still, we know that big corporations do a whole lot of damage to our environment...and they are still allowed to exist. But what can we do about it? After all, the United States of America was originally set up as a republic in which "the people" are supposed to be supreme...not corporations.

If you are interested in more on the subject of problems with corporations, go to: http://www.corpwatch.org. If you wish to know more about the Unocal lawsuit, go to the above URL and enter "The Death Penalty for Corporations Comes of Age" in the search field.