"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/)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Better Use of Justice Department Resources

As many of you might know, the U.S. Government has a multi-trillion (yes, trillion) dollar debt, the interest payment of which is 200 billion dollars a year. As I read an article in my morning newspaper about mortgage fraud I thought of how the resources of the Justice Department could be put to better use. First, to the stats on mortgage fraud.

In 2002 banks reported 5,623 incidents of mortgage fraud. In 2007 banks reported 47,717 such incidents. Mortgage fraud is a form of larcenous behavior. It is the behavior of profiting through deceit, by telling lies. Banks use other people's money (your money) to secure loans. When the banks are defrauded the general public suffers from higher banking costs and harder to obtain mortgages by honest people. Mortgage fraud also leads to more defaults and foreclosures which, in turn, leads to lower prices for houses that honest people are trying to sell. Mortgage fraud is just stealing and it hurts all the honest people.

The article (As mortgage fraud multiplies, investigators can't keep up, the Fresno Bee, Sunday, December 30, 2007) noted that due to the "eightfold" increase in mortgage frauds "government agencies that investigate and prosecute [these frauds] cannot keep up,. . ." The government needs to re-focus its resource allocation to vigorously go after real, rights-violating secular crimes, such as mortgage fraud and other rights-violating behavior.

How can they do this without a budget increase, without increasing taxes? It's very simple. Take the money out of the so-called war on drugs and use it to go after real crimes. Use the personnel now involved in the so-called war on drugs to investigate these mortgage frauds.

Why do I say "so-called war on drugs"? Because, as I have consistently stated in my blogs, the so-called war on drugs is actually a war on rights. Adults--if they have the right to the ownership of their bodies and minds and if they have inalienable rights and if they have true freedom and liberty--have the right to use drugs that may be addictive and harmful to their health. My proof?--alcohol and tobacco. Those two "legal" drugs cause far more harm, death, and destruction than the "mere" use of the presently illegal ones. Almost all of the violence and real rights-violating behavior related to the presently illegal drugs come from that fact that they are illegal. Once upon a time those drugs were legal to adults and there was no criminal justice problems associated with their manufacture, sales, or use. If adults have a right to use alcohol and tobacco then why don't they have an equal right to use less harmful drugs?

We, "the people", need to tell our legislators and government officials at all levels to stop violating the rights of otherwise honest adults and uphold the principle of inalienable rights. We need to tell them to use scarce government resources to go after real criminals, those whose behavior actually violate the rights of others. After all, using a drug is a moral issue, which comes under the general heading of religion. Stop prosecuting "sinners" (who don't believe in or accept your version of morality or go to your church) and focus on the "criminals" whose behavior is wrong because it harms, physically or financially, innocent others.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Oh Wonderful Woman (a poem)

Oh wonderful woman,
So winsome,
But so wily;
You wear upon my will
And tear upon my thrill
Of seeing you and me
Flesh to flesh,
Lips locked in love,
Legs twined
Like fingers in a glove;
And fingers, too,
Touching gently
Our passioned places;
Our bodies writhing with
Sensuous embraces.
All that we can give . . .
This moment . . .
We give now.
Time has stopped,
For all intent,
And we are now.

(Originally published on Monday, July 30, 2007)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Alcohol v. Heroin

Before I get to the meat of this article, I want to make it very clear that I do not promote the use of any mind-altering, possible addictive, possible dangerous drug, alcohol included and the laws to prevent minors from having access to such drugs are good and valid, as minors do not have full adult rights. But adults, having full adult rights, have the right to use or abuse any drug they wish just so long as they do not violate the rights of others in so doing. (But for the so-called war on drugs, few if any of "the rights of others" would be violated by people merely using any of the presently illegal drugs.)

Everyone knows that heroin is really bad stuff, right? So I would like to show you a couple of examples of how heroin and alcohol can affect both the user and innocent others.

It is medically verified that if you take a hardcore heroin addict, one who is using large amounts of his drug every day, and you lock him up and he can't get his heroin, he will go through withdrawals. He will feel like he is going to die, but he won't. If you take a hardcore alcoholic, one who is legally drunk every day, for most of the day, and lock him up and he can't get his alcohol, he will go through withdrawals. He will feel like he is going to die and quite possibly could. A heavy-duty alcoholic, who tries to quit "cold turkey" or who is forced to do so, can and quite often will go into convulsions and die. This fact is, as I said, medically proven. So, in this respect, alcohol is a worse drug than heroin.

If a female heroin addict gets pregnant and continues her heroin use, her baby can, and probably will, be born as a heroin addict and go through withdrawals. But it will get over them and, if given proper nurturing and nutrition, will go on to live a healthy life. If a female alcoholic gets pregnant and continues to abuse alcohol her baby can, and probably will, be born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and it will never get over that. All of its life it will be emotionally and intellectually challenged, no matter how much good nurturing and nutrition it gets. So, once again, we see that alcohol, in this respect, is worse than heroin.

If one of the Constitutionally legitimate purposes of our government is to enforce certain moral codes and to prevent adults from harming themselves with drug use, then why isn't the government waging a "war on alcohol" as it did in the 1920's? From the two examples above you can clearly see that alcohol is a worse drug than heroin. Further, just in deaths per year from the use or abuse of certain drugs, shows that heroin is not nearly as bad as alcohol. There are between 7,000 and 8,000 deaths per year related to heroin. There are between 85,000 and 100,000 alcohol related deaths per year. So, in respect to deaths per year, alcohol is 10 times worse. But it should be pointed out that up to 45% of all heroin overdose deaths are actually caused by using alcohol along with the heroin. (Another 30% are caused by using another central nervous system depressant, besides alcohol, with the heroin. Pure heroin use overdose deaths are rare.)

Here is another interesting fact about heroin.
Unlike alcohol or tobacco, heroin causes no ongoing toxicity to the tissues or organs of the body. Apart from causing some constipation, it appears to have no side effects in most who take it. When administered safely, its use may be consistent with a long and productive life. The principal harm comes from the risk of overdose, problems with injecting, drug impurities and adverse legal or financial consequences.

That quote was taken from Drug War Facts at paragraph 20.

I emphatically disagree with the political principle that the government is legitimately, by the powers granted to it in the U.S. Constitution, our moral master and has the legitimate power to stop people from harming themselves by using addictive and dangerous drugs. But, if that was a fact, then it would only be logical for the government to stamp out the pernicious and much more harmful practise of making, selling, and using alcoholic beverages rather than heroin. An analogy is that a person has a broken thumb (heroin) and a broken leg with the bone sticking out through the skin (alcohol) but the government all but ignores the broken leg in order to attempt to fix the broken thumb.

Of course, it all makes sense if you understand that I am talking about logic, and that the government--the people running it--are anything but logical. I have hope, however, that enough politicians will, one day, pull their heads out of where the sun doesn't shine and do the right thing. It's a very small hope, but a hope none-the-less.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Comic Strips

I mentioned in my last post that I read the daily paper. I also like to read the comic strips. Some of them are actually funny, or make a good point. Today I read "Zits" and the character "Pierce" (because of all his body piercings) had a question that I think is relavant . . . it also made me laugh. Maybe you will find it to be humorous too.

"If a dude says something and his girl friend doesn't hear him, is he still wrong?"

Is that a tree I hear falling in the forest? :)

I Guess Ann Coulter Isn't a Christian

I don't read Ann Coulter articles but every now and then I will see a quote by her that just amazes me. Take today, for example. I read in my daily newspaper (yes, I am old enough that I actually like the print medium) the following quote by Ms. Coulter: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity." She was talking about the Islamic nations.

I have read the Bible; the Old Testament twice and the New Testament once. And I was raised as a Christian, although I am no longer one . . . but then I really do try to use logic rather than emotion to analyzed the world in which we live. The thing that gets me about the above quote by Ms. Coulter is that it is so very un-Christian.

I don't have a Bible handy right now, but I do remember quite clearly that Jesus was supposed to have said something very close to this: "Bless those who vilely abuse you." And no where in the teachings of Jesus do I remember him saying go out and kill the enemy. As John Pryne said in his Vietnam protest song, American Flag Decal, "Jesus don't like killing no matter what the reason for." I believe that is one of the foundations of being a true Christian, because his kingdom is not of this Earth. So true Christians aren't supposed to be too attached to wordly things and they are supposed to try (even though they can't achieve it completely) to behave as Jesus would, or would want them to.

I also wonder if Ms. Coulter wants to force everyone in the world to become a Christian? That's very un-Christian too. As I understand it, Jesus wants each individual to come to him of their own free will. Ms. Coulter sounds like a tyrannical terrorist when she makes statements like that.

So, I guess that Ann Coulter isn't a Christian, at least not by what she says. But then, all things considered, neither is King George II, although he claims to have been "born again."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sweet Memories of Susan . . . a poem

How I ache at the loss of you.
But, oh, the memories that I keep.
How I hate you for becoming my enemy,
Taking from me that which was sweet.

Never more shall I hold you, hear you,
See you, smell you . . . or taste your lips.
Never more shall I dream of you and me
And Bunny Ranch. That's gone now; rest in peace.

But I have my memories,
Slightly tinged with bitter over the sweet.
I have my memories still,
Which, overall, are good and I shall always keep.

Oh Susan my love! Oh Susan my enemy!
How I hate you, but mostly, oh, how I love you,
And ache with memories of other times;
Memories that are happy; memories that are sweet.

(February 1998)

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Foundation for True Personal Freedom and Liberty

In the news today, reported several times in an hour on several news programs, was a report how the king of Arabia pardoned a 19-year-old woman. She had been sentenced to six months in jail and 200 lashes* (upped from 90 lashes because she appealed her sentence and, according to the Saudi Justice Department, tried to use the media to sway the court). The woman was a married woman. She met with a man who was not from her family. She was not escorted by a male member of her family. In Arabia, as in most of the strict Muslim nations, that act was tantamount to adultery. She was seen in the car of the man she met and she was taken by several men and raped. The Saudi court, following religious law, said that she instigated the rape by her immoral actions of meeting with the man in the first place.

We in the West think that the punishment was wrong . . . completely and absolutely wrong. But then we believe in something that the Saudis don't and that the Muslim religion disagrees with: women are people in their own right and not the possessions of their husbands, or their fathers, or some other male member of their family if not married. The Muslim world is ruled by the Muslim religion . . . and men.

In the West we also believe in something that the Muslims don't: the principle of individual, or inalienable rights. At least most Western governments, the United States included, give the principle of individual rights lip service. (Quite often what is taught in schools and what the politicians and leaders say is different from what laws they pass and enforce, as we shall see, below.)

The Muslims believe that it is okay for a man, if he can afford it, to have as many as four wives. We believe that is immoral. We believe that it is okay to make, sell, and drink alcoholic beverages. The Muslim religion, and therefore the laws of their governments, such as in Saudi Arabia, believe that is immoral and strictly forbid alcohol, punishing severely anyone caught making it, selling it, or drinking it.

Because I am a product, if you will, of the West, I believe that our tradition of individual rights, when it is actually upheld, is the only logical and correct way for a society to be truly free, with liberty and justice for all. There is a problem, however, as I have indicated. Quite often the principle of individual, or inalienable rights is only given lip service. The so-called war on drugs is an important example of the violation of the rights of otherwise honest citizens by the government.

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that there is no definite legal--or socially accepted--definition of what an inalienable right is. That is why I have proposed my own definition:
Any and all non-violent, non-coerced, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm others or their property, that is not a direct and immediate threat to others and their property, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance is an inalienable right.

Therefore, if a person grows, sells, or uses, say, marijuana, that is that person's right. The government, of course, has the legitimate power to regulate the growing, selling, and even use . . . to some extent, as it does with alcohol and tobacco. And this right extends to all of the presently illegal drugs, also.

I should not have to remind you that alcohol is a true narcotic drug. It is also the drug that (the mere use of which) causes about 50% of all violent crimes, including murders. And its abuse by pregnant women causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the greatest cause of retardation in newborns. Yet this drug is legal and marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and so forth, are illegal. Those drugs, combined, the mere use of them, doesn't cause one-tenth the problems that alcohol does. And tobacco is even worse (in terms of premature deaths per year, medical costs, lost work time, and so forth). Yet they are legal.

Well, in Saudi Arabia it is legal for a man to have four wives. It is legal to kill a woman who has committed adultery . . . or even fornication. Several years ago one of the Saudi princesses was caught in a sexual affair with a man. She was not married. She was condemned and publicly beheaded . . . so was her lover. Does that shock and disgust you? It should. But there are people in the United States who have not violated any one's rights either and they are on death row, or serving life in prison, or just serving 20 to 30 years . . . for non-violent, non-coerced, non-larcenous, consensual adult drug behavior. That should shock and disgust you too. It should shock and disgust you that our supposedly free and liberty-loving nation, the people of it, allow the government to pass laws that violate the rights of otherwise honest people.

You don't have to agree that using certain drugs or substances is moral, but to agree to allow the government to put people in prison for using them is immoral also. Vices aren't crimes. The use of "recreational" drugs is a vice; that includes alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, and heroin, among others. If you say that it is right that heroin sellers and users should go to prison, then what about the alcohol and tobacco makers and users, as those two drugs are much, much more harmful to indviduals than the presently illegal ones. And I wish to make it clear that I am talking only about adults, never minors. Besides, under a system of regulated re-legalization it would be harder for minors to obtain the drugs that are now illegal but available nearly everywhere and anywhere by anyone who wants to buy them, adults or minors. .

If we don't have a solid foundation on which to place the principle of inalienable rights (such as my definition), then we are no better than the Saudis and the other religiously-ruled Muslim nations. If a person does not have the right to use his or her body and mind in any way he or she chooses, where such use does not violate the rights of others, even if it brings a person to ruin (as alcohol does to so many), then we are not truly free and do not truly have our liberty. We only have the right to do whatever the government allows us to do. And that is not acceptable to me. I hope with all my heat that it is not acceptable to you either. Remember, America, the so-called land of the free, with only 5% of the world's population, has 25% of the world's imprisoned population. We have over two million people in our prisons and jails, nearly half of whom are there for drug behavior that did not violate the rights of others. That is an outrage and an obscenity . . . but it is legal.

* Two hundred lashes, administered with a proper whip and as they are supposed to be administered, can and, quite often, will kill the recipient of the lashes, especially a 19-year-old woman.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Few Words by Micheal Crichton on Global Warming

How many of you knew that Micheal Crichton, the famous novelist, had graduated from Harvard Medical School and that he was a "fellow" at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, after having finished his doctoral thesis? What does that mean? It means that he is well studied in scientific method. He's not just some loony writer who spouts his mouth off about controversial subjects.

Here is some of what he said in a speech he gave in 2003 about global warming and weather predictions:

Nobody believes a weather prediction twelve hours ahead. Now we're being asked to believe a prediction that goes out 100 years into the future? And make financial investments based on that prediction? Has everybody lost their minds?

Let's think back to people in 1900 in, say, New York. If they worried about people in 2000, what would they worry about? Probably: Where would people get enough horses? And what would they do about all the horseshit? Horse pollution was bad in 1900, think how much worse it would be a century later, with so many more people riding horses?

But of course, within a few years, nobody rode horses except for sport. And in 2000, France was getting 80% its power from an energy source that was unknown in 1900. Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Japan were getting more than 30% from this source, unknown in 1900. Remember, people in 1900 didn't know what an atom was. They didn't know its structure. They also didn't know what a radio was, or an airport, or a movie, or a television, or a computer, or a cell phone, or a jet, an antibiotic, a rocket, a satellite, an MRI, ICU, IUD, IBM, IRA, ERA, EEG, EPA, IRS, DOD, PCP, HTML, internet. interferon….

Now. You tell me you can predict the world of 2100. Tell me it's even worth thinking about. Our models just carry the present into the future. They're bound to be wrong. Everybody who gives a moment's thought knows it."

The above was quoted in an excellent article entitled Diagnosing Al Gore: Truth in Balance, by Mary Ellen Tiffany Gilder. You might want to read that article and look around the site a bit. (I had the URL here, but it no longer works, but if you type "Diagnosing Al Gore" into your search bar, you should come up with "Diagnosing Al Gore: Truth in the Balance - Man Made Global Warming." This is a "siteweave.net" site and by clicking on the title you should get to the article. Then, on the right, in the blue box, click on "Unlikely CO2 . . . ." and go to the bottom of that section for the Michael Crichton quote.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Obedience or Support: Adult, Child, or Slave

In the essay Personal Responsibility under Dictatorship, by Hannah Arendt (found in her book Responsibility and Judgment), Arendt states:

The only domain where the word [obedience] could possibly apply to adults who are not slaves is the domain of religion, in which people say that they obey the word or command of God because the relationship between God and men can rightly be seen in terms similar to the relation between adult and child.

Arendt was discussing the difference between "obeying" and "supporting" a person, idea, principle, or law in a political and moral context. To obey is to suggest you are a slave (or a child). To support is to say that you agree and go along with whatever it is that is being asked or demanded of you.

Therefore, to obey a law that violated the rights of others, when you are neither a slave or a child, means that you must support that law . . . or you have lost the ability to think logically, along with your moral compass.

With that in mind, do you obey, that is, support the anti-drug-use laws where the imbibing of a narcotic drug (alcohol) is seen a socially acceptable and legal, but the inhaling of the smoke of a marijuana cigarette is seen as criminal and morally wrong. The use of alcohol or marijuana (among other drugs) does not, in and of itself, violate the rights of others. Yet the rights of a marijuana smoker can be violated by his or her arrest, confiscation of property, and loss of care of his or her children, as well as imprisonment; all for not violating the rights of others.

The government is not God. It is supposed to be a secular organization dedicated to the protection of rights and not the purveyor of correct moral standards where no one's rights are being violated by other private citizens. The war on drugs, the anti-drug-use laws are the greatest quasi-religious violation of the rights of all adult citizens of the United States in the history of this once great nation. And the majority of those citizens support this violation of rights.

Drug War Facts

One of the sites that I have saved in my "favorites" is Drug War Facts. Here are a few of the facts that everyone should know.

A U.S. Department of Justice report, dated April of 1998, indicated that "for more than 40% of convicted murderers being held in either jail or State prison, alcohol use was a factor in the crime." Paragraph 16, of the Drug War Facts regarding crime. Also read paragraph 1 and see the chart about the rise and fall of murder in the U.S. It is directly related to prohibition--of alcohol, in the 1920's, and of other drugs, from the 1970's to the present.

In another Drug War Facts report, on alcohol (from the same U.S.D.J. report as above), it stated that "[o]n an average day in 1996, an estimated 5.3 million convicted offenders were under the supervision of criminal justice authorities. Nearly 40% of these offenders, about 2 million, had been using alcohol at the time of the offense for which they were convicted. That is at paragraph 3, but also see paragraph 4.

Finally, from Drug War Facts, in a report about annual causes of deaths, the chart shows that the three leading causes of premature death in the U.S. are: Tobacco at 435,000, Poor Diet and Physical Inactivity at 365,000, and Alcohol at 85,000. The figure given for All Illicit Drug Use, Direct and Indirect is 17,000.

I have a bit of a problem with the above figures. It is not clear, but I believe that I am right when I say, that the figure for alcohol should be increased by at least 8,000, as the number of verifiable homicides committed by people who had been drinking when they committed their crime is 40%. (Just check the links I gave you and you can see that this is true.) Therefore, the figure for alcohol should be, at the very least, 93,000. (But a CATO report from 1989, Policy Analysis 121, Thinking about Drug Legalization, by James Ostrowski [May 25, 1989], puts the deaths from alcohol per year at 200,000. Click on the link and go to Table 4 and sub paragraph b.)

Then there is the fact that the figure for all drug use includes deaths not caused by the mere use of the drugs, but by the effects of trying to prevent their manufacture, sales, and use: murders, as well as, HIV and hepatitis infections mainly. So the 17,000 could be several thousands less were those drugs to be re-legalized.

In any case, it is extremely clear that the two legal drugs, alcohol and tobacco, are several times more harmful than the presently illegal ones when it comes to just premature deaths per year. The combined figure for alcohol and tobacco, in deaths per year, is 435,000 plus 93,000 (my adjusted figure for alcohol), or 528,000 versus 17,000 (but probably less). This means that alcohol and tobacco use are 31 times more harmful than the presently illegal drugs.

If the purpose of government is to be our parent and religious/personal moral standards leader (which it most definitely is not) and to protect us from our own bad choices (bad being a subjective word), then why doesn't Big Daddy Government ban the two most harmful drugs--more harmful by far--instead of spending billions and billions of your tax dollars on the much, much less harmful drugs?

But more, if you and I, as adults, have right to use and even abuse two such harmful drugs as alcohol and tobacco (just so long as we do not violate the rights of others in so using or abusing), then why don't we have an equal right to use or abuse the other, less harmful drugs (again, just so long as we do not violate the rights of others)? The so-called war on drugs is not about drugs, it is about the violation of the rights of otherwise honest adults to chose how to live their lives, whether for better or worse, without the illegitimate interference of a quasi-religious government trying to force us to be moral by the standards of some of the people. That is tantamount to the government saying to me and you that we must go to a particular church, even though we don't practice that faith.

And you thought that we were a nation of personal freedom and true liberty.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Mixed Bag

I recently came across two U.S. Supreme Court cases (I'm editing a book on ineffective assistance of counsel) in which the defendants were convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Also, they both suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome. For the uninitiated, alcohol abuse by pregnant women and the resulting fetal alcohol syndrome is the number one cause of retardation in newborns. I have never heard of or seen anything that could point to marijuana as having such a damning and damaging effect. But, of course, alcohol is legal, marijuana isn't. Which just goes to show once again that legal cannot be equated with justice. Fifty percent or more of federal prisoners are in prison for marijuana law violations. Producers and sellers of alcohol, in the mean time, are considered honest, honorable, upstanding citizens.

When an idea is promoted by politicians and other influential people, especially if it gets enacted into law, and the public--trusting souls that they are--believe that, because the government has adopted this idea, it must be right and good, they take to it as if it was written in stone . . . even if it is a bad idea . . . and it is all but impossible to stop it. (Examples: The war on drugs, welfare, nationalized medicine (coming soon), and that the government must restrict your liberty in order to ensure your security.)

If you, as an individual, choose to eat a poor diet and live an unhealthy lifestyle, including smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages, and if you become seriously ill years later because of your choices, whose fault is it? And do your neighbors, through their taxes, have an obligation to pay your medical bill, in full or in part. You have the right to harm yourself. I have the right to refuse to help you when you do. Or, as a wise man once said, "let them die in the desert." (He was organizing a bike tour from Phoenix to Tucson and had made detailed maps and instruction when one of his helpers suggested that some people might need to have a real person at a couple of the junctions in order to keep them from getting lost.)

I believe that all sex should be consensual. What to I mean by that? I mean that the people involved (masturbation is, by definition, a consensual act) should be old enough, mature enough, and knowledgeable enough to understand the emotional as well as the physical risks, and accept those risks. By this definition some fifteen-year-olds could have consensual sex, and some fifty-year-olds could not.

the Golden Compass is catching some static from the religious community, especially the Catholics. That's a bit hypocritical. The Bible clearly states that we (the believers in the Bible as the word of God) are not to have "graven images." I've seen enough "good" Catholics praying to statues to know that they are idolaters. And, as to Narnia, written by C. S. Lewis, who was a Christian apologist, well, to have animals portrayed as being human-like, speaking, reasoning, and so forth, also goes against the teachings of the Bible. But this is all about fantasy and emotion--which is a good definition of religion. For a little logic, you might want to ask yourself what the good lion king in Narnia ate. After all, lions are pure carnivores. They must eat meat to survive. So which of his subjects did he eat when he was hungry?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Old Nonsense From the U.S. Supreme Court

I am proofreading a legal book about ineffective assistance of counsel. I was checking on some quotations from Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), when I came across the following in the majority opinion: "Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them." 384 U.S. at 491.

I call this nonsense for the following reason. The principle of inalienable rights (which is merely given lip service at all levels of government) should mean that a person actually and completely owns the property of his or her body and mind. That would mean that a person could use that property as he or she wants, just so long as in so doing that person does not violate the rights of others. That means, as adults (minors do not have full adult rights) a person should be able to use any chemical substance or drug he or she wishes--for any reason--if not violating the rights of others in so doing. Yet the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the laws that prohibits the manufacture, sales, and use of certain chemicals and drugs; laws that violate the inalienable rights of otherwise honest adults; the above Supreme Court quote notwithstanding.

Oh, and did I mention that the legal drugs, alcohol and nicotine, cause between 40 and 50 times more harm--disease, disability, and death--than all the illegal drugs combined? Or that the use of alcohol is the number one cause of both violent crimes and retardation in newborns? None of that matters because they are legal, whatever that means. One thing it doesn't mean is just.

Never confuse the fact that legality and justice do not equate. Otherwise, why would nearly one-half of our prison population, nearly one million people, be incarcerated for drug related activity? The vast majority of those people did not violate anyone's rights with their drug behavior. What they did was to offend the moral and religious beliefs of people who were able to get their beliefs enacted into secular law. That is not justice and it should be illegal.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

And Now, a Word From an Expert about Anti-Drug Legislation

Stop the War is an article that Joseph D. McNamara, former Police Chief of San Jose, California with 35 years of police experience, wrote for The Washington Post, Sunday, May 19, 1996.

Here are some excerpts from that article.

Most Americans are startled to hear that until the passage of the Harrison Act in 1914, drug use was viewed as a medical and social problem and was not against the criminal law. There was no billion-dollar black market. No violent drug trade No widespread official corruption. No widespread disrespect for drug laws. Drug users went to their doctors if they needed treatment.

There were drug problems. In fact, around the turn of the century large numbers of housewives were addicted to opium. Nerve medicine for women, containing opium, was sold across the counter at drug stores. Other addictive substances were sold as patent medicines. Gradually. the medical profession became more aware of the addictive nature of some drugs and supported the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, which required labeling and warnings for habit-forming substances.

That law was a civil one; it did not criminalize drug users. It is instructive. The number of addicts and users was greatly reduced by educating them, not by arresting them.

Criminalizing drugs in the United States was a remarkable change in public policy. But it wasn't the police who were lobbying for the passage of the Harrison Act, which was the cornerstone of increasingly punitive laws against drug users and sellers. The Protestant missionary societies in China, the Women's Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League and other organized religions were the prime movers. In their view, drug use was sinful and people had to be saved from their baser instincts. In effect, they managed to get their version of sin enacted into the penal code, an old habit of power elites in America.

This view of drug users as criminals continues to haunt us and makes rational political debate impossible. It is too appealing for politicians to picture themselves as the good guys fighting evil.


Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman, doing a comparative analysis with homicide rates during Prohibition, estimated that as many as 10,000 murders a year are caused by the illegality of drugs. In addition, corruption of law enforcement, the legal profession and even the armed forces related to drug money is spreading.

That last paragraph is significant because the government figures for deaths from drugs for all causes is between 16,000 and 20,000 per year. If 10,000 are drug-law-related murders, that means that only 6,000 to 10,000 deaths per year are related to the mere use of the presently illegal drugs. Compare that to the 85,000 to 100,000 people dying prematurely due to the use of alcohol, or the more than 400,000 from the use of tobacco. And yet we, as taxpayers, are allowing the government to scare us, and lie to us, and to violate our inalienable rights, and use our money to the tune of anywhere from 50 billion to 100 billion dollars a year to try and stop the 6,000 to 10,000 deaths per year caused by the mere use of certain drugs. (If drugs were re-legalized, like the re-legalization of alcohol in 1933, the murders related to the drug prohibition would stop, as they did after the alcohol prohibition.)

I'm not saying that 6,000 to 10,000 people that misuse drugs (alcohol plus heroin is the usual cause of "heroin overdose" deaths) are to be dismissed out of hand. But compared to the extremely greater amount of deaths caused by the legal drugs alcohol and nicotine, they shrink into insignificance. Besides, adults are supposed to have inalienable rights. That means that they own the property of their bodies and their minds and have a "right" to use them as they wish, even if in so using them it causes them harm or death. That's what true personal liberty and freedom is all about. Otherwise, the government would have the legitimate power to ban all activities that might cause people harm or death . . . like driving race cars, climbing mountains, skiing, swimming, or just the daily commute.

If you don't like a person's personal moral beliefs or lifestyle, you can't force that person to stop or change, unless that person has harmed you or your property, or is a direct and immediate threat to you or your property. Merely snorting cocaine or smoking marijuana, or injecting heroin does not rise to the level of harming or endangering others. And if you, as a private individual can't force someone to change their lifestyle, then the government can't either. The government derives its proper power from the people. If the people don't have it, the government can't have it.

But that is just so much boring political history, brought to us by the Founding Fathers of this nation, who would be shocked insensible at the amount of government interference that now exists in the lives of otherwise honest, self-supporting citizens . . . and is tolerated by them.

Wake up America. The government has become a tyranny.

My question to you, America, is why are you allowing this b.s. to continue. And why do you believe that religious beliefs should be the basis of our secular laws and secular government. I, and millions like me, don't worship at that church.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Individual Liberty v. Government Force

"[T]he police must obey the law while enforcing the law; that in the end life and liberty can be as much endangered from illegal methods used to convict those thought to be criminals as from the actual criminals themselves." Spano v. New York, 360 U.S. 315, 320-21 (1959). So said the United States Supreme Court in 1959.

Where are we today with the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, cellphone tracking, and so forth? When a government, in the name of security, destroys liberty, as our Founding Fathers knew, you will have tyranny. You will have tyranny because the type of person who wants to be in government, in control, is not the kind of person to be trusted out of your sight. All people are weak in one way or another, or in many ways. The desire to attain power over others is one of those weaknesses, one that will lead, eventually, if unchecked, to an absolute and complete tyranny over the people.

You don't believe me? Julius Caesar took the Romans from republic to tyranny. Lenin and Stalin change one tyranny, the rule of the Czar, for another, the rule of the "party members." Hitler, slowly and legally, changed Germany from a relatively safe and sane country into a tyrannous and paranoid regime. This desire to control and to be powerful is an addiction, from the level of the policeman in the street, city alderman, state or national legislator, or prime minister or president of a nation. Power is a seductive drug that few, given the opportunity, can resist.

It is not a matter of if America develops a totally tyrannous government. It is only a matter of when it will happen. Remember, to govern means to control. How much control by a politician or government bureaucrat do you need? How much will you put up with before you openly and vehemently protest? And will it be too late then?

Now here are a couple of quotes by two wise people:

"Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." Ben Franklin

But there is more. I started out with a U.S. Supreme Court quote. I want to now briefly mention, along with individual liberty, the antiquated and no longer supported principle of inalienable rights. The anti-drug laws that the U.S. Supreme Court upholds fully and without hesitation, violate the rights of otherwise honest people who wish to make or sell, certain chemical substances, natural or synthetic, or merely use them in a mind-altering, recreational manner.

The vast majority of the people who use these drugs do not violate the rights of others due to the mere use of these drugs. Almost all of the violence surrounding drug use (alcohol excepted, of course) is due to the laws making them illegal. In the last part of the 19Th Century and the first part of the 20Th Century, these drugs were legally available (and inexpensive), but there was no, I repeat, no criminal justice problem associated with their use . . . and addiction rates were dropping as more people were becoming aware of their addictive nature.

The drug war is a direct violation of the inalienable rights of adults and yet the U.S. Supreme Court upholds those rights-violating laws (which are based on religious and personal moral beliefs). The U.S. Supreme Court, in the mid-19Th Century, also upheld the vile and rights violating institution of slavery. It upheld the Fugitive Slave Act, which allowed slave owners to go into "free" states and capture runaway slaves. It also made criminal anyone helping slaves to run a way from their evil incarceration.

Slavery in general and the Fugitive Slave Act in particular were evil and they violated the rights of people, yet they were legal and the Supreme Court upheld this evilness because it was legal. So, when you think of the Supreme Court decision that are being handed down today, think: justice or legal? Because what is legal quite often does not equal justice.

I will leave you with a couple more quotes:

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." Thomas Jefferson

"It is true that, in the United States, at least, we have a constitution that imposes strict limits on some powers of the government. But, as we have discovered in the past century, no constitution can interpret or enforce itself; it must be interpreted by men. And if the ultimate power to interpret a constitution is given to the government’s own Supreme Court, then the inevitable tendency is for the Court to continue to place its imprimatur on ever-broader powers for its own government." Murray Rothbard.

Think about it, okay? That's all I ask you to do.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Puzzle me this, Christians: An ancient meaning for the word "lucifer"--a pre-Christian meaning--was "light bringer", referring to Venus, the morning "star."

One who brings the light. The light for what? Merely the precursor to the sun? Perhaps. But also, remember that Prometheus, a Titan in Greek mythology (as opposed to Christian mythology) brought light (fire) to mankind . . . and was punished forever for that act.

Christians call the great evil by several names. Among them are Lucifer, Satan, and Devil, or rather, "the Devil." But from where did the Devil come.

Again, Christians belief that their God created the universe and everything in it. They also believe that their God is all-powerful and all-knowing. Ergo, their God created the Devil, knowingly--because to have create "it" without knowing would logically mean that said God wasn't all-knowing. Ergo, the Christian God created what we call evil. Or, in the alternative, the Christian God is not all-knowing and all-powerful . . . so then what else is it not?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Something from the introduction of my "52 Perverse Questions"

Most people have a hard time dealing directly with sexual issues in a logical manner, especially when it comes to their own sexuality. Here is a question of logic for you to answer. Would the Creator God (assuming such a thing exists) have made humans to be so sexual for no reason whatsoever? How sexual are humans? Both men and women have a great capacity for sexual enjoyment, in many different ways, from many different people…or objects…and, yes, even from animals. Women do not have a sexual “season”. If approached in the right way by the right person, a woman will have sex at any time of the day or night, any time of the week, month, or year. A woman may even initiate such action. Women have a great capacity to enjoy a lot of sex in many ways and they have this wonderful ability to have multiple orgasms. (However, having the ability and having the desire, are two different things.) Men, of course, are ready to have sex whenever and where ever they can find it. And, unlike most mammals, most men when in their prime can have sex every day, sometimes more than once a day, for weeks or months or years on end. Also, human males, pound for pound, tend to have the largest penises of almost all, if not in fact all, mammals. * So why, then, would a Creator God tell us (through his priestly minions on Earth) that sex between one man and one woman, who are married, in which they participate only in face-to-face, penile-vaginal sex, and only for procreation and not pleasure, is proper and correct sex…if you have to do it at all. Now that’s perverse!

If sex didn’t feel good and we weren’t supposed to have sex except to have babies, then we wouldn’t have overpopulation and six billion plus people on this planet. So why did the alleged Creator God create us with the ability to enjoy sex so much and then tell us that we shouldn’t do it except under certain restricted circumstances? That’s illogical…unless the message was garbled in the translation from God-Talk to human-talk, and the real message was that we were supposed to enjoy sex as much as we can, but that we are supposed to be careful; don’t cause unwanted pregnancies, don’t pass diseases around, don’t harm other people in our sexual urges, and be responsible for our actions and their consequences. Of course, there could be another explanation; that there is no creator god and that we have to learn these things by using our logical brains.

* The blue whale is the largest mammal alive today. By the best estimates of scientists, a male’s erect penis can reach a length of six and a half feet, or 78 inches. Blue whales can reach weights of up to 150 tons, but for this analysis I will use a weight of 130 tons, or 260,000 pounds. A thoroughbred stallion of 1,200 pounds can have an erect penis length of 30 inches. A human male of 200 pounds can have an erect penis length of 6 inches. (There are men with penis lengths much greater, but 6 inches is a good average. I have also seen photos of men with penis circumferences that rival or exceed those of many horses.) If we divide the penis length in inches by pounds, we can establish ratios for comparative penis size of these three mammals.

• 78 divided by 260,000 = 0.0003
• 30 divided by 1,200 = 0.025
• 6 divided by 200 = 0.03

The larger the number, the greater the penis size is in relation to the body weight. (And 0.03, three-hundredths, is one hell of a lot bigger than 0.0003, three-ten-thousandths.) If we use the human male’s ratio number as a whole number and adjust the other two numbers to it, then for humans, horses, and blue whales we have a comparative ratio of 3 to 2.4 to 0.03. As we can see, even though the blue whale has the largest actual penis, by far, it has an incredibly small erect penis length as a ratio to its body weight. That would be like the human male having an erect penis length of 0.06 inches, six-hundredths of an inch (0.06 divided by 200 = 0.0003). And, our human male also beat out the stallion in comparative erect penis length. So ask yourself this: Why would a creator god create a human male with such a comparatively large erect penis, from which he can derive so much enjoyment, and then tell him not to use it except in the most restricted of circumstances? (Male gorillas, which are much more massive than human males, effectively breed their females with a penis that only averages one and a half inches in length.) You should also know that a healthy, mature stud (stallion), in a good breeding season and in a natural setting, such as in a pasture or field, may breed between 25-30 mares. It will then need a long break—like until next year—and be glad for it. Hell, when I was 35, I met and fell in love with a woman and shortly thereafter we were living together. We had sex nearly every night, or day, sometimes more than once a day, for at least a year before we slowed down…slowed down, not stopped. And I am sure that there are men out there who have done even better—if sex more than once a day for a year is better.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Koyaanisqatsi is a Hopi (Indian) word for a world turned upside down, or something very close to that. (By the way, when I use the word "Indian" I am referring to the first inhabitants of the Americas -- North, Central, and South. I an not referring to a people who were better than the Europeans who came later, just different.)

So why is the world turned upside down? Because your government (I learned years ago that the U.S. Government was not mine by choice) continues to do really illogical and stupid things.

Recently in the news, the U.S. Sentencing Commission decided to reduce the penalties for "crack" cocaine, making it more equal to "regular" cocaine. (The physiological effects upon the body is no different.) And now they want to make the reduction in prison sentences retroactive. The Bush administration is strenuously objecting. They are saying that the, approximately, 20,000 inmates in federal prison (this will not affect state prisoners) are "hardcore" drug dealers and this would be a community disaster to let them out all at once.

First of all, they won't all be let out at once. It's just a bit more complicated than that . . . and the Bushies know that. But second, and more importantly, those now in prison for "crack" cocaine (or any of the presently illegal drugs) by and large did not violate the rights of others while selling their drugs. How can something be a (secular) "crime" if no one's rights are violated? That sounds like a religious law to me. And, of course, that is the basis of the so-called war on drugs: a religious (or personal moral issues--which is just another way of saying religion) war on those who believe in the right to the full and complete ownership of their bodies and their minds. And, if we do actually own our bodies and mind, then, under the principle of inalienable rights, we can use drugs (as adults--minors do not have full adult rights) if we so desire.

The vast majority of all the violence involved in the manufacture and sales of the presently illegal drugs is due to their illegality. Once (over 100 years ago) they were not illegal and there was no criminal justice problems associated with their use, unlike alcohol, a true narcotic drug, the very use of which causes the majority of all violent crimes. Also, 100 years ago, as people were becoming more aware of the addictive nature of those drugs, and with the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act, which mandated listing addictive drugs on the labels of products for human consumption, addiction rates were going down.

Okay, so far? Then, on "Fox and Friends" (Thursday, 8 November 2007), Sean "Diddy" Combs was promoting his new product, a specialty vodka. Vodka is an alcoholic beverage and alcohol is (as stated above) a true narcotic drug. It is addictive, its use causes the majority of violent crime; its use is the number one cause of retardation in newborns, and there are millions of people who are addicted or who have serious problems due to alcohol. The premature death rate because of the use of alcohol is around 100,000 per year. (All illegal drugs is under 10,000--government figures of 15,000--and at least half of those are due to the violence caused by the war on drugs.)

So, as I said, this is a world turned upside down, where the inalienable rights of adults are openly violated by the government and very few people stand up and protest the tyranny of our moral masters. And, also, a narcotic drug that causes far more harm than all of the presently illegal drugs--in spite of the violence caused by their illegality--is promoted on a respected morning news program.

Koyaanisqatsi! In spades!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Lesson Learned

Many years ago I had a friend who was put in federal prison for not violating the rights of others. He made a friend of a young man from Nepal who was also in prison for not violating the rights of others. One morning at breakfast, the man from Nepal exclaimed: "Meat, eggs, milk, cheese, fruit, vegetables, every day. I tell you, if I didn't have a family waiting for me at home I would do it again."

He was serving five years in federal prison for attempting to smuggle heroin into the country. He had made one successful trip and had been able to build most of his house for his family. The second trip was to finish the job.

We, in America, are used to "meat, eggs, milk, cheese, fruit, vegetables, every day" but the vast majority of the people in the world don't have it as good (food-wise) as the average prisoner in America.

Soon it will be Thanksgiving Day. Think about it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sugar v. Cocaine

Scientists have recently proven that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. In an article in the Los Angeles Times (I saw it in The Fresno Bee, Sunday, November 11, 2007) it said: "Researchers have learned that rats overwhelmingly prefer water sweetened with saccharin to cocaine . . . ."

Now, with the "obesity epidemic" that's going on in America, with the related health costs due to obesity, of which taxpayers are having to pick up the bill where private insurance leaves off--and considering that so many people are un- or under-insured, that is probably a rather large bill--it's time for the federal government to do the right thing: make sugar a prohibited substance.

Let's face it, sugar is in every prepared food that you buy: sugar, malt, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, etc. The processed food industry has addicted the American people and it is causing a health crisis. It has to stop, now. JUST SAY NO TO SUGAR!

What do you think? If we run it up the ol' flagpole, will people salute it? Hell, they took in the "drug use is immoral and causes crime" b.s., hook, line, and sinker, they should go for this one too. Oops! I forgot. When the government, due to religious pressure, started the war on drugs in 1914, there was no multi-billion dollar a year cocaine, heroin, or cannabis industry to lobby Congress, like the multi-billion dollar a year processed food industry.

Ah well. It was a thought. Might have saved a lot of pain, suffering, and premature deaths by banning sugar. It would have worked too, just like the war on drugs has stopped drug manufacturing, sales, and use in the good ol' U.S. of A.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Evils of Government

I'm a Libertarian and I know that the so-called war on drugs is evil. This does not mean that I am suggesting that everyone, or even anyone, should use drugs in a recreational manner. Drug use for non-medical purposes is a decision that each adult has the right to make. It's called an inalienable right. Any behavior, by an adult, that is done alone or with other consenting adults, and that does not violate the rights of your fellow citizens, especially if done in private and on private property is your right because you exist. If this is not true then inalienable rights do not exist and we are at the mercy of our governmental moral masters.

Think about the following. Marijuana is an illegal drug. Growing it, selling it, and possessing it (in kilo or more quantities) can get you serious jail time. Still, it can be, has been, and is now being used for some very good medical purposes. Also, there is no record of anyone dying from using marijuana. (I suppose if one smoked it constantly, like tobacco cigarettes, one could or would develop some of the same illnesses . . . but who, other than seriously socially and emotionally retarded people, does that?)

Then examine tobacco use. It is widely accepted that over 400,000 people a year die prematurely from using that substance--nicotine being the addictive drug. Most people think of tobacco related-disease and they think of cancer. But over 100,000 heart attack deaths are caused by the nicotine in the tobacco. (35 milligrams of pure nicotine, injected into your vein, will stop your heart instantly upon reaching it.) And then there is the second-hand smoke issue, that is, causing disease and death to non-consenting others.

Tobacco has no redeeming value. You don't even get "high" from smoking it. You only continuously take in tiny addictive amounts of nicotine, thereby keeping you addicted. With marijuana, if you are not taking it for a legitimate medical reason, at least you can enjoy an altered state of mind, one of the hallmarks of being a human, with a history that goes back many thousands of years.

So with tobacco being so bad and marijuana being--if not so good, then not nearly so bad as tobacco--why does the federal government extort taxpayers to pay tobacco subsidies? From 1995 to 2005 $530 million taxpayer dollars were paid to support this evil weed.

We have people in prison for the wonderful weed marijuana and evil legislators still supporting both tobacco and the war on drugs. That is what I mean by "the evils of government." To govern means to control. How much control do you need by a politician or a government bureaucrat?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

What is an inalienable right?

Perhaps I should not ask what is an inalienable right, but rather, how do you recognize it?

I have given this a lot of thought over a long period of time. A few years ago I came up with what I thought was a good definition of how to define or recognize inalienable rights. This, of course, only applies to people who believe in these mythical things and to governments who uphold them . . . which is exactly zero governments in the world.

Here is my definitions of inalienable rights:

Any and all non-violent, non-coerced, 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.

That means there is a whole lot of behavior that us rightfully yours, if you wish to participate in it, but which is now considered illegal.

I think that my definition is pretty much self-explanatory. "Disturbing the peace" would mean, more-or-less, making loud noises and/or commotions that would not normally be legally licensed or normally expected in the place and/or at the time that such noise or commotion would be made, thereby disturbing the tranquility, quiet, or peace that people living in those places would normally expect.

Creating a "public nuisance" requires that whatever the nuisance is, it must be done in public, not in private, out of sight of the public, and especially if done on private property. My dictionary defines "nuisance" (legally) as "something offensive or annoying to individuals or the community." I think I need to define it a bit more definitely, as there are many things and many people that some would find to be offensive or annoying, but should be perfectly legal by right, as those things or behaviors do not harm or endanger other people or their property. (Many years ago, I wore quite long hair and a full beard. I was verbally accosted on more than one occasion by people who found my appearance to be offensive or annoying.)

Therefore, a "nuisance" should be defined as a thing or a behavior that has the potential to physically harm people or property, or disrupts the normal flow of traffic (foot or vehicular), or is a public display of behavior that would deeply offend the religious and personal moral sensibilities of a large percentage of the citizens subjected to the behavior such that they would avoid the (public) area where the behavior is being done (disruption of traffic) and not allow their children to be exposed to it. Disturbing the peace would be considered a public nuisance too.

Therefore, naked dancing women, in public, could (and most likely would) be considered a "public nuisance" by many in your community. However, naked dancing women, on private property and behind closed doors is an inalienable right of adult women. And watching said naked dancing women is an inalienable right of all adults.

Playing your music so loud that it bothers your neighbors is "disturbing the peace." A band, booked into a local sports arena where loud noises are expected, is not disturbing the peace.

But mostly, my definition of an inalienable right has to do with behavior that will neither disturb the peace nor create a public nuisance. A Saturday night poker game where the participants agree to bet money on each hand. If all the participants are adults, no one is coerced to play, no violence is used, and no stealing is going on, and as long as the participants do not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, then it is their inalienable right to so gamble. If a person loses money in the game, but can't cover his bets (why accept them if the money is not on the table in a "friendly" game), then the loser could be taken to court.

The same can be said for using drugs other than alcohol in a mind-altering, or medicinal, or recreational way. Ditto for sex among consenting adults, with or without the transfer of money from one person to another.

Any behavior that adults, alone, or with consenting other adults, wish to participate in, as long as it does not violate the rights of others or directly and immediately threatens to violate the rights of others, is an inalienable right, but only if we are serious about the concept of such rights. Otherwise, we are left with either religions or governments (usually influenced by religions) telling us what we can and cannot do, even if what we want to do does not harm or threaten others. And then, as we are today, we are not fully and truly free. We are slaves or quasi-slaves to those who can punish us for behavior that does not meet their standards, even though said behavior does not violate the rights of others.

And, as I said above, there is not one nation on the face of the Earth that truly and fully respects and protects inalienable rights.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How Often Can We Be Fooled?

Abe Lincoln said: You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

I'm a "child" of the sixties. I had friends and acquaintances go off to the "police action" in Vietnam (Congress never declared it was a war!) to get killed, wounded, and psychologically impaired. What was that all about? Stopping communism? I don't think so. There had to be a monetary interest in there somewhere . . . a big monetary interest in order to get so many thousands of our young men killed.

I never believed that Iraq was an immediate and direct threat to the United States, with weapons of mass destruction . . . to be used against us, or anyone for that matter. So why are we there? It's big money again, you can bet your life on it.

Big government and big business are the modern personifications of evil. They are what the ancients called Satan. And we keep falling for it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Excerpts From My "52 Perverse Questions" Regarding Incest

Incest is universally banned and, it seems from research that I have done, universally practised. The incest that is most practised is fathers, brothers, or uncles coercing or forcing sex upon minor girls. That is a violation of the rights of that person and is a true crime and should be punished as such.

But what of consenting adults? What if you had a close relative--brother, sister, mother, father, uncle, or aunt--that you found to be sexually attractive and that person let you know that he or she felt the same way about you, would it be wrong to have sex with that person, to give and receive mutual physical pleasure? If you both were concerned about pregnancy and took all the precautions necessary to prevent it, would it be wrong, as adults who fully own the property of your bodies and mind, to have sex with such a close relative? If it is wrong, why is it wrong?

In my "test", 52 Perverse Questions (see side bar) I wrote a section (Section V: A Short Discussion About Incest) about this very subject. I am interested in right and wrong behavior and why it is considered right and wrong. I also try to be logical about what I write.

The following paragraphs are from Section V of my 52 Perverse Questions.

Richard A. Posner, in his book Sex and Reason (1992), at page 200, says this: “Sibling incest would be rare even if not prohibited, because persons brought up together from early childhood rarely find each other sexually attractive. . . . But some siblings are not brought up together, and others do not possess the avoidance instinct.” Almost all children who are “brought up together from early childhood rarely find each other sexually attractive.” This includes adoptive children; children not genetically related to each other or their parents.

As to early separation, where siblings, or children and their parents are separated when the child is at an early age, quite often there is no incest avoidance if they are reunited as adults. In fact, there can be the opposite effect, leading to consensual incestuous affairs. (Go to the website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_sexual_attration, where this is discussed more fully.)

As Richard Posner also pointed out in Sex and Reason, at page 200, regarding the need for laws prohibiting consensual adult incest and the probable fear that most incestuous couples would have about producing children, the “[i]mprovements in techniques of contraception and abortion thus have weakened the case for prohibiting incest.” If we are talking only about consenting adults—not forced or coerced adults, and definitely not minor children—then whether or not to have an incestuous affair is a protected right under the principle of inalienable rights.

Now, before you get outraged (probably too late for that, eh?) let's have a look at the Christians' holy book, the Bible. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. No mention was made of God creating a large breeding population of other people, so we have to assume--if the Bible is the Word Of God--that Adam and Eve had a bunch of children who all had incestuous sex in order to populate the world . . . not a peep out of God. The same with Noah, his wife, their sons their sons' wives, and the children they all had . . . incest city. Then there is Abraham and his wife Sarah, half brother and sister--same father, different mothers--yet God chose that incestuous couple to start the Hebrew ethnic group, which we now call Jews, and from whom the Christian God derives, yet their incest was not a problem to their God. And finally, here, there is Lot and his daughters getting it on in the wilderness after mom got made into a pillar of salt for merely looking back at Sodom and Gomorrah, but God allows the incest between Lot and his daughters? Very interesting.

So, from a religious historical point of view, incest isn't all that bad, eh. Well, I could go on about this subject, but you could just read Section V of my 52 Perverse Questions. It (52 Perverse Questions) is nearly 70 pages of interesting, and sometimes outrageous, questions, with an answer section, and sections on obscenity, rights, incest, and bestiality. So, how perverse are you? Check out the side bar to see how to get a copy of this work about using logic versus emotion to guide one through life.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Even More Success in the War on Drugs

An Associated Press article, printed in the October 25, 2007 Fresno Bee, caught my eye. The U.S. is to throw away....uh, spend even more money in the war against inalienable rights, a.k.a., the war on drugs.

Supposedly American taxpayers will now have to shell out 1.4 billion dollars "to help Mexico battle violent drug gangs." I have been saying for years, if the drugs weren't illegal, there wouldn't be any violent drug gangs, cartels, terrorists, etc.

The conventional stupidity is that if drugs weren't illegal, that is, if Big Daddy Government didn't protect us from ourselves and fight against the growth, processing, manufacture and sales of certain natural and synthetic substances, then all Americans would be drug addicts and the nation would be lost. What kind of idiots come up with that kind of idiocy? If that principle held true, then, since both alcohol and tobacco are legally available to adults, and addictive drugs, why isn't everyone in the U.S. a 3 pack a day cigarette smoking alcoholic?

In Mexico, most people, including most of the people in the police forces, don't care about the Norte Americano's drug use and problems. The average policeman only makes 500 dollars a month, and no, that's not very much money even in Mexico. Then, when they can make another 500 or 1000 dollars by protecting the drug dealers, well, guess what they will do? Also, the average person, including the policemen, knows that the really big corruption and money-making happens at the top, with the major political players. It's always been that way in Mexico. It probably always will. So, to the policeman on the street, taking a little mordida is only natural. If he ever expects to rise in the ranks, maybe go into a political career, he will have to know how to graciously accept bribes. If he never goes beyond being a police officer, why should he refuse the offer to live a (slightly) better than average life?

Abe Lincoln once said that you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. I just wonder how long it will be before the "some of the people" finally understand that the so-called war on drugs is a sham good only for scaring the public, building political careers, and for supporting a huge number of government employees and support personnel, all living at the taxpayers expense without producing any beneficial results and, in fact, by making life in American, on the streets, and in the homes, a much worse place. (Remember, America, the land of the free, is the number one jailer in the world. We have more people, actually and per capita, in jails and prisons that any other country in the world. Now isn't that something to be proud of, especially when nealy half of all prisoners are non-violent drug law offenders who were not violating the rights of others . . . which is how a crime should be defined.)

Give us back our right to full ownership of our bodies and our minds, as adults, and we will take care of ourselves, and no, all of us wil not become drug addicts. Most of us are strong enough and intelligent enough and able to handle our emotional stress, without using drugs to help us through the day. We have families and futures. Those that don't, or believe they don't will do the drugs anyway, regardless of all the laws against them. That's why, even in nations with the death penalty for drug dealers, there still are drug dealers.

But the real issue is this: If you truly own, as an adult, the property of your body and mind, then you have an inalienable right to use that property any way you wish, whether in so doing you harm yourself or not, just so long as you do not violate the rights of others. And that's what most drug users, even those who use the legal drug alcohol, do. And alcohol is the single most likely drug to cause violent behavior merely from its use. Whereas, with the presently illegal drugs, any violence associated with them is almost always because of their illegal status.

But why do I care. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Translation: You can show the people the truth but you can't make them believe it. Sorry, America, but you are going to hell in a hand basket of your own choosing. Enjoy the trip!

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Moral Question

The A.M.A. has estimated that at least 400,000 people a year in the U.S. are dying prematurely due to poor diet and lack of exercise. Let us, arbitrarily, assume that half are dying from lack of exercise and the other half from poor diet, although it doesn't work that way. That would mean that 200,000 people a year are dying due to not eating in a healthy manner.

Scientists in the field of food and nutrition (honest ones) will tell you that white flour and refined sugar are two of the worse things that you can eat. The white flour acts (is digested) like a simple sugar, and the refined sugar is a simple sugar. This means that the energy pours into your bloodstream, rather than dripping in, like it would if you were to eat complex carbohydrates, which takes more energy and time for your body to digest. (Also, those same scientists, if they are actually honest and well-read in the studies in their specialty, and even if they are on the payroll of some company in the refined food industry, will tell you that besides complex carbohydrates, humans need meat and saturated fats to be as strong and healthy as we possibly can be.)

When the simple sugars floods into your blood your body simply cannot handle it and all sorts of emergency actions are taken to store it as ready energy, or as fat if the energy storage areas are already full--or if they are too few and too small, which is a result of lack of exercise. Also, all that sugar upsets delicate enzyme and fluid balances. If you do this once or twice a month, it's not a big deal. It's like putting the body under a bad stress, but it will recover and everything will be alright. If you do this every day, that's when the slow breakdown of your finely tuned internal systems begin, systems that took hundreds of thousand of years to perfect.

Poor diets, especially high in white flour and sugar, as well as the refined vegetable oils that are in every processed food too, lead to diabetes, liver disease, heart attacks, plaque build up in the arteries, strokes, pancreatic cancer and a whole host of other cancers. Eventually, and usually years before you would had you eaten a healthy diet, you will die . . . but not before you suffer pain and discomfort, maybe have an operation or two, and depend upon expensive prescription medicines. (Note: Americans aren't living longer because they are healthier. They are living longer because of modern medical intervention.)

All the above is well documented. So what's the "moral question?" I want to single out one component of a poor diet, the high sugar content soft drink industry. All processed foods and highly refined foods are just as culpable, but so many people drink soft drinks, especially children, that most Americans can't imagine a world without them. So here is the question: Are the owners of the companies that produce the soft drinks, the board of directors of those companies, as well as the workers who actually produce those products, moral people?

Is it moral to produce a product that is intrinsically harmful to the human body and contributes to, if not causes, the premature deaths of thousands of your fellow citizens? And then I also wonder, are those people stupid, ignorant, or uncaring?

Finally, my position as a Libertarian says that adults can make bad choices for their lives, as long as they don't violate the rights of others without good cause. So eating a poor diet and suffering from it and dying early is their right. But children don't have the ability to understand the realities of which I am speaking. Many, if not most of the high sugar products are marketed to children. Parents play a major part in this. To me, allowing children to consume mass quantities (even small quantities) of these high sugar products daily is tantamount to child abuse.

Mind you, I'm not on a band wagon to get Congress to ban these quasi-drugs. People should not ask the government to do for them what they can do for themselves. I just want people to pay attention, get educated about truly good-for-you foods, and to be lovingly consistent, and consistently firm, with their children and do not allow them to get started on these . . . poisons or, in the alternative, limit their consumption drastically.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Smoking Ban In Public

The City of Oakland, California is proposing a law that will ban smoking in public parks, bus stops, outdoor dining facilities, lines for movies, and, in general, every place out in the open.

According to the CDC approximately 38 thousand people died prematurely due to second-hand smoke. This is an obviously big problem. No one has the right to harm others, actively or passively, if those others are not a direct and immediate threat to them, loved ones, or innocent others.

I was a smoker for twenty years. This November it will be twenty-one years since I quit. Still, I don’t hate smokers. I just can’t understand why anyone (who thinks about it in a logical manner) would want to crush up some dried leaves, put them in a tube of paper, light one end and suck the smoke into their lungs . . . and not get high! I understand that nicotine is the addictive substance in tobacco. I understand that nicotine addiction is hard to break. (It took me ten years of trying before I could do it . . . the point being, I never stopped trying until I succeeded.) Nicotine is also a potent poison. A smoker only gets tiny doses of nicotine while smoking, but 35 milligrams of pure nicotine, injected into a vein, will kill you instantly when it reaches your heart. Cool stuff you smokers are dealing with, eh?

Still, I see the banning of cigarette smoking in all public places as a bit extreme. It is known that auto exhaust causes as many, if not more diseases and deaths. In England alone (with a much smaller population than the United States, and fewer cars per capita) it was estimated that there were 24 thousand deaths per year due to auto exhaust pollution, with 1 in 50 heart attacks in London attributed to automobile-created pollution, according to a BBC News article, dated May 6, 1999. If England has 24 thousand such premature auto-pollution-caused deaths, how many more does the U.S. have?

If you are in a public park, with roads on all sides and cars constantly passing by, will you be more likely to be inhaling the deadly concoction of automobile exhaust pollution, or the second-hand smoke from someone sitting and smoking 50 or 100 feet away? “Car exhausts contain a range of toxic substances that can have a serious impact on health. Once released into the air, these substances are breathed in and transported in the bloodstream to all the body's major organs.
Potentially dangerous vehicle emissions include:
• Carbon monoxide
• Nitrogen dioxide
• Sulphur dioxide
• Benzene
• Formaldehyde
• Polycyclic hydrocarbons
• Lead
• Tiny suspended particles
The most obvious health impact of car emissions is on the respiratory system.” (BBC News article, May 6, 1999.)

The law in Oakland will be a "public nuisance" law. But if tobacco smoke, breathed in by non-consenting others, is truly the cause of the estimate 38 thousand deaths in the U.S., shouldn't Congress just ban tobacco smoking outright; make it illegal like the presently illegal, but much less harmful, drugs? And then there is the automobile issue and the deaths that vehicle emissions surely cause just like second-hand smoke, not to mention the very great negative impact that automobiles caused on the environment. Since Congress is our moral master and the issuer of personal privileges (why else is marijuana, and other drugs, the use of which does not violate the rights of others, under federal prohibition?--and no, you don't have to smoke marijuana to get the desired effects), why doesn't Congress just mandate that we all have to use public transportation--to save lives and the environment? Isn't saving people from themselves what the so-called war on drugs is all about?

Well, I don't know. This is all beyond my ken. If I don't smoke or breathe someone else's smoke, but drink five or six beers a day, I am probably setting myself up for one kind of serious disease or another, but at least it will be only be me that I'm hurting, unlike nasty old tobacco smoke and vehicle emissions.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


In my URL I have "logic-v-emotion." I try to think logically, to analyze and figure out things without allowing my emotions to interfere. Emotions are good things or, that is, they can be good things. I cannot imagine living a truly happy life without emotions.

But think about this. Emotions evolved in our base brain, or reptilian brain, long before we were humans. The emotional brain needs to act without thinking, or rather, to react. It was a matter of survival. When our pre-human ancestors were going about their daily routines and a predator showed up, they couldn't take the time to think, "Gee, a predator that will eat me if I don't move quickly. What should I do?" No, they had to react, and quickly...or else be lunch.

Logic is the ability to think things out. To decide which path makes the most sense from a stripped-of-all-the-emotional-baggage point of view. Logic is action. To decide what to do, then do it. Emotion is reaction. To become emotional takes no thinking, it merely takes a stimulus. Anger, fear, hate, bigotry, love, and so forth are all emotionally based. So are religion and politics.

Most people (no,seriously, most people) don't allow logic to control their lives. They live emotionally. For example: road rage. If you are driving down the highway and some idiot cuts you off, endangers you and/or your family, by his or her bad or rude driving, you (or most people) will become quite angry. That is a normal emotional response to a dangerous situation caused by the ignorant or uncaring actions of others. However, to allow the other person's bad actions to stimulate you into trying to catch up and show your anger, to the point that you are now endangering not only yourself, the original rude driver, but others on the road, is pure emotional irrationality. You are no longer under the control of your logical mind. And that can be a very bad thing. It also makes you no better than the original rude driver.

To become angry is a reaction, but then to let logic dictate your actions, that is, to continue to drive in a safe and sane manner is the best path. You cannot suppress emotion, nor should you try. But you can control how you react, by using logic, which then becomes, not reaction, but action. A better way to live.

In all my blogs I try to get people to think logically and to try and understand that quite often what we were taught as children was based on emotions, not logic. Copernicus wrote and Galileo publicly stated that the Earth went around the Sun, not, as then thought, that the Sun went around the Earth. To us today, we find that whole argument silly. Of course the Earth goes around the Sun. But the Church in Rome made Galileo recant in public his heresy. . . upon pain of death. Galileo thought logically. If I recant, it won't stop the truth, but it will save my life. My life is more important than what I say in public, knowing in my mind that what I say in public is a lie.

Religions and governments always want people to say the "right" thing. Anyone who consistently tells the truth, the logically derived truth, will always be labeled as a heretic and, if he or she should speak too loudly or too persistently, that person will be singled out to receive the full fury of those in power, by those who have an agenda to not publicly (maybe not even in their own minds) acknowledged the truth.

It is the truth that the laws prohibiting adults from legally making, selling, buying, and using certain chemical substances (drugs) causes more harm than any good those laws were meant to create. It is true that 100 years ago opium, morphine, heroin, and cocaine, among other drugs were legally available and that there was no criminal justice problems associated with the use of those drugs. It is also true that as the people were becoming more aware that those drugs were addictive, and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 made manufacturers of potions, tonics, and "snake oil" label what drugs were in those potions, the addition rates were declining.

Logically, it would be the right thing for Congress to re-legalized drugs to adults--to stop the violence surrounding those drugs, which has been caused soley because they are illegal; to save billions of wasted taxpayer's dollars; to make them less available to minors; and to reinstate the principle of inalienable rights (full ownership of self where your behavior does not violate the rights of others), but that is such an emotionally hot topic that it can't even be considered. . . except by people who have studied the issue logically and with an open mind, which leaves out almost all politicians.

Or, if "the People" gave Congress the legitimate Constitutional power to be our moral masters and to protect us from ourselves from using harmful drugs (which "the People" most certainly did not), then Congress would, logically, have to prohibit alcohol and tobacco. Those two drug are so much more harmful, overall, compared to the presently illegal drugs as to be illogically ridiculous to allow them to be legal and then to spend tens of billions of dollars on the (attempted) prohibition other drugs and incarcerate over one million citizens because of those other, less harmful drugs. (Alcohol is the drug, the mere use of which, is most likely to cause violent, rights violating behavior.)

Is it logical that the so-called "land of the free" has the most people incarcerated, both by actual numbers and per capita? America has only 5% of the world's population, but 25% of the world's imprisoned population. (Over two million at last count.) If we are not free, as adults, to use our minds and bodies as we so desire, as long as we are not violating the rights of others, then we are, in fact, slaves and this is not a free nation. True personal liberty and the principle of inalienable rights are long dead. That much is logical.

Logic versus emotion. We have these big wonderful logical brain, but so often we don't use them, relying instead on our pre-human emotional brains. Humans, what are we going to do with you? I guess all we can do is to hope that you will evolve more (logically) before your emotionally-based irrationality kills us all.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ex-felons and gun possession

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. That is the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, part of what is called the "Bill of Rights."

There is much discussion about this amendment. The anti-gun people say it is outdated and doesn't mean in today's world what it once meant. The pro-gun people say that it means exactly what it says and that the government should not "infringe" upon the rights of citizens to own guns. Few people actually belong to a "militia", but if it was necessary, as it was in those days, and we were all disarmed, then whatever was threatening us could have its way with us . . . as all dictators and communist thugs around the world know.

I'm on the pro-gun side because, as Thomas Jefferson said, and all the "founding fathers" of this nation knew, "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." After all, the colonists were rebelling against a government that, by the standards of the day was one of the best . . . and by the burdens put on us by our government today, was resting a light hand on the colonists. We are so much more oppressed by our government due to all the socialist ideas that have become common currency, even among the so-called conservative Republicans. But, should Americans fear their government to the extent that they need to form militias? Not yet, although creeping national socialism is slowly but surely stripping away all of our inalienable rights.

But the title of this article refers to ex-felons and guns possession. The Second Amendment does not say that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed, unless you have a felony conviction. The Bill of Rights speaks to absolute rights, not conditional rights. Our government--and the Supreme Court, which upholds and justifies the gun ban to ex-felons, is but a part of the government, not separate from it--has altered, that is, violated a basic right in this nation, the right of self defense and the right to have a firearm near by if needed to defend against the usurpations of the government.

A large part of all ex-felons are non-violent. Some were hunters before committing the crime for which they received their felony conviction. Few, if any of those will every use a gun to harm others, which is the only logical reason to disarm those people. The violent felons, especially those who have used firearms to commit crimes, once they are released, if they are released, will obtain and use a gun to commit more crimes, if they so desire, regardless of all the laws in this nation.

The laws prohibiting ex-felons from owning firearms makes a second class of citizens in America. But why not take other rights away from them? Gee, they are just nasty old ex-felons, crime committers, law breakers. Should they be allowed to seek out and worship their own religion, or none, or should Congress decide that they must attend church and which church at that? Should ex-felons be prohibited from writing their thoughts and getting them published, or speaking out about what they believe? How about searches and seizures, should the police be allowed to stop and search any known ex-felon at any time for any reason? What about excessive bail and fines, or cruel and unusual punishment? Ex-felons are second-class citizens, not full citizens with full citizen rights, so why not let the police beat and torture them to make convictions in whatever case they are working on?

I believe that non-violent ex-felons should get back their full citizenship rights, if they have committed no further crimes, no more than three years after serving their sentence and being released. For violent ex-felons, that time should be extended to six, or seven, or eight years. By taking away the right to bear arms forever, the government has made a mockery of the concept of inalienable rights . . . but then it has done so in so many areas of our daily lives that few of us are even aware of it anymore. We have become comfortably numb. And that can be dangerous to the liberty of even non-ex-felons. As George Washington said "A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master."

One last note. I read recently that the Boston Police have noticed that more violent and drug crimes are being committed by persons with knives rather than guns.
If this trend continues, will Congress ban ex-felons from possessing knives, hatchets, axes, and so forth?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ann Coulter: Gun-toting, Perfected Jew...?

Did Ann Coulter (outspoken and admittedly biased political commentator and writer) really say that Christians were perfected Jews? How outrageous. How Ann Coulterish.

Okay, Annie. You believe the Jesus dies for your sins, that means that you believe the myth of the creator god. You should bone up on some of Joseph Cambell's work on comparative religions and common myth threads.

Such as: A savior that dies, goes to the under world, then returns to the living world. An old story before the assumed birth of Christ. And the virgin birth myth is at least as old if not older.

But seriously, do you believe that a being that could create the universe and everything in it could be a being that wants us all to go to "Heaven" and sing praises to it? Or how about the "all-knowing," "all-present," all-powerful" bit?
So, your God created Satan and knew that he was doing it knowing what Satan--and his other creation...humans--would do. Isn't that like creating evil?

Okay, I accept your statement, Christians are perfected Jews. But let's carry it a few steps further, shall we. Protestants are perfected Catholics. Agnostics are perfected Protestants. And atheists are perfected agnostics.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I just don't understand. It is so illogical...not to mention rights violating.

So, my friends, puzzle me this: When logic and facts dictates that the re-legalization of the presently illegal drugs will reduce violent crime, cut off a major money source to global terroists, and allow those who will be addicts fear-free access to medical help if they want it, why doesn't the Congress get it? Religion and emotion, pure and simple. And, by forcing their personal moral or religious beliefs upon all people, they make America, the whole world, a meaner more violent place.

"Vices are not crimes." Lysander Spooner

"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant." John Stuart Mill

"It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own." Thomas Jefferson

"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." Thomas Jefferson

Monday, October 08, 2007

Lady, a.k.a., Ugga Puppa

This is Lady, my sister's bitch. Yeah, I know. I'm supposed to say dog, but technically a dog is the male of the canine species and a bitch is the female.

I am the basic caregiver for Lady. I take her for a 15 to 20 minute brisk walk every morning. That's about all she can handle. She is 12 going on 13, a good long life for a German Shepard. We live in the foothills north of Fresno, so half of the walk is uphill and the other half, of course, is downhill. After I bring her back to the house, inside, I then go for my own 30 to 40 minute brisk walk. This all happens just before and just after sunrise. The best time of the day.

I call Lady by at least two other names--Ugga Puppa, which means ugly puppy, because she was fat and ugly as a puppy. I also call her Dog-Face Bob (remember the movie Rancho Deluxe?). And when she is not doing what she is supposed to, I just call her bitch.

I love this dog. When I came to live with my sister and her husband, they were afraid that Lady might bite me. She has been known to be assertive, especially when my sister is present--she is without a doubt my sister's dog. But after the first day and I had given her a "belly-rub" (actually, the chest), they knew everything was all right. (My old grandpappy used to say, one dog knows another.)

I have her trained to the word "belly-rub?!". She lays down on her side and raises her front leg. I also have her trained to the word "outside?!" when I am ready to go outside for any reason, even just taking out the trash. She races to the back door. She hates to not be where her people are.

I doubt that she will make it another year. This winter might be her last. I will be sorry when she does go, but I will cherish the fact that I got to know this truly faithful, loving dog.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Hardest Drug

I read an Andrew Sullivan blog the other day, "A Conservative Approach." (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/week40/index.html) You have to scroll about half-way down the page. He was talking about drug legalization and said: "I'd legalize pot and soft drugs, and focus on meth, heroin and those drugs that can be shown to have unusually serious social consequences."

I've heard this type of comment from many of my friends too. I think Mr. Sullivan and my friends are wrong and they really don't understand the full and true meaning of personal liberty. As Lysander Spooner and John Stuart Mill, among others, have said, the only legitimate reason for society, that is, the government to interfere in the actions of a citizen is to protect the rights of others. Vices are not crimes and drug use is a vice.

Besides, the hardest drug is already legal to adults in spite of the terrible statistics associated with its use. I'm talking about alcohol. Anyone who drinks any alcoholic beverages, whether it be one or two glasses of wine with dinner, a six pack while watching the "game", or a fifth of whiskey a day, and then says that they might legalize "soft" drugs but not "hard" drugs are rather ignorant and more than a little hypocritical.

Here are some U.S. Department of Justice statistics, taken from the Bureau of Justice Statistics site recently. (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/ac.htm). I went both to "Press Releases" and the "Acrobat File."

--In 2000 50% of the U.S. population considered themselves "regular" drinkers, about 140 million people.

--In 1995 we had 5.3 million convicted offenders and nearly 2 million, or about 36% of them admitted to having been drinking just prior to committing their offenses.

--3 million crimes are committed each year in which the victim was sure that the perpetrator had been drinking. That's about one-fourth of all reported violent crimes.

--Two-thirds of all victims of violence were assaulted by a spouse or significant other who had been drinking. (What would wife-beating be without alcohol, not to mention rape and child molestation?)

--In 1995 800,000 people were known to be receiving treatment for alcohol abuse. "Almost certainly . . . a substantial underestimate . . . ."

If that isn't enough, then consider this: "Alcohol (wine, beer, or liquor) is the leading known preventable cause of mental and physical birth defects in the United States." (http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/fas.html)

Or, that alcohol-related deaths number at 85,000 (JAMA, 3/10/2004, Vol.291, No. 10, pp. 1238-1241. But in a report in Scientific American for December of 1996, the number of alcohol-related deaths was put at "over 100,000."

And then there are the inconvenient facts that when drugs were legal 100 years ago, there was no criminal justice problem associated with their use, (http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/DEBATE/mcn/mcn1.htm ) and that the highest death rate from the use of the presently illegal drugs is around 16,000, a figure that I find to be suspicious. I wonder if they considered the fact that alcohol, taken in conjunction with other drugs, can be a deadly combination? Two-thirds of heroin overdose deaths are really alcohol and heroin overdose deaths. That is, take the alcohol away and the heroin user would not have died. (http://www.peele.net/lib/heroinoverdose.html)
By all the facts available it has been shown that the hardest drug is alcohol and it is legal to adults. And, according to other reports that I have read, it is easier for minors to get illegal drugs than it is for them to get alcohol. But more to my specific point and that is that adults (not minors) have a right to destroy themselves by racing fast cars, climbing mountains, jumping out of perfectly good airplane, deep sea diving, or any other the various ways that people risk their lives for the thrill of it . . . including using any recreational drug they want. To allow less, to say that the government has the legitimate constitutional power to stop us from using the present illegal drugs, means that we do not fully own the property of our bodies and our minds; that the government owns us and we are slaves. And that we do not have inalienable rights; that, instead, we have privileges granted to us by the government. The right to use drugs also means the right to not use drugs. But we each must find our own road to morality, if we ever do. We cannot be forced into a specific moral code by government edict.

Sadly, that is what Americans, once a hardy and independent people, have allowed their politicians to do to them. As Albert J. Nock said many years ago, the American people now look to the government as the people of Europe in 1500 looked to the Catholic Church. And that's a sad, but true, commentary on today's Americans.