"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/)

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.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Curiouser and Curiouser....but conveniently forgotten

Bill Clinton was our President for two terms, eight years. Now his wife, Hilary,is running for that office. Recently I came across an old print-out concerning the disturbing number of dead people who were connected in some way to the Clintons, especially Bill. Some of the connections were tenuous at best, I admit.

But still, how many people do you know, have a business relationship with, have met, or who have done even the slightest bit of work for you, that have died a violent death: gunshots, falls, airplane accidents, and so forth? With the Clintons the number goes well over thirty, and I'm being conservative.

And then there is the case of Kevin Ives and Don Henry, two young boys between the ages of 12 and 13 who were found dead on a railroad track near Mena, Arkansas. This was when Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas. Remember Mena? It had been alleged that cocaine was being smuggled into the country and guns were being smuggled out. This was during the Sandinista thing in Nicaragua. Oliver North, et al.?

Some people have posited that the two boys had seen something they weren't supposed to and were killed for it and the murders were made to look like they fell asleep on the railroad tracks and were killed by a train. That's was what the Arkansas State Medical Examiner claimed anyway. It was later discovered, however, that one boy died of a crushed skull and the other from being stabbed in the back...before the train ran over them.

Okay, the interesting thing here is this. There were seven other people, all of whom had information about the deaths of those two boys, who died violent deaths within three years of the deaths of those boys. What's the chances of that happening?

It looks like Bill Clinton has gotten away with something. But maybe, just maybe all these deaths are really just coincidental. Each separate and having nothing to do with Bill...or Hilary. Yeah, just maybe.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Creator Gods

All cultures that I know of have myths of creator gods. I am most interested in the Christian one, as that is what I was taught about in my early childhood. That god is supposed to be perfect, loving, and good.

I have a problem with that. If you create something that is flawed, knowing ahead of time that it will be flawed, and when the thing you created does not work according to your rules, because it is flawed, then whose fault is it? The creator, or the thing that the creator created . . . flawed?

The absolute and abject illogic of such a concept--God creating man, knowing that man would sin because God created a flawed being, then punishing sinning man forever and ever, unless it repents and begs forgiveness and sings praises to God--is to me beyond comprehension. But it makes a good bedtime story by which to try and scare children into being good. Too bad it doesn't work.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Death Penalty

The death penalty . . . are you for it or against it? I'm against it, but only because it has been shown in many cases that innocent men have been convicted and sent to death row. And how many innocent men have we executed in the last 100 years?

I think that a woman or child who is kidnapped, raped, then murdered is a horrifying image. I also think that a man on death row who is actually innocent and is executed is another horrifying image.

It is my firm belief that the only just cause for the use of force against another is in defense of self, loved ones, or innocent others. A murderer loses his rights to life when he, with premeditation, kills another person. If I,or anyone else, caught the murderer in action and killed him, that would be justified. If he is caught later and the State, acting on behalf of the victim and all citizens, kills the murderer, that too is justified.

I don't see the death penalty as punishment or as a deterrent to others (obviously it isn't or there wouldn't be any murders now, after thousands of years of the death penalty for certain behaviors). I see it as getting rid of the garbage. I don't care how bad a home life a person might have had, a murderer, unless truly insane, knows that what he or she is doing is wrong. More, they would not want the same thing done to them. (That's what "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" is all about.) A truly, or completely, insane person doesn't know right from wrong.

But, because our criminal justice system is, at best, flawed, and in many instances corrupt, then innocent men get convicted and sent to death row. I think about how it would feel to know that you were innocent and sentenced to death. I shudder. You should too. Therefore, until we have a foolproof way to know if a particular person committed a particular behavior, which would calling for the death penalty, I think we should just put it on the shelf.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Something to Think About

Many years ago, when I was but a wet-behind-the-ears 15 year old high school student, life was much simpler and moved at a slower pace. This was long before the advent of personal computers, let alone the cell phones, ipods, mp3s, and all the other FREDs* that now supposedly make our lives easier and better. At that time I remember coming up with what I thought was a basic premise of civilized life, to wit: The greater our population becomes, the more complicated life becomes, the more the government will intervene in our daily lives and reduce our personal liberty.

This, of course, has happened. Sometimes it has been for the better, but most times it has been for the worse. If you, like me, want as much personal freedom and liberty with the least amount of government intervention in your private and business life, this trend is more than worrisome. The United States of America has changed, and is continuing to change, into something the Founding Fathers would not recognize and for which they fought to be free of.

With that in mind, I will give you some quotes from some of the very intelligent, well-read, and educated people who gave us this once great nation, which is now sliding down the slippery slope of "equality of outcome", national security, and corporate greed, into a swamp of over-regulation, loss of inalienable rights, and fascism.

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

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

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." James Madison

"How soon we forget history... Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." George Washington

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government." Thomas Jefferson

"Fear is the foundation of most governments." John Adams

"Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases." John Adams

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." Patrick Henry

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." Thomas Jefferson

* "FRED", a definition: F#%king Ridiculous Electronic Device.