"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 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?

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