"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/)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Why Bill O'Reilly is a Pinhead

Bill O’Reilly is a prohibitionist and anti-rightist. His stance on the presently illegal drugs also makes him a pinhead.

The old proverb, “there are none so blind as those who will not see,” obviously applies here.

Mr. O’Reilly is a prohibitionist because he supports the present prohibition of the presently illegal drugs. Why do I call them “presently illegal?” Because, at one time in America cocaine, morphine, heroin, and marijuana were legal.

Mr. O’Reilly is an anti-rightist because his opposition to non-violent, consensual adult drug use does not accept the principle of inalienable rights, one of the founding principles of this once great nation.

He is a pinhead because he is willfully blind (a legal term) to the facts about drugs, drug use, and the harm and destruction that the prohibition causes. Which, all things considered, is much greater than if those substances were to be made legal once again for adults. Here is what Milton Friedman had to say about it.

"I believe a major source of our current lawlessness, in particular the destruction of the inner cities, is the attempt to prohibit so-called drugs. I say so-called because the most harmful drugs in the United States are legal: cigarettes and alcohol. . . . [W]hether or not you believe that it is an appropriate function of government to prevent people from voluntarily ingesting items that you regard as harmful to them. . . the attempt to do so has been a failure. It has caused vastly more harm to innocent victims, including the public at large and especially the residents of the inner cities, than any good it has done for those who would choose to use the prohibited narcotics if they were legal." ("Why Government Is the Problem", Hoover Institute essay, Stanford University, 1993)

Pauline Sabine, a wealthy and politically well-connected women during the prohibition of alcohol, stated before Congress: "In pre-prohibition days, mothers had little fear in regard to the saloon as far as their children were concerned. A saloon-keeper's license was revoked if he were caught selling liquor to minors. Today in any speakeasy in the United States you can find boys and girls in their teens drinking liquor, and this situation has become so acute that the mothers of the country feel something must be done to protect their children."

Originally, she had been for prohibition. "I felt I should approve of it because it would help my two sons. The word-pictures of the agitators carried me away. I thought a world without liquor would be a beautiful world."

Yes, Bill O’Reilly, a world without liquor would be a beautiful place. And a world without other mind-altering and addtictive drugs would be too. Unfortunately, such a world does not exist. It has never existed. It will never exist. The war on drugs does just what Ms. Sabine complained of regarding alcohol. To paraphrase her: Today, on any street corner or in any high school, you can find boys and girls in their teens selling and using drugs.

If those drugs were sold in drug stores to adults upon proof of age, while keeping strong punishments in place for those who provided or sold those drugs to minors, then the use of those drugs by minors would go down and go down dramatically.

Joseph McNamara, a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Standford University, was a former policeman. He started walking a beat in Harlem in the 50's. He got his Ph.D. in public administration at Harvard University. He was the Chief of Police for both Kansas City, Missouri and San Jose, California. Over all, he has 35 years of police experience.

Check with him Bill. Mr. McNamara can tell you that prior to the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914, drugs were legal and that there was no criminal justice problem associated with their use. He can tell you that Congress was lobbied by certain Christian prohibitionist and got their version of religion passed into federal law. (That seems like a violation of the “establishment” clasue of the First Amendment.)

If you were an unhypocritical pinhead, then you would be for the prohibition of both alcohol and tobacco. Alcohol, of course, is a true narcotic drug by definition. Tobacco, because of nicotine, is just a useless, dangerous, unhealthy but highly addictive substance.

According to federal research over 36% of prisoners had been using alcohol only when they committed their crime. Alcohol was a factor for more than 40% of prisoners in jails and state prisons for committing murder. (Drug War Facts, Alcohol, Paragraph 17.}

The overwhelming amount of violent crime related to the presently illegal drugs is directly related to the illegality of those drugs, not to their mere use, as is the case with alcohol.

And, of course, inmates in prison still get and use drugs. If that is the case, then how in the name of rational thinking can we expect to stop the use of those substances by supposedly free people?

And that brings up my final point: The Prison-Industrial Complex created by the so-called war on drugs. At the end of 2008 the total number of incarcerated people in the United States was 2,424,279. (Drug War Facts; Prisons, Jails & Probation – Overview, Paragraph 10.) Billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on the continuation of the war on drugs. It’s good business for prison builders, prison suppliers, prison guards, the police in general, and prosecutors.

America accounts for about 5% of the total world population, yet we have nearly 25% of all incarcerated people in the world. Land of liberty? Land of the free? Hardly. We are the number one jailer in the world. And a large percentage of our prison population is incarcerated for non-violent drug behavior.

So, Bill, if you want to be a patriot, rather than a pinhead. Do more research and some real logical thinking. To end the war on drugs and re-legalize their use to consenting adults would have the effect of reducing violent crimes, reducing the case load on courts, reducing prison population, reducing the access of drugs to minors. The violent drug cartels would be out of business. The violent street gangs would have to rob banks to get their money (not nearly as easy a proposition as drug dealing). The global terrorists, likewise, would have to find other funding.

Would it be a perfect world? No. But then the world had never been perfect. Would there be drug addicts? Of course, but they could easily afford the drug they are addicted to just like the winos and other alcoholics do right now. Drug re-legalization would go a long way to restoring the principle of inalienable rights in this nation. And, on balance, this nation would be a better place than it has been for many decades.

See also:

The Myth of Inalienable Rights

LEAP | Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Eklektik: Ludwig von Mises on Prohibition

Basic Facts About the War on Drugs

Narco News Publishes C.A. Fitts Guide to Narco-Dollars

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A good lawyer?

It is my strongly held belief that there is no such thing as a "good" lawyer. You can have a competent lawyer or an incompetent lawyer, but all of them are no damned good.

Too strong of a statement? Perhaps. I'm sure that there are some good people who are lawyers--that is they are trying to do the right thing (whatever that is)--and who are competent. But many, if not most lawyers, including prosecutors, are more concerned with their image, their egos, their win and loss ratios than with justice or the defendants and victims.

Again, too strong of a statement? I don't think so. Consider the Innocence Project. It's an organization dedicated to getting innocent people who have been wrongly convicted out of jail. To date, using DNA evidence they have gotten 273 innocent people released. Of those 273, 17 were on death row. (Imagine being innocent and being put to death. How many times has that happened?)On average those 273 people spent 13 years in prison for something they didn't do.

How could that happen, here, in America? They are a plethora of reasons but much of it comes back to the police, and the prosecutors in charge of the cases: Eyewitness accounts are known to be unreliable; using unproven or improperly conducted forensic techniques; false confessions due to coercion, fear of worse punishment, or mental problems; the police and prosecutors wanting to clear cases and focusing on conviction, not the search for truth and justice; paid informants; and overworked, under prepared, or just plain incompetent defense lawyers, mostly public defenders.

The rich, of course, can afford the best in defense lawyers, but that just makes those lawyers competent, but not necessarily good.

The epitome of how a lawyer thinks is President Clinton's statement in the Monica Lewinsky investigation about "what the meaning of is, is." Wow! If that didn't ring all kinds of warning bells in your brain, then you were either brain dead or a really strong Clinton/Democrat supporter.

Lawyers are taught to parse sentences--basically defining each element of a sentence, not necessarily in context to the whole. The most competent lawyers are able to take the most damning testimony and whittle it away to nearly nothing. Or, conversely, they can take the most insignificant uttering and make the proverbial molehill into a mountain.

Do lawyers do that for truth, justice, and the American way? No. They do it to win, pure and simple. Prosecutors getting convictions, right or wrong; defense attorneys getting people set free, right or wrong; it's all the same. They are either competent at what they do or they are incompetent.

So if you need an attorney, don't look for a good one. Look for a competent one.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Ice Age Now

Have you heard of or stumbled upon the web site Ice Age Now? If not, you need to go there. What this web site has to say is not only interesting, but important.

Contrary to Al Gore and those that are in his camp, there is more than sufficient true scientific evidence to point to the fact that we are about to enter another ice age. An ice age will be much worse for humans than the global warming the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been shrieking about. Think of packing for a trip to Miami, but the airplane you take lets you off in Anchorage, Alaska, in the middle of winter.

A full glacial period, like the last glacial maximum (18,000 years ago) would put Moscow, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, all of Scotland and most of England and Ireland under ice. In the Western Hemisphere, all of Canada and a substantial part of the U.S. would be under ice: all of New England, including New York City, Chicago and, on the west coast, Seattle.

Think of tens of millions of Northern Europeans heading south, starving because they haven’t been able to grow any crops. Think of 38 million Canadians doing the same thing, as well as untold millions of Americans from New England and the upper mid-west.

Unlike what we were taught in school, ice ages can come on suddenly, within 20 years, or even in as little as 3 years.

Humans are definitely not causing global warming or, as the Gorists now say, climate change. There are so many variables as to be well beyond human ability to influence it. Take CO2 for instance. Total CO2 from all sources, natural and manmade represents 4 out of 10,000 parts of our atmosphere. That is 4/100’s of 1% of our total atmosphere. Further, ice core evidence shows that first there was warming (by the sun, or undersea volcanic action)then there was CO2 rise.

Listen to Kim Greenhouse moderating at It’s Rainmaking Time, with three climate experts. This is about two hours worth of real, factual information. If you have an open mind. If you have some doubts about the human-caused global warming issue. If you are a “green” freak, but are not beyond wanting to know the truth. Then listen to this podcast. It could change your life.

To listen, click on the "play" icon below the photos of Dr. Tim Ball.