Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sunday, September 10, 2006

lol packers

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The theft of your private property

From Lysander Spooner's No Treason in 1870:

It is true that the theory of our Constitution is, that all taxes are paid voluntarily; that our government is a mutual insurance company, voluntarily entered into by the people with each other; that each man makes a free and purely voluntary contract with all others who are parties to the Constitution, to pay so much money for so much protection, the same as he does with any other insurance company; and that he is just as free not to be protected, and not to pay tax, as he is to pay a tax, and be protected.

But this theory of our government is wholly different from the practical fact. The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: "Your money, or your life." And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat.

The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful.

The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a "protector," and that he takes men's money against their will, merely to enable him to "protect" those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful "sovereign," on account of the "protection" he affords you. He does not keep "protecting" you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands.

He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villanies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.

It should be noted that Spooner was an anarchist. I am not, but find his assemsment of taxation spot on.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


LEAP is a coalition of judges, district attorneys, law enforcement officers and other government officials who support ending prohibition of illegal narcotics for principled and intelligent reasons. Watch the video with an open mind. Remember, there are very few people in the anti-prohibition camp that think drugs are a great thing. Personally, not only have I never done drugs, I don't drink or smoke. I think they are all pretty lame habits. However, the way we choose some drugs to be legal and some to be illegal is extremely illogical.

Again, let's make this clear. NO ONE IS SAYING DRUGS ARE GOOD. We're talking about prohibition here, not the benefits of a chemically induced temporary high.

So what are the reasons for making them illegal?

1. Drugs are unhealthy!

Indeed they are. So is alcohol and so are cigarettes. So it might be said, "Ban them too!" But then where are we drawing our lines? Do we ban all unhealthy food as well? Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, isn't it? We need to protect people from themselves! Okay, what else? Driving? After all, accidents are the leading cause of death in persons between the ages of 15 and 24. How many lives can we save each year by eliminating cars? Come on, we've got a moral obligation to protect our citizens!

I think the logical flaw in banning things for being unhealthy is obvious. We, as informed Americans, ought to have the right to put in our bodies whatever we see fit. We all know the risks of alcohol and cigarettes and make our choices accordingly. Personally, I think doing drugs would be a bad choice, but would admit to doing other unhealthy well knowing the risks. Our bodies belong to us and ought not be regulated by George Bush, Bill Clinton, or any other politician.

2. Drugs are morally wrong!

Drugs being legal or not is not a testament or approval from the citizens to go ahead and use them. The idea that we should ban "bad" things is the whole reason we're in the legislative mess that we are in. The US Constitution (you'll remember that as the document that established our Government) affords no authority to Congress to ban consumables based on any moral principle. The longer we go on attributing moral value to inanimate objects (drugs for the right, guns for the left) instead of the people using them BASED ON THEIR DEEDS, the longer we allow the Government to abuse its authority. The Government has a job defined by its Constitution and that job is not the mindless banning of "wrong" things, it is the banning of things which violate our inalienable rights as defined by the Constitution (such as theft, murder, fraud... things people SHOULD be thrown in jail for, but often aren't because of prison overpopulation due to drug convictions).

3. People who abuse drugs become a danger to others.

I think a lot of this thought comes from propaganda that has been forced down our throats from a very young age. In an effort to curtail drug use the Government, for admittedly noble intentions, has funded a mass campaign to inform us of all the terrible things that drugs make a person do. This notion that drugs make people do wrong things is mostly without scientific research, and if you think about it most of us know that the violence associated with drugs has to do with those selling them, not those taking them. However, for the sake of argument let's suppose someone does do a terrible act under the influence of cocaine. Say murder. Isn't the act of murder already illegal? And if cocaine inherently makes a man want to murder isn't that going to happen if cocaine is legal or not? Obviously banning cocaine hasn't stifled it's popularity. Drug use in teens is UP since the inception of the Drug War. So this is happening anyway, but a crime is a crime. Murder is murder with or without drugs. Rape is rape with or without drugs.

In fact, I would argue that the legalization of ALL drugs would empower our police forces to better investigate these types of violent crimes. As it stands, roughly 40% of our police force nation wide is dedicated to drug enforcement. Those 40% should be on the street patrolling, not behind desks planning the next big raid. Response times for police calls would go up, the ability of police to deal with large scale crisises would go up, patrols of "bad" parts of town would be more practical, and the manpower to keep the real crime in check would be more plausible.

If someone is able to use drugs without doing any of these crimes, they are no danger and should not be locked up. The pursuit of said individuals is pointless as the very act of illegalizing drug possession is the primary reason people who are drug addicts disobey the law.

Let's look at a few other benefits that would almost immediately take place with the legalization of all narcotics.

A) It would immediately eliminate the black market. Money is power and the power is currently in the hands of street gangs. For those of us near major metropolitan areas we hear monthly reports of children caught in a gang war crossfire. Where did the money for those guns come from? Our drug laws. What are they fighting over? Who sells what to who. Put the drugs in the hands of pharmacists and take the money out from under street thugs.

B) It would eliminate the international drug manufacturing industry. This seems pretty self explanatory. Cocaine should be made in a factory by men in white coats, not by 8 year olds with machine guns pointed at their backs. Take the money away from drug lords and put it in the hands of responsible business men. I think even a leftie would agree with me that a corporate CEO is better than a violent drug lord. Right?

Long term effects?

The demographics of drug use would change. See, before prohibition of illegal narcotics, recreational users of these drugs were mainly upper class citizens who had expendable incomes. While we still see that today, we see an epidemic of poor users. This is because drug peddlers in the black market know hooking the poor user establishes them a wider, more potent criminal base of people who are more desperate. Poor people cannot afford the habit but since they are hooked young by teenage dope dealers hoping to earn a quick buck, they get stuck in a cycle of addiction. On the other hand, drug use amongst adults who can afford the product would rise, it is very likely that drug use amongst youngsters and the poor will drop noticeably. This of course creates a different drug use environment than what you see today.

That doesn't even begin to get into the racial implications of our drug laws, which I suppose entire books can be written on. The fact is though, that we incarcerate more people than any other industrialized nation. Most of our jails are overflowing, not because of violent crime, but because of victimless drug crimes. And the mass majority of these people are black. At the same time our drug laws have given uneducated poor black men a way to beat the system. They rise out of poverty through the black market and give younger children something to look up to. Hard work and dedication? No, violence and blood money. Which has become somewhat of a culture, hasn't it?

All thanks to banning something we don't like.