Government is a choice, and in that choice we reject God.
If you read nothing else in this post, that last sentence is the entire point I am making.
Even in Joshua’s “choose this day” speech, he makes that very point – something most people miss when quoting that verse. He specifically says that the choice is between the God that his ancestors had chosen or the gods of those now around them in the land we now know as Israel. This truly is a dichotomous choice – God, or not. Many years later, the gods around them have transitioned into government, and kings have arisen throughout the land. So the elders of Israel go to Joshua’s (much later) successor, Samuel, and demand a king of their own. And at this point, God Himself says to the elders (through Samuel) explicitly that in making that choice, they have rejected Him (and His ability to provide for them). A millenia or two later, God would become incarnate in the form of the man we now call Jesus Christ. And Jesus would make the same point, in such a subtle fashion that it did not alarm the ruling government of his day. Jesus explicitly says in his most famous sermon “You cannot serve two masters. Either you will hate one and love the other, or you will serve one and despise the other.”
Thus, you can choose government. Or God. You cannot choose both. Because if you try, you will wind up despising one of them. Even God Himself – twice! – says exactly this.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have posed a simple question to three of the candidates for the Lexington County Sheriff election one week from today, on March 3, 2015.
What is your response to this article? I will be blunt: I am putting this question to all three contenders for my vote (another has already shown his answer by shooting a completely innocent man while running in this race), and I will determine my vote based on the responses to this question.
“This article” being titled “No ‘Officer Safety’ Exception to the Constitution” and written by three men who are all current or former law enforcement officers, two of whom now work in more academic settings.
It states in part:
So, where does one find the officer safety exception to the Constitution? Generally speaking, it doesn’t exist. Generally, the rights of the people trump the rights of an officer to be guaranteed a safe outcome in dangerous situations. This can be an uncomfortable truth, but to ignore it is to operate in a virtual reality that only exists in one’s own mind. The truth is law enforcement is a hazardous undertaking and there is nothing that can be done to eliminate all of its physical risks.
If the choice is between feeling safer by violating someone’s Constitutional rights or taking calculated risks while honoring our oath, the pledge we made when our badges found their home on our chests is supposed to win every time. As in military service, doing our duty and following lawful orders will regularly put us at heightened physical risk.
One candidate, Justin Britt, provided his answer on August 5, 2014 when he shot an unarmed suspect while already running in this race. (First paragraph on page 3.)
Of the three candidates that I posed the question to, only two responded while the third shut down after I told him I am an admin at the Cop Block South Carolina page.
Ed Felix for Sheriff agrees with this article and reminds officers that they are not “paramilitary units”. They are public servants.
Mr. Felix was also the only candidate to allow me to post on their page, and this was his response there:
First. Thank you Jeff for your question. Second. My apologies for taking so long to answer. I put everything aside on Sundays to attend church and spend time with my family. Third. I want you to take into considerations my answers against the backdrop of the fact that I have been fired upon several times, had attempts to cut me, stab me, and on one occasion, a kitchen floor was mopped with my body after I asked someone to “please turn the music down”. As you probably know, I was an instructor at the SC Criminal Justice Academy (police academy) for a little over 14 years. One of the many courses I taught was “officer safety and survival”. I also head the department of Criminal Justice and Security at the University of Phoenix, Columbia Ground Campus, SC. In that program, I make it my business to teach the very first core class, “Introduction to Criminal Justice” (sophomores). My reason for doing that is to start the students with the correct tone as we begin speaking about the “Law and Order Model”, the “Individual Freedoms Model”, and most importantly, the application of the “Bill Of Rights” of our Constitution. These issues come up again in the “Police Theories and Practices” course and the “Criminal Law” (juniors) class, which I also teach. I have to say that I have a very professional cadre of professors that I supervise which follow my lead on these issues. They include longtime practitioners of criminal justice with diverse backgrounds to include retirees and attorneys. While at the police academy, I taught the “Terry Stop” as it should be taught. In the Terry vs. Ohio case the officer observed suspicious behavior leading him to believe that an “armed robbery” was about to take place. The Supreme Court in its decision made it clear that it should be a two-step process and that both had to be justified. The “Stop” had to be justified and the “Frisk” had to be justified separately. I reminded students that we were not “paramilitary” but “quasy military” (use rank and structure) as an organization and the overarching goal is to serve not to control the population. Unfortunately, after the academy law enforcement agencies change the Mantra to “officer safety above all else” even the constitutional rights of citizens. What I have seen is that lazy officers use it as a scapegoat to justify their actions, some of which could be suspicious. Truest me when I say that we heard all kinds of stories at the academy. The proactive and mentally and physically fit officer relies less on excuses and more on good observations and methods. “Awareness and self-discipline are the first lines of defense”, said the author of the article (paragraph 12). Two more things: 1. When I taught at the Police Chief School (mentioned in one of my opponets card) I reminded leaders of the very simple principle that “As they do, so will their subordinates”. This concept is universal in the education of leaders in any discipline. 2. Of all of the candidates in this race I am the only one who has had a case appealed all of the way to the SC State Supreme Court and upheld on its constititionality. It involved trafficking in drugs. As I mentioned in the backdrop (third above) for my answers, “Officer Safety” is near and dear to my heart, but that is only because the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights is already occupying my heart. I am a member of the “Constitutional Sheriff and Peace Officers Association and have been endorsed by Sheriff Richard Mack, Director. This is non-partisan association that stands by the Constitution as the ultimate test of service. http://cspoa.org/ Feel free to call or email me with any concerns you may have. Be safe. Edfelix803@gmail.com 803-530-9232 PS. Sorry for the length
Jay Koon twice prevented me from asking the question on his FB page, but after the second time finally responded to my private FB message. (Proof of the second one available in the pics below.)
This was his response:
I agree with the article’s mention of training. We must properly train out officers on proper interaction with our citizens. I know the courts have ruled that officers can not knowingly place themselves in harms way and then justify force. I am a strong believer in community policing and that will not change if I am elected
When I asked him to provide clarification on his statement that courts have ruled that officers can not knowingly place themselves in harms way, a ruling that despite my police accountability activism I had never heard of, he never responded. It has been 6 days since I asked for clarification.
Dennis Tyndall blocks all posts to his page apparently, my own included. His first response to the question was to say that my post showed on his page (it never did publicly) and that he wasn’t the candidate who shot a person. He then said of the article:
I read the article and thought it was very interesting. Please let me know what your question is specifically. Or do you just want my reaction to the article as a whole?
I responded that I knew the man who shot someone wasn’t him, that it was Justin Britt, and that I was looking for his reaction to the article as a whole. He then responded that he was still Chief in West Columbia and asked if I minded if he re-read the article that night before responding. I agreed and asked him for a quote I could publish, and he asked where I would publish. At this point, I revealed to him that I am an admin at Cop Block South Carolina… and I never heard from him again. All correspondence I have from him was from Monday, Feb 16, and it is all in the images below.
Based on these responses, my vote is clear:
One week from right now, on Tuesday, March 3, I will be voting for Ed Felix for Lexington County Sheriff. He is the only one who can be trusted to work to end the plague of police violence that is killing thousands of Americans every year and sending untold numbers more to the hospitals.
This is my newest tattoo, the one I am calling “Freeom: Laws Redefined”. It is a cross made of 2 nails, with an 8 made of 2 more nails. Faith and Freedom are two of the most core ideas to my being – indeed, the intersection of those two ideas is what has driven much of my growth and thinking for more than a decade now.
These ideas started long ago, as a sheltered kid began to question who he was and what he believed. I grew up in a very legalist tradition – rules were rules and you followed them without question, more emphasis on not going to Hell than enjoying your salvation, etc. As a teenager, my heart cried out echoing Stacie Orrico’s “(There’s gotta be) More to Life”. I finally began to find, as ZOEgirl once put it, that “different kind of free”: Freedom – In Christ Alone. I began to realize that as amazing as the gift of Christ was, it wasn’t God’s greatest gift to us, His Image Bearers. He had granted us a gift even greater than Christ, and it was this gift that led directly to the gift of Christ – He gave us Free Will. This was a decade long journey from the bondage of legalism to the freedom of grace – and there are new wrinkles developing on this path as we speak.
But perhaps I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about the two distinct yet intertwining symbols of this tattoo:
First, the more obscure – the 8. One of my favorite movies, and among the most influential in my thinking, was The Postman – the 1997 movie with Kevin Costner and Will Patton. In it, Patton is the leader of an army who lives and dies based on 8 Laws, as seen in this clip:
Note Law 8 in particular: There is only one penalty: Death. This is a very legalist, oppressive, dictatorial system.
Later in the movie, at the end of the final battle between Costner’s Postmen and Patton’s Holnists, the laws get redefined, as seen here:
Law one becomes “no more killing” and Law 8 becomes “Live, and Let live”.
Thus, Law 8 is redefined as Life. Here we have a free, democratic, vibrant system.
To my mind, where my religious beliefs are never far from the surface, this immediately connected with basically the entire Bible, and particularly the Pauline teachings. In the Bible, the Law was given to the Israelites not as a method of salvation, but as a method of showing them how truly depraved they were – no man could ever possibly live up to every single mandate of the Law every single second of his life. Many thought they could, and by Christ’s time they had become the Pharisees and Sadducees. In John 8 (see how even the 8 is playing in here?), Jesus confronts them the entire chapter, beginning with the woman they caught in adultery and brought to him for judgement. This is where the famous “Go, and sin no more” is uttered. But later in the chapter, in vs 34-37:
I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Freedom. In Christ Alone.
But let’s keep going, there’s more – much more.
In Acts 8, we get one of the first mentions of a guy named Saul. For those that don’t know, this same guy would undergo a dramatic conversion a couple of chapters later and gain a new name in the process – Paul. But in Acts 8, he is still Saul, and he is doing what Saul does – enforcing the Mosaic Law with ruthless efficiency, throwing people in prison and even assisting in their murder over some offense or another. We also have the famous story of Phillip and the Ethiopian here – one of the first documented missionary encounters.
Romans 8 includes some core Pauline philosophy of life through death. Christ was the ultimate redefinition of Law. In the perfect act of mercy, Christ completely redefined millenia of laws. Because He physically died to sin, no one or nothing else has to. We also get a couple of different core beliefs of mine shown in this chapter in vs 31-39:
31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[l] 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[m] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Finally, in 1 Corinthians 8, we see the new wrinkles that are presently developing – what I call the “Conscience of a Libertarian” (something I hope to write about soon, either here or on the political site). This is where Paul discusses with the Corinthians the issue of eating meat sacrificed to idols, and it is where he makes the famous declaration in verse 13 that “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.”
I first met Mike Sabot in early April when I called together a meeting of area liberty lovers to try to begin coordinating the area pro-liberty efforts. In fact, that was the first time I actually met several people, including Donna Driskell and Tom Knighton.
I’ve been on Mike’s email list since about that time, but here’s a dirty little secret: I rarely actually read any of them. I scan the headline and I might skim the email itself, but rarely do I actually read it.
About a month ago, I made the decision – without talking to Tom, my partner on SWGAPolitics.com, about it – to bring Mike in as a contributing author to our site. I did this primarily because he was covering Lee County pretty heavily in his emails, and he was regularly sending me stuff to publish under ‘Publius’ – some of which I actually did. Because I don’t really have the time to get to Lee County Commission meetings myself and he was going out there, I thought it was a good idea to bring him on to write about those issues in particular.
I was wrong.
Over the past couple of weeks, it has become apparent that Mike really is, as others have described him, an ‘angry old man’, and he is letting that get in the way of his reporting of the facts. While I disagree with many of his opinions, honestly because I do so deeply value freedom of speech, I was willing to let that slide so long as he had his facts straight.
It has come to my attention via some discussions with others as well as an article in today’s Albany Herald that apparently, Mike isn’t getting his facts straight any more before reporting. I can understand a slight slip or two, such as my own brain fart yesterday when I claimed that there was no law requiring government meetings in Georgia to be open to the public, and my friend GriftDrift corrected me.
But Mike has recently made an issue of potential alcohol in the new Lee County Library without ever seeing a floor plan, and earlier this week he accused some of the Lee County Commission – Ed Duffy and Rick Muggridge in particular – of illegal and/or unethical acts that had not yet occurred and in fact, DID NOT occur. He has also recently circulated an email claiming that the Lee County Commission was going to raise millage rates ‘over and above’ the amount that homeowners are now having to pay due to the General Assembly making the correct call of disbanding the Homeowners’ Tax Relief Grant during these troubled economic times. In fact, the millage rate stayed the same, while the Lee County School Board millage rate went up slightly.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I do my best to be as honest and accurate as possible both in my reporting and in my editorializing, and I WILL NOT stand for one of my contributors to put forth such lies. My own sources say Mike was corrected on at least one occasion prior to him sending these emails and writing these posts, and yet he sent them out anyway. In fact, it is due to these very issues that I personally will not be joining the Lee County Taxpayers Association so long as Mike Sabot is affiliated with it in any way.
That said, Tom and I talked about it this morning and we’ve decided to give Mike one more chance with our organization, and that is IT. The next time he spreads a lie, even if via email, I personally will sever all ties with him, including dismissing him from SWGAPolitics.com
I’ve been thinking about some things recently, the subject of a blog post that I’ll be writing tonight. But those things got me thinking in another direction, namely how important an entity’s beginnings truly are.
I like reading biographies because you begin to get an idea of how these people came to do everything they did by looking at what came before. Similarly, when you look at the historical record of any event, you come to see how it came to be by looking at its predecessors. Indeed, you really cannot fully understand anything – be it person, event, or organization – without understanding its history and in particular, its Genesis. [Continue Reading]
This is also from the email series that generated so many of the other posts here at SWGA Jeff so far…
Again, the LP-Ga position (under ‘Sexual Rights and the State’) first:
Recognizing that abortion is a very sensitive issue and that libertarians can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept entirely out of the question, allowing all individuals to be guided by their own consciences. We oppose legislation restricting or subsidizing women’s access to abortion or other reproductive health services; this includes requiring consent of the prospective father, waiting periods, and mandatory indoctrination on fetal development, as well as Medicaid or any other taxpayer funding. It is particularly harsh to force someone who believes that abortion is murder to pay for another’s abortion.
This was one of my personal sticking points, even after I joined the LP. I actually had a good discussion on the issue with a high-ranking LP official, and this is what he pointed out to me:
Some people believe (as I personally do – Jeff, not the official) that life begins at conception. However, in the absence of conclusive scientific proof either way, it is possible to also genuinely believe that life begins the moment you leave your mother’s body.
The LP position is that said life should not be terminated from the point that you personally believe it to have begun, and that the government has no right to dictate that decision either way. Nor should the government help you pay for it.
Note that I personally still have an issue with the LP-Ga position in that even as a minarchist, I believe that decisions such as abortion should have the consent of both the mother and the father. They both worked together to create that baby/fetus/whatever you want to call it, they should both work together to decide how best to handle its needs and their own. I believe an exception should be made for this in the case of rape or other actual, physical abuse. (If I haven’t made it clear yet, I believe mental/emotional abuse to be non-conclusively provable at best, and malarky at worst.) In other words, I wouldn’t force a woman to have an abuser’s baby simply because he wanted to continue to torture her, nor would I allow a male who conceived a child through force to have a say in anything that happens to that child. At the same time, I wouldn’t accept that the two simply couldn’t get along or couldn’t agree. HOWEVER, if the mother wanted to abort and the father did not, I would have them sign a binding contract saying that her parental rights would be terminated at birth, and that the father would have to accept full parental responsibility for the child. To my mind, in such a situation the female actually gets off easier in that she has to deal with the child for 9 months, and the male has to deal with it for 18 years. Yes, I know abortion-advocates will accuse me of making the mother nothing more than an incubator, but nothing could be further from the truth. One of the key components to Individual Freedom is its opposite, Individual Responsibility. In the situation where she would be a so-called ‘incubator’, she chose to have sex if nothing else. Clearly, sex has as a known product pregnancy, and she took that risk when she excercised her freedom to have sex. Therefore she bears the responsibility of the pregnancy.
But hey, that’s just one guy’s views. Like I said, I’m comfortable accepting the LP-Ga position, even though I have a few objections on the specifics.
This one needs the setup from the email that kicked off the response:
Another obstacle to overcome is the fact that Americans are not used to a third party. Conservatives may agree with the issues and like the candidate, but we are conditioned to think that we are throwing our vote away when we vote for principle rather than the elephant. How can we help to change that paradigm?
On the paradigm shift front, we’ve hinted at it in our discussions earlier. People are politically unaware, and because of this they tend to accept the current ‘two’ party system. I hold that these days, there is actually only a SINGLE party, composed of two halves that basically want the same things, they just want their particular brand of those things. Like the ‘Coke vs Pepsi’ debate, you’re still talking about a dark carbonated beverage with similar composition and taste, whichever you choose. The so-called ‘third’ option is really a SECOND option, say… tea. It is somewhat similar to the first option (somewhat dark in color, in the South it is sacrilege if it is not cold and sweet), can be adjusted to taste, and is CLEARLY a different and healthier option that you control yourself, or you can choose to have someone else control for you, if you like the way they do it.
Thus, with people consumed by the Coke War, is is our job as tea drinkers to convince them that there is actually a better, healthier alternative. Our victories will usually be small, but they will be real. And the more people we convince about tea, the more people know about tea, and even more people come to drink tea. This continues until relatively soon you reach a point where you no longer have a Coke War, but a Beverage War. At this point, each of the 3 (2) beverages have roughly a third of the populace that prefer their beverage, and both of the original beverages must pay a healthy respect to the wishes of the tea drinkers, even though the tea drinkers aren’t actually in a majority position yet. This is the point where the tea drinkers actually have to become the most vigilant about convincing people their drink is best, as at this point – and maybe even sooner – the Coke and Pepsi producers will try to offer their own tea flavors in an attempt to retain market share.
Thus, I believe that the best way to shift that paradigm is to talk to people, one on one preferably, in groups if needed. Build relationships. Convince them you know what you’re talking about and that you can be trusted. Because once they begin to trust you, they’ll begin to seriously consider what you’re saying.
And I’m a firm believer that once someone starts really looking at the Libertarian positions, it is only a matter of time before they become a libertarian, even if they never become a full-fledged member of the LP. And yes, I know that sounds kinda arrogant, and I do apologize, as that is SOOOO not my intent here!
We hold that individual rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of sex or sexual preference. We call for repeal of all laws discriminating against women, such as protective labor laws. We oppose all laws likely to impose restrictions on free choice and private property or to widen tyranny through reverse discrimination. We affirm the right of adults to private choice in consensual sexual activity.
Government must neither dictate, prohibit, control, nor encourage any private lifestyle, living arrangement or contractual relationship. We therefore call for repeal of all legislation and state policies intended to condemn, affirm, encourage or discourage sexual lifestyles or any set of attitudes about such lifestyles.
and the LP-National position on ‘Personal Relationships’:
Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the rights of individuals by government, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships.
The LP-National position is more explicit in that government doesn’t have the authority to regulate adult relationships, period, and this is the school of thought I subscribe to on the issue.
As I’ve told Doug in our own conversations before, the issue to me is not civil unions or marriage for homosexual couples. The issue to me is why the Hades is government involved in relationships to begin with? Marriage should be left to the individuals in question and the religion of their choice. Government should offer no restrictions on any consensual relationship, nor should government offer any benefits to particular types of relationships and not others.
Personally, I have the marriage license from the Probate Court, same as any of us who are married. But that isn’t the authority my marriage is based on. My marriage is based on our relationship with God, and the State (government in general) cannot control that and has no business trying to.
Personally, I cringe every time I hear a homosexual couple using the term ‘married’, but I know of some religions and even some Christian denominations who are willing to perform such ceremonies, and if such a ceremony has in fact been performed, then they are in fact married according to their religious beliefs, and the use of the term is perfectly valid whether I like it or not. Again, I would rather they have the freedom to do something I personally find distasteful rather than any of us live with government making decisions for us.
Again, starting with the ‘official position’ of LP-Ga from their site, followed by my own thoughts:
While all Americans have a legitimate concern about terrorism, we believe that the new “War on Terrorism” is being used by politicians and demagogues to promote extraordinary and unnecessary increases in government power. Most of these powers had been previously proposed and rejected as part of other government efforts such as the so-called “War on Drugs”. It continues the false rationale by which the state seeks to restrict our 4th Amendment right to privacy, without securing our lives or property in any meaningful way. Therefore, we call for the repeal of the misnamed USA Patriot Act and its successor legislation.
In addition to that LP-Ga position, here is the LP-National position on National Defense from their website:
We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should both abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world and avoid entangling alliances. We oppose any form of compulsory national service.
From the LP-Ga position, we see that their main concern isn’t so much the international aspects of the War on Terror as the domestic aspects, particularly the domestic spying that the Bush Administration began via PATRIOT (and later expanded through a variety of laws), and had even been occurring to a lesser extent long before then. And I completely concur. The National government used an emergency to grab unprecedented powers that it otherwise would not have been granted. And I would argue that had LP-National’s position on Defense been adopted prior to September 2001, there may not be a gaping hole in the ground in NYC right now.
Going back to the domestic spying, there is no reason for the government to have the ability to spy on a ‘suspected’ criminal without a warrant and due process. If the government thinks that a person is involved in criminal activity, they already have a procedure for being allowed to spy on that person, and it involves going to a judge and getting a warrant. This is the Constitutional method, and it should not be changed.
And back to the defense issue: I personally believe that we should pull every single troop from every single overseas station and place them within 100 miles of the borders, pointing out. Have the Navy establish patrols from the Aluetians to Hawaii to San Diego, from Maine to Miami, and base an entire fleet in the Carribbean as well. Let the Army and Air Force take the Canadian border, with combined Army/Air Force/Marine bases spread throughout the 100 mile border zone.
As it exists right now, our military is spread too thin in too many places, and has necessitated such illegal moves as Stop Loss. It also leaves our nation genuinely at risk, and indeed a West Coast invasion could get to the Mississippi River before it could be effectively stopped, if then. I’ve heard people say ‘but our citizens would resist’. With what? The average American citizen doesn’t own a gun, and most could barely distinguish between an M16 and an AK47, much less the various types of tanks, planes, troop carriers, and other assorted weapons platforms. We don’t have artillery shells lieing around to make IEDs out of, and the military bases that would have the hardware needed to steal and provide a somewhat effective resistance would be the first ones targeted.
Indeed, I don’t know if any of you have read the works of Dale Brown, but he actually puts forth what I believe to be a reasonable theory for how a nuclear attack on the US could be achieved in his ‘Plan of Attack’, he put forth some reasonable theories on drug wars in both ‘Hammerheads’ and ‘Tin Man’, and he actually put forth an idea for a September 11-style attack in his ‘Storming Heaven’- published in 1994, even earlier than Clancy’s ‘Debt of Honor’ which is widely credited with the idea due to its concluding scenes.
Again, I tend to fully concur with both the LP-Ga and LP-National beliefs in these areas.
Here’s the ‘official position’ of LP-Ga, from the platform page of their website:
“We believe the so-called “War on Drugs” is more accurately described as a war on freedom and the U.S. Constitution. It has provided a rationale by which the power of the state has been expanded to restrict greatly our 4th Amendment right to privacy, and poses an especially grave threat to individual liberty and to domestic order. Therefore, we call for the repeal of all laws establishing criminal or civil penalties for the manufacture, use, or sale of drugs. We wish to see an end to “anti-crime” measures that limit our rights to keep and bear arms and that restrict individual rights to be secure in our persons, homes, and property. Furthermore, the ‘War on Drugs’ serves as a subsidy for illegal drug dealers by driving up their profit margin, and has the unintentional effect of increasing crime in our society.”
My own thoughts:
I was a goody two shoes in school, and still am for the most part. To this day, I can’t tell you what pot smells like and have never known where to get drugs of any form other than from a doc/pharmacy, and even then I’ve never known how to get illegitimate prescriptions. I know some of y’all, maybe all, are roughly old enough to be my parents, and you may have fallen under the 18 yo minimum drinking age, but I am 26 and it has been 21 all my life. I didn’t have a drop of alcohol until my 21st birthday. I’ve drank quite a bit since then, but never enough to be of any concern to anyone.
That said, my aunt that died a couple of weeks ago has battled drug addiction for most of my life. I have a cousin I believe to be in jail right now over methamphetamines, and possibly another cousin (the first cousin’ brother) in jail on similar charges. I also grew up in Bartow County, in what was always described to me as the meth capital of GA.
For a very long time – indeed, my views have only within the past 12 months or so changed on the issue – I believed very firmly that those who did drugs should go to jail, pretty much the same as the GOP. What changed me, I do not know, but I believe it came about as I began to realize the full scope of Freedom. A person who is using drugs recreationally is no danger to anyone but themselves, which falls within the Punch Principle and is therefore allowable. Now, if a person is high and causes a wreck, we should hold them fully accountable for doing so, and I even support making the laws for actual, provable physical harm FAR more stringent than they currently are. These more stringent laws would apply equally to the guy that was high and caused the wreck, to the guy that was drunk when he caused it, and to the guy that fell asleep behind the wheel and caused it. He violated the Punch Principle, and he needs to answer for that. Such is a legitimate excercise of government.
Therefore, government should not have a say in whether a person uses drugs, and if a person on drugs violates the Punch Principle, they should be held accountable for the violation of the Punch Principle, not for the use of drugs, which they were perfectly free to do.
Recently, we’ve begun to hear of all this unrest in Mexico caused by the drug cartels. And yes, it is US Drug Policy, including the Drug War, that has caused this. I completely concur with the official position that “the ‘War on Drugs’ serves as a subsidy for illegal drug dealers by driving up their profit margin, and has the unintentional effect of increasing crime in our society.” In a free market unincumbered by laws banning certain substances, prices would be low and profit margins relatively tight. The Cartels would become Corporations, and armed violence over the market would cease as corporations sought better market share through non-violent means, in similar ways that ‘legal’ drug companies currently operate.
Also note that I personally wouldn’t mind a tax on these drugs at a similar level as the current alcohol and tobacco taxes. I don’t have a problem with these taxes currently, as I believe the use of those products to be completely voluntary and therefore if you don’t want to pay the tax, don’t buy the product. I also object to the idea floated by some liberals and moderate conservatives to ‘legalize it and tax the hell out of it’. If you tax it similarly to the current alcohol/tobacco taxes, you achieve a solid balance of providing a solid stream of revenue to government while also allowing the open market to thrive. Yes, you have a level of black market activity, but it is minimal and inconsequential. (BTW: I also don’t believe in prosecution of this black market, even under these ‘legalize and tax’ theories.) HOWEVER, if you ‘tax the hell out of it’, you inevitably drive people back to the black market just as surredly as if you had outright banned the substances, leading once again to most of the problems we already have.
Note that I’ve talked for quite a while on the subject here and haven’t even touched on the jail overpopulation and related issues that would be solved by legalizing drugs.