Ron Paul Was Right

I ran across the video while I was trolling through Twitter.  It’s a Ron Paul speech from 2002, the year I graduated high school.  I had no idea who he was back then, but his words sort of hit me like a knuckle sandwich to the nose.  It’s not that I don’t already know about these things, but hearing it condensed into a five-minute speech that was made ten years ago really puts the hook in you, to use a phrase from a favorite film of mine.    Ron Paul may not be the only person in Washington who understands what has been going on, but he’s the only person brave enough to stand up and repeatedly tell us the truth.  Unfortunately, all of his predictions made in this video have come true.  All the more reason we need him to be the last man standing.

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Freedom Watch Booted from Fox Business

I am so disappointed to be writing this to you, readers.  Freedom Watch on Fox Business has been cancelled.  For those of you who don’t know about it, Freedom Watch was a show hosted by Judge Andrew Napolitano.  Judge, as he is commonly known, showcased Austrian economics, libertarian philosophy, and real news issues.  Judge was probably the only libertarian on the news, and now he’s been cancelled.  If you’ll allow me a moment of perfect candor, the first thought that I had when I was saw this headline was, This is bull$h1t!  I’m angry.

Judge was shining a bright light on the Fed, the NDAA, and the tomfoolery that goes on daily on the Hill.  Judge was the only host bringing us real straight talk about the economy and the state of the world today.  I watched his show often in clip version, as we don’t get it in Korea, and found every segment to be enjoyable and informative.  I will admit, of course, that he was preaching to the choir.

Why can’t libertarians have a newsman of their own?  I don’t believe that there weren’t enough viewers, because there are plenty of libertarians, and more are coming to the fold every day.  Judge was a great voice for liberty, and that voice has been silenced.

I, for one, don’t intend to take this lying down.  I love Judge’s show, and he is probably the only person on Fox – or TV, generally – for whom I have any respect.  If you are libertarian but you haven’t watched his show before, I suggest you head to Fox and watch some clips before they get removed.  I’m sure there will be plenty of devotees who have him on YouTube, as well.  I will continue to reuse and distribute his clips, as I think they are interesting and informative.  I’m also going to send an angry letter to Fox and tell them exactly what I think about this.  If you love Judge and refuse to let him go quietly into the night, I suggest you do the same!

Freedom Watch: Ron Paul Will Be On GOP Ticket

Continue reading on Examiner.com FreedomWatch with Judge Andrew Napolitano has been cancelled – Wilmington Civil Rights | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/civil-rights-in-wilmington/freedomwatch-with-judge-andrew-napolitano-has-been-cancelled#ixzz1m4uTqKet

**Addendum: Fox has apparently been inundated with emails about Freedom Watch.  Judge has posted on his Facebook page that, while he appreciates the show of support, the people at Fox are getting pretty irked about the constant emails, and he is requesting that people stop immediately.  We must respect Judge’s wishes on this matter.  Please DO NOT email Fox News about Freedom Watch.  I have taken down the links to the Fox exec’s emails.  

Judge has also stated that the decision was based purely on business and not on the content of the show.  He says that he accepted the decision cheerfully and feels that there will be another opportunity or project for him some time in the near future.  I can only hope this is true.  In any case, please don’t email Fox anymore, guys!

Ron Paul on Jay Leno – Friday, December 17th

Here is the Ron Paul interview on Jay Leno.  I thought it was a very good interview, actually.  Paul gets a good floor to talk about his positions.  This is better than the debates, if you’re interested in hearing more about Dr. Paul.  One thing’s for sure: the crowd loved him!  Very encouraging!

 

Uplifting News

I just read an article in the Des Moines Register placing Ron Paul in second place for the Iowa caucuses, which are now just a few short weeks away.  Although the article once again fails to make mention of Dr. Paul, the proof is in the pudding: Paul is a viable candidate with a good shot at winning.  If you truly love liberty and hunger for change, get behind the only candidate who is pushing for it: Ron Paul!  No more wars!  No more endless debt!  No more unlimited presidential power!  Less government!

Reason #931 Why Rick Perry is Ridiculous: or Legalize it All NOW

There are a lot of things that I want to cover, but this article from the BBC, “Rick Perry suggests US military role in Mexico drug war” just made my eyes bug out.  I think Rick Perry is a horrible candidate for a lot of reasons, and this is just one more to add to the pile.  During a speaking engagement in New Hampshire, Perry apparently suggested that he would send US troops into Mexico to help contain the drug war and keep thugs off of our borders.

I think a person would have to be downright foolish at this point to believe that the so-called “war on drugs” has been anything other than a colossal failure.  Drug crime in Mexico is at an all-time high.  As of 2009, there were over 95,000 Americans in federal prison for drug-related offenses, and a disproportionate number of those individuals are minorities.  That means that there were – and likely still are – more people in the federal pen for drug crimes than for all other crimes, including violent ones, combined.  The US government has been outed by its own agents for running guns into Mexico on behalf of the drug cartels.  Forbes magazine has listed Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquin Guzman as one of its billionaires.  Do any of these facts point to the success of the drug war?

The US government has, according to this Fox news article, thrown over $1 trillion at the war on drugs over the past 40 years, and even the drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, has admitted that the whole thing has been a staggering failure.  The prosecution of non-violent drug crimes causes great strain on an already overburdened legal system, never mind the foolish waste of taxpayer dollars.  The cost of state and federal penitentiaries is staggering, and most states are at 90% capacity or greater in their prisons.  Of course, we haven’t even covered the cost of running the DEA, the marketing programs aimed to make people (especially youth) stop using drugs, and money spent in foreign countries like Colombia and Mexico in an attempt to reign in the problem.  All of this, and the rates of violent drug-related crime continue to rise, along with overdose and addiction rates.

I think another major issue, at least for the people of Mexico, is that their right to bear arms has been severely abridged by the Mexican government through subsequent amendments to the 1917 constitution.  As of right now, Mexican citizens may have guns, but only in their homes and for self-defense.  Said firearms are limited in size, and approval in Mexico City can take up to one month.  Also, there is only one gun store in Mexico City, which means that the supply falls quite short of the demand.  Carry permits are available, but most people are unable to obtain one, and if they do, the size of the pistol is limited to a 380.  (For more complete information, click here.)

What does this mean for Mexico?  Well, in short, it means that people in the streets have no means of defending themselves against the violent crime that is pervasive in several areas of Mexico.  It seems incredibly obvious to me that the only people being punished by these restrictions, however well intentioned they may have been, are the ordinary citizens.  Criminals, as a general rule, don’t obey the laws.  Why in the world do governments continue to foolishly believe that even criminals will obey gun restriction laws?  If anything, those laws work to the benefit of the criminals, who are allowed to do their business in relative peace and without fear of retribution from the victims.

And now, on top of all of this, we’ve got Governor Perry who wants to send US troops into Mexico.  Brilliant.

For one thing, that would violate Mexico’s sovereignty, and I have no doubt that their government wouldn’t be best pleased to see US troops marching over their border.  We all know what happens when US troops come marching over the border.  More importantly for the US, however, is the obvious monetary burden such an act would create – an act that couldn’t be tolerated by a system that is already falling apart under the strain of trying to support three wars and military installations in 130 countries.  To even entertain the idea of further troop deployment into another country is nothing short of lunacy.  Have I even mentioned what the cost in human lives would surely be?

Most of the Mexican drug cartels are extremely well equipped and have been sparring with the Mexican army and between themselves for years.  They have grenades, armor-piercing rounds, rocket launchers, and even so-called “narco submarines,” submersible boats that are difficult to detect with radar or sonar and can carry up to 26,000 pounds of cocaine.  Is Rick Perry seriously considering the possibility of sending our troops into the veritable jaws of death?  We’ve all heard the horrible reports on the news about the vicious murders of which these gangs are capable.

The solution to this problem lies not with troop deployment or spending money.  The answer is so exceedingly simple.  Just legalize it.  All of it.

I know that a lot of people are initially taken back by this proposition.  The idea of legalizing cocaine and heroine and opium and pot is not an idea that many care to entertain.  If it isn’t illegal, they wonder, won’t more people do it?  It seems to me that this notion doesn’t give people very much credit.  I will grant the reader the concession that there are a lot of stupid people wandering around on this planet.  How many people seriously believe that shooting heroin or doing lines like it’s Saturday night at The Boom Boom Room with Lindsay Lohan is a good idea?  Similarly, how many people think that getting drunk all the time is good for one’s health, or smoking pack after pack of cigarettes is healthy for the lungs?  Frankly, a person would have to have been living in a cave to believe such silliness.

The fact of the matter is that for most of its history, the US didn’t have much in the way of drug laws.  According to Wikipedia, the first known drug laws were written in San Francisco to combat opium dens, which were largely run by the immigrant Chinese, who smoked it.  Of course, laudanum, a tincture of opium and alcohol, was commonly prescribed to women for “female troubles” and was not regulated.  Most opium addicts in the US in the 19th century were women, incidentally.  Nonetheless, the rate of drug addiction was substantially lower, in spite of the fact that drugs were available.

Portugal decriminalized all street drugs (heroin, cocaine, LSD, opium, etc.) in 2001.  The rate of addiction and HIV cases spread through needle drugs is down substantially.  The Cato Institute has a report on it that is available here for download.  Instead of focusing on laws and prosecuting drug users, Portugal has decided to focus on treatment instead.  Portugal may have some problems right now, but they’ve got the right idea on this one.

One of the great side effects of legalization is that it immediately takes drugs away from the realm of the criminal black market, where prices are increased due to the risk of obtaining the drugs.  Prices are instantly lowered due to competition and availability.  Actually, if you look at it from this perspective, the biggest opponents to legalization would be the drug lords themselves, who are obviously making a killing (literally and figuratively) on the drug trade.

Just imagine how many lives could be saved and how much money freed up if we just decriminalized drugs!  Think of the number of cases that would never be tried, the number of people who would never see the inside of a jail cell, and the number of family members who wouldn’t have to bury someone they love.  We could spend that money paying down the debt.  We could allocate some of that money saved for treatment of addicts.

What goads me most about the situation is the fact that the lawmakers can’t look at Prohibition and Portugal and realize what needs to be done here.  Are these people not supposed to be intelligent?  Do they really believe that morality can be legislated?  The fact of the matter is that, when fully legalized, drugs, prostitution, and the like are victimless crimes.  They do no harm but perhaps to the individual who partakes in that activity.  It is of no concern to the rest of us, for it harms us in no appreciable way and abridges our rights in no way.  Why in the world do we care if our neighbor likes to have a joint once in awhile?  I don’t care if my neighbor smokes or has a beer or glass of wine after work.  For some people, those are merely a few of the simple pleasures that life has to offer.  Why deny people something they enjoy because it doesn’t fit into our system of morality?  We cannot judge others by the meter with which we use to judge ourselves.

Ultimately, I have to wonder if the government really is this stupid (very possible) or if they know what they are doing and there is some ulterior motive to all of this.  Is the government receiving some benefit from the war on drugs which is not easily seen?  Is a group of people not directly in the government deriving some benefit and doing everything it can to ensure that the system continues like it is?  Truly, I hope that is not the case, because it is high time (pun intended) that we do the right thing.  Legalize it all now.  That is truly the most moral thing to do.

Mad as Hell

Sometimes I like to rant.  This is going to be one of those nights.

I am so angry about the way everything is going in my country right now.  I am expatriated for the moment, and part of me is incredibly excited about kissing U.S. soil again.  The other part of me is in fear that I’m going to have to watch everything I say, constantly defend and justify my choices and actions to people who will never even be affected by those decisions.

I want to have an herb garden!  I want to eat organic food that isn’t poisoned by antibiotics and growth hormones and pesticides!  I want to be able to buy raw milk from an Amish man if that’s what I feel like doing!  I want to put reverse osmosis filters on every tap in our house!  I don’t want my children, when they come, to be poisoned by the food I give them and the water we drink.

I think other people should be able to roll a joint if they want to!  In fact, I think all drugs should be legal!  I think prostitution should be legal, although I personally am strongly opposed to and disgusted by it, for reasons I’m not even sure that I fully comprehend.  I don’t think people should be punished for taking actions that don’t harm anyone but themselves!  Come on, look how well Prohibition worked out!  Portugal has legalized all drugs, and the addiction rate has actually decreased!  If we took drugs off the black market, the price would come down, and the drug-related crime would decrease!  Imagine!  People on the border wouldn’t have to worry about drug-related crime in their backyards!

You know what else makes me mad?  It makes me mad that we’re spending money on ridiculous “non-military military actions” or whatever it is that we’re calling going to Libya and bombing everything to ground.  How in the world can we justify what’s being done and call it “humanitarian” when the very people that we’re trying to protect are dying?!  Moreover, how is it that my liberal (read: Democrat) friends can magically justify Libya, which was not approved by Congress, and trash Bush until the end of time over Iraq and Afghanistan?  At least he had Congressional approval, even if there were no weapons of mass destruction!  I’m not lover or defender of Bush, but at least that was done right!  How is it that these people can howl about Bush and give Obama a complete and total pardon for an unconstitutional aggressive action?! Oh right, I forgot: this time it’s humanitarian!  Yeah, buddy, when somebody bombs my house to the ground, I’m sure going to wave up to the drones and say, “Hey guys, thanks for looking out for my best interests!  That was really humanitarian of you!”

And speaking of the troops, isn’t it about time that we left Germany, Korea, and all of the other countries we’re hanging out in?  Let’s look at Germany.  The war has been over for about 66 years, and yet Germany could still be considered an occupied nation.  Oh, but wait.  Germany doesn’t want us to leave, because all of the money our soldiers spend there is good for their economy.

Korea.  Wow.  Korea.  Although technically they’re still at war, North Korea rarely does anything more than rattle their chains and shoot evil glares over the DMZ.  North Korea is a nation of malnourished (and often starving) people using Cold War-era equipment.  Some of their tanks haven’t even had gas in them for years.  South Korea, by contrast, is a technologically savvy industrialized nation.  Do NOT tell me that they can’t take care of themselves.  They can.  We don’t need to be involved in the affairs of Koreans or Germans or anyone else.

I could go on and on and on about all of this.  It just drives me crazy that people can’t or won’t wake up and see what’s happening.  We’ve allowed our liberties to be slowly eroded, and now we’re at the juncture where mentioning them feels like doing little better than paying lip service to a United States that is desperately gasping out its last breath.  Are we really going to let our great experiment fail?

I don’t have all the answers.  There is no perfect answer.  I write letters to my reps.  I am writing this blog.  I want to home-school my kids and grow as much of my own food as possible.  I want Ron Paul to be elected and, although I don’t agree with him on every issue, we have to start somewhere.  For those of us who are liberty-oriented, we can’t sit around and wait for the “perfect candidate.”  Dr. Paul is a damn good one, and he’s the only person out there who is honestly trying to do what he thinks is best.  He is the smartest of the lot, and he actually cares about liberty and not just the power of the presidential position.

We have got to start doing things that make sense.  Sociology tried to teach me that there is no such thing as common sense, but I don’t believe that.  Common sense tells me that we can’t spend ourselves into prosperity or force peace by making war.  True republics are not fostered by aiming guns at people and telling them what to do.  Real liberty comes from choice.  We have the choice right now to make a REAL change or face the consequences.  I love my country, and I love the people.  I love the Constitution.  But dammit, the government really makes me angry.

I want more people to get mad.  In the words of Howard Beale in the 1976 film “The Network:”

“We know things are bad – worse than bad!  They’re crazy!  It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore.  We sit in our house and slowly the world we’re living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms.  Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radios, and I won’t say anything.  Just leave us alone!  Well, I’m not going to leave you alone!  I want you to get mad!  I don’t want you to protest, I don’t want you to riot, I don’t want you to write to your Congressman, because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write.  I don’t know what to do about the Depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street.  All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad!  You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a human being, goddammit!  My life has value!'”

I am mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!

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