Tag Archives: drug war

Immigration ‘Reform’ Will Turn the U.S. into a Police State

 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 05, 2013

Whenever the federal government decides to reform something we can be fairly sure that the problem is about to get worse, especially if they call the plan bi-partisan. The bi-partisan immigration reform proposal launched last week in the US Senate will be no different.

The new plan, introduced by Sens. McCain and Schumer, would provide a path to citizenship for many of those in the United States illegally. This would only begin after the borders are deemed secure and applicants have paid fees for their illegal entry. They must also pay back taxes on their earnings while working here without government permission. Those on a path to citizenship would be subject to background checks and would be monitored while in the US.

The devil is in the details, and the details of the McCain plan are deeply disturbing. To secure the borders he is calling for a massive increase in drones flying over US territory, spying on US citizens along the border – and presumably within the 100 mile “border zone” over which Department of Homeland Security claims jurisdiction. What if these drones detect suspicious activity unrelated to illegal immigration? Imagine the implications for the federal government’s disastrous war on drugs. Imagine what’s left of the Fourth Amendment completely tossed into the trashcan. The “privatized” prison system in the US that now benefits from the war on drugs and illegal immigration will no doubt look forward to booming business thanks to the army of drones overhead.

Additionally, the McCain/Schumer plan calls for a nationwide, mandatory E-Verify program, which forces employers to act as federal immigration agents, and forces American citizens to prove to the government that they are allowed to work. E-Verify is an East Germany-like program that creates a massive federal database of every American citizen and notes whether or not they are permitted to work.

As Cato Institute privacy expert Jim Harper noted of E-Verify, potentially tens of thousands of American citizens would come up as a false positive for illegal status, denying them the right to work and forcing them to prove to the government that they are not here illegally. He writes, “If E-Verify goes national, get used to hearing that Orwellian term: ‘non-confirmation.’ ”

Harper rightly notes that E-Verify is in fact a national ID card, writing last week that, “the system must biometrically identify everyone who works—you, me, and every working American you know. There is no way to do internal enforcement of immigration law without a biometric national identity system.”

Much of the most recent immigration problem of the 2000s was actually created by the federal government. The easy money policy of the Federal Reserve blew up the housing bubble and created enormous demand for labor. This artificial demand was filled largely by workers who crossed into the US illegally. Within a year of the housing market crash in 2008, an estimated one million illegal workers left the United States for Mexico and beyond. Net illegal immigration into the United States last year had fallen to zero.

As I noted in my most recent book, Liberty Defined, much of our immigration problems would be eliminated were the federal government to simply return to sound money practices and end the welfare incentive for individuals to come to the US illegally. Afterward, what remains of the problem would mostly be solved with a far more generous and flexible guest worker program. Whatever the case, turning the US into a police state in order to fight a hyped up illegal immigration “crisis” is a bad deal for us all.

Ron Paul

 

 

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Want to end Mexican drug gang violence?

Legalize drugs and the cartels will collapse

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer

http://www.naturalnews.com/034402_drug_cartels_prohibition_legalization.html#ixzz1gV7hRham

(NaturalNews) Rather than curb their prolific use and propagation around the world, the global “war on drugs” has actually made the drug problem worse. According to the latest statistics, drug use around the world is on the rise in almost every category, despite the numerous anti-drug policies in place to supposedly curb their use. Heightened government crackdowns on drug trafficking in many countries have actually led to more, not less, drug-related gang violence.

Irrespective of where they are enacted, anti-drug policies everywhere have had the unintended consequence of actually leading to more violence and criminal activity, while doing little or nothing to actually lower drug use rates. In other words, enforcing anti-drug policies is a monumental waste of taxpayer dollars that seems to only be making the situation worse rather than better.

Mexico is a perfect example of the failed war on drugs. In 2006, Mexican President Felipe Calderon summoned a military crusade of 50,000 troops to crack down on the nation’s drug cartels, which are a main source of drug flow into the US, one of the world’s largest consumers of illicit drugs. But rather than contain the violence, these new enforcements have resulted in more than 45,000 deaths, as drug gangs have resorted to fighting each other for the best remaining smuggling routes.

In the US, the situation is not much different. While there might be less overall gang violence associated with the drug trade than there is in Mexico, an incredible amount of taxpayer funding is spent on targeting users of marijuana, for instance, which largely pose little or no threat to society. Meanwhile, domestic drug rings profit big time from the high prices they are able to fetch for these drugs on the black market.

Back in June, the Global Commission on Drug Policy published a report highlighting the failures of the global war on drugs. That report called for an end to “the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but do no harm to others.” This is particularly true of the many people who use marijuana for legitimate medicinal purposes, as it is far safer and more effective than many legalized pharmaceutical drugs.

In the end, all the war on drugs has accomplished is to further the success of drug cartels, which are wreaking violence and havoc around the world. If many of the drugs that are restricted today were to become legalized, the drug cartels that currently thrive would quickly collapse, leading to a much safer world for everybody.

Sources for this article include:
http://my.news.yahoo.com/drug-war-failed-across-latin-america-2011-113335984.html




				

The Beast is Exposed!

Silencing Siobhan

by William L. Anderson
by William L. Anderson
Recently by William L. Anderson: Progressivists Should First Heal Themselves

As a former collegiate middle-distance runner, I have a high tolerance for pain. In fact, I only have “lost it” one time, and that was when I showed up in the emergency room with a kidney stone. (At that point, I realized that if I were tortured, I would talk.)

Thank goodness, a friend of mine was the ER doctor on call and he quickly gave me four hits of morphine, which quickly quieted me and made the rest of the morning a bit more tolerable. It was only the second time I had taken morphine, and both times the alternative was experiencing pain beyond my toleration limits.

When I was in graduate school at Auburn University, my wife worked as a counselor at a local hospital, and one of her clients was a man who was 92 years old who had been put into care because he was “suicidal.” What had driven him to such a state? The government said he was “addicted” topain medication and denied him the drugs that kept him from being in a state of constant pain.

Unfortunately, this man’s story is the story of a lot of people in this country who live in agony due to health conditions or have complications post-surgery that leave them debilitated. Siobhan Reynolds had a husband with a serious congenital connective disorder who seemed to be responding to treatment from Dr. William Hurwitz, who then was a highly-respected pain specialist practicing in Virginia.

Unfortunately for both Soibhan’s husband and Dr. Hurwitz, Paul McNulty was the U.S. attorney in that area and he had dedicated himself to the directives from then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, which ramped up not only the Drug War but also the entire culture of lying and misconduct that now is utterly out of control at the U.S. Department of Justice (sic). One of the areas of emphasis for the McNulty-Ashcroft DOJ was going after doctors writing pain prescriptions, and Dr. Hurwitz’s high profile made him the perfect target for the feds.

Harvey Silverglate gives the case a lot of attention in his outstanding Three Felonies a Day. McNulty’s efforts to destroy Dr. Hurwitz also translated into an effort to destroy those patients who had responded positively to the doctor’s treatments, and one of those patients was Siobhan’s husband Sean.

Two years after Dr. Hurwitz was convicted by a federal jury, Sean died of a cerebral brain hemorrhage, and whether or not it was due to the fact that his debilitating pain elevated his blood pressure to dangerous levels, nonetheless he was dead and his wife blamed the feds. Unlike many people who just accept federally-sponsored injustices and just go away, Siobhan Reynolds fought back by establishing thePain Relief Network, which became a voice in support of doctors accused by federal prosecutors of writing pain prescriptions that, according to the government, “have no medical purpose.”

Ironically, physicians do not determine what constitutes a “medical purpose.” That is done by political appointees and bureaucrats at the Drug Enforcement Administration and DOJ, even though none of them are medically qualified to make such judgments. However, they are “politically-qualified,” and they do have the power and authority to destroy the lives of others, and many of them revel in just that.

Ms. Reynolds was not someone who would be silenced, and her efforts grabbed notice from bothNewsweek and the New York Times. Among the things she did was to publicize the problems inherent in targeting pain specialists and she also provided information for doctors under investigation by the government’s drug warriors.

Unfortunately for Ms. Reynolds and for all of the people she had helped, the feds decided that the last thing they wanted was a public critic who might actually be responsible for holding federal prosecutors and investigators responsible for what they were doing and saying. When Ms. Reynolds and the Pain Relief Network decided to support Stephen and Linda Schneider, who were on trial in Kansas for (What else?) writing pain medication prescriptions that “had no medical purpose, federal prosecutor Tanya Treadway fought back by abusing the law.

Treadway unsuccessfully demanded a gag order against Ms. Reynolds and the PRN, and then sought a change of venue, which the judge in the case also refused. Undaunted, Treadway first started a campaign of harassing Dr. Schneider’s patients and then Treadway decided to seek possible criminal charges for “obstruction of justice” against Ms. Reynolds.

What makes things even worse is that Treadway is demanding that the grand jury proceedings and material be kept secret. The irony should not be lost here. Federal prosecutors are notorious for leaking grand jury material when it helps their cases. For example, the reason Martha Stewart even met with federal investigators (the meeting that was ground zero for the charges against her) without counsel was because U.S. Attorney James Comey’s staff illegally was leaking grand jury material to the media in order to damage the stock price of Martha Stewart Living.

(While it is a felony punishable by up to five years in federal prison for leaking grand jury material, no federal prosecutor ever has been indicted or convicted of such acts, despite the fact that this is a known and regular practice of the feds. So, Treadway is able to pursue a “Heads I win, tails you lose” strategy, given that she does not have to worry about accountability.)

The investigation has depleted the funds for the PRN and Ms. Reynolds finally shut it down. In announcing the closing of her organization, Ms. Reynolds pointed out the legal irony in a recent Facebook post:

It is important to note that PRN has been refused standing in federal court to sue the federal government in defense of the patients’ Constitutional rights; this, when the Sierra Club has been given leave to sue powerful entities on behalf of insects.

She closes with this warning:

The Drug War is a beast. I believe that the only effort that has a chance at changing the current state of affairs is the Liberty Movement, informally led by Congressman Ron Paul. (Emphasis mine)

Thus, it ends for Siobhan Reynolds. A federal prosecutor is trying to bring criminal charges against someone who simply had the courage to speak out against prosecutorial misconduct and to stand up for those patients who must suffer needlessly because, frankly, prosecutors want to boost their own careers by destroying the lives of doctors, their families, and their patients.

Ms. Reynolds did not quit because she lost courage; she quite because the government stacked the deck against her. She quit because a federal prosecutor is able to manipulate the legal system and the judges refuse to object to an obvious injustice.

Siobhan Reynolds is a remarkable person, someone who has my full admiration and the admiration of many other people. Furthermore, she has paid a real price for standing up to the feds and now has exposed just what a morally-bankrupt operation the U.S. Department of Justice (sic) really is, and the feds do not take kindly to people who reveal the immorality of federal prosecutors.

Indeed, the Drug War is a beast, but it is a beast only because of the beasts that inhabit that zoo known as the DOJ. The beasts at the DOJ demonstrate the conscience of a snake and the morality of a shark. Would be that Siobhan could have stood against them longer, but even for that brief time, she was able to get out the message that those who pursue the Drug War against doctors do not do so because of concern for patients, but because the real purpose of the DOJ is to destroy the innocent.

January 1, 2011

William L. Anderson, Ph.D. [send him mail], teaches economics at Frostburg State University in Maryland, and is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He also is a consultant with American Economic Services. Visit his blog.

Copyright © 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

The Best of William Anderson

 


Cops & Clergy Condemn the War on Drugs


What a Country!!!

Medical Marijuana Patient Faces Life in  Prison for a Half Ounce in Texas

by Phillip Smith, August 11, 2010, 01:30pm

A Texas asthma sufferer who went to California for a medical marijuana recommendation and then got busted in June on a Texas highway with small amounts of marijuana and hashish is facing up to life in prison after being indicted by a Brown County grand jury. He is charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a first-degree felony in the Lone Star State.

Chris Diaz, 20, has been jailed on $40,000 bond since the June 27 arrest. He was busted with 14 grams of weed and hash.

Under Texas law, possession of less than two ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail, while possession of hashish is either a state jail felony punishable by up to two years for less than a gram, or a second-class felony punishable by up to 20 years if less than four grams, although probation is also possible. It is unclear exactly how much hash Diaz had.

Diaz was pulled over for an expired license tag while en route from California to Austin, and according to the DPS trooper’s report, could not produce a drivers’ license or proof of insurance. He was then arrested for failure to identify, and during a subsequent search, police found a small amount of hashish on his person. A search of the vehicle then turned up more hash and marijuana in pill bottle from a California medical marijuana provider.

The DPS report said the search also turned up a cell phone “containing text messages referring to drug sales” and a notebook with “drug and law writings.” Those are apparently the basis, legitimate or otherwise, for the drug distribution charge.

Texas does not have a medical marijuana law, and its authorities do not recognize having a recommendation from another state as a defense against prosecution.

Diaz has attracted supporters both inside Texas and nationally. The Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care and a group called I Am Sovereign are publicizing the case and pressuring Brown County officialdom. And the asthmatic Diaz sits in jail in Central Texas awaiting trial, without his medicine.

Brownwood, TX

United States
See map: Google Maps

Drug sentences create racial caste system

The Miami Herald

Drug sentences create racial caste system

By Leonard Pitts
lpitts@MiamiHerald.com

Ron Allen probably thinks Alice Huffman has been smoking something.Huffman, president of the California Conference of the NAACP, recently declared support for an initiative that, if passed by voters in November, will decriminalize the use and possession of marijuana. Huffman sees it as a civil rights issue.

In response, Bishop Allen, founder of a religious social activism group called the International Faith-Based Coalition, has come out swinging. “Why would the state NAACP advocate for blacks to stay high?” he demanded last week at a news conference in Sacramento. “It’s going to cause crime to go up. There will be more drug babies.” Allen wants Huffman to resign.

But Huffman is standing firm, both in resisting calls for her head and in framing this as an issue of racial justice. There is, she notes, a pronounced racial disparity in the enforcement of marijuana laws. She’s right, of course. For that matter, there is a disparity in the enforcement of drug laws, period.

In 2007, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, 9.5 percent of blacks (about 3.6 million people) and 8.2 percent of whites (about 16 million) older than 12 reported using some form of illicit drug in the previous month. Yet though there are over four times as many white drug users as black ones, blacks represent better than half those in state prison on drug charges, according to The Sentencing Project. The same source says that though two-thirds of regular crack users are white or Latino, 82 percent of those sentenced in federal court for crack crimes are black. In some states, black men are jailed on drug charges at a rate 50 times higher than whites.

And so on.

So while the bishop hyperventilates about blacks “staying” high (?), he ignores a clearer and more present danger. As Michelle Alexander argues in her book, The New Jim Crow, those absurd sentencing rates, combined with laws making it legal to discriminate against even nonviolent former felons in hiring, housing and education, constitute nothing less than a new racial caste system.

Allen worries about a baby being born addicted to pot, but the likelier scenario is that she will be born to a father unable to secure a job so he can support her, an apartment for her to live in or an education so he can better himself for her — all because he got caught with a joint ten years ago.

It is a cruel and ludicrous predicament. And apparently Huffman, like a growing number of cops, judges, DEA agents, pundits and even conservative icons like the late William F. Buckley, Jr. and Milton Friedman, has decided to call the War on Drugs what it is: a failure. It is time to find a better way, preferably one that emphasizes treatment over incarceration.

You’d think that would be a no-brainer. We have spent untold billions of dollars, ruined untold millions of lives and racked up the highest incarceration rate in the world to fight drug use. Yet, we saw casual drug use rise by 2,300 percent between 1970 and 2003, according to an advocacy group called LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). And as drug use skyrocketed, we find that we have moved the needle on addiction not even an inch, up or down. All we have managed, and at a ruinous cost, is to re-learn the lesson of 1933 when alcohol Prohibition collapsed: you cannot jail or punish people out of wanting what they want.

I’ve never used drugs. I share Bishop Allen’s antipathy toward them. But it seems silly and self-defeating to allow that reflexive antipathy to bind us to the same strategy that has failed for 30 years. By now, one thing should be obvious about our War on Drugs.

Drugs won.


© 2010 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.miamiherald.com


Medical marijuana to be OK in some VA clinics

By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer Hope Yen, Associated Press Writer 55 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Patients treated at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics will be able to use medical marijuana in the 14 states where it’s legal, according to new federal guidelines.

The directive from the Veterans Affairs Department in the coming week is intended to clarify current policy that says veterans can be denied pain medication if they use illegal drugs. Veterans groups have complained for years that this could bar veterans from VA benefits if they were caught using medical marijuana.

The new guidance does not authorize VA doctors to begin prescribing medical marijuana, which is considered an illegal drug under federal law. But it will now make clear that in the 14 states where state and federal law are in conflict, VA clinics generally will allow the use of medical marijuana for veterans already taking it under other clinicians.

“For years, there have been veterans coming back from the Iraq war who needed medical marijuana and had to decide whether they were willing to cut down on their VA medications,” John Targowski, a legal adviser to the group Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access, which worked with the VA on the issue.

Targowski in an interview Saturday said that confusion over the government’s policy might have led some veterans to distrust their doctors or avoid the VA system.

Dr. Robert A. Petzel, the VA’s undersecretary for health, sent a letter to Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access this month that spells out the department’s policy. The guidelines will be distributed to the VA’s 900 care facilities around the country in the next week.

Petzel makes clear that a VA doctor could reserve the right to modify a veteran’s treatment plan if there were risks of a bad interaction with other drugs.

“If a veteran obtains and uses medical marijuana in a manner consistent with state law, testing positive for marijuana would not preclude the veteran from receiving opioids for pain management” in a VA facility, Petzel wrote. “The discretion to prescribe, or not prescribe, opioids in conjunction with medical marijuana, should be determined on clinical grounds.”

Opioids are narcotic painkillers, and include morphine, oxycodone and methadone.

Under the previous policy, local VA clinics in some of the 14 states, such as Michigan, had opted to allow the use of medical marijuana because there no rule explicitly prohibiting them from doing so.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are 14 states and the District of Columbia with medical marijuana laws. They are: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. New Jersey also recently passed a medical marijuana law, which is scheduled to be implemented next January.

___

Online:

Department of Veterans Affairs: http://www.va.gov/

Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access: http://www.veteransformedicalmarijuana.org/


War on Drugs exposed as failure at world AIDS conference in Vienna

From http://www.drugsense.org

DRUG POLICY IS INCONSISTENT WITH ALL AVAILABLE EVIDENCE

**********************************************************************

DrugSense FOCUS Alert #443 – Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Syndicated columnist Dan Gardner covers an event and provides a
historical background which has received little attention (the New
York Times did cover the story
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v10/n583/a01.html ).

Mr. Gardner was recognized by the Drug Policy Alliance with the
Edward M. Brecher Award for Achievement in the Field of Journalism
for the series at this link  http://www.mapinc.org/gardner.htm You
may read more of his columns at http://www.mapinc.org/author/Dan+Gardner

Please read and sign The Vienna Declaration at
http://www.viennadeclaration.com/

Pubdate: Fri, 23 Jul 2010

Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)

Copyright: 2010 The Ottawa Citizen

Contact: http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/letters.html

Author: Dan Gardner, The Ottawa Citizen

WHY OUR DRUG POLICY IS ‘INCONSISTENT’ WITH ALL AVAILABLE EVIDENCE

It’s safe to assume most people have never heard of the “Vienna
Declaration.” And that simple fact helps explain why public policies
that fail — policies that do vastly more harm than good — can live
on despite overwhelming evidence of their failure.

The Vienna Declaration, published in the medical journal The Lancet,
is an official statement of the 18th International AIDS Conference,
which wraps up today in Vienna. Drafted by an international team of
public health experts, including Evan Wood of the University of
British Columbia, the Vienna Declaration seeks to “improve community
health and safety” by, in the words of the committee, “calling for
the incorporation of scientific evidence into illicit drug policies.”

Please don’t stop reading. I promise this will not turn into another
of my rants about the catastrophic failure of drug prohibition. I’ve
been writing variations on that theme for more than a decade now and
everyone knows I am a crazed extremist whose views are not to be
trusted by decent folk. I’ll spare you.

Instead, I will merely present a few sentences from the Vienna Declaration:

.  “The criminalization of illicit drug users is fuelling the HIV
epidemic and has resulted in overwhelming health and social consequences.”

.  “There is no evidence that increasing the ferocity of law
enforcement meaningfully reduces the prevalence of drug use.”

.  “The evidence that law enforcement has failed to prevent the
availability of illegal drugs, in communities where there is demand,
is now unambiguous. Over the last several decades, (there has been) a
general pattern of falling drug prices and increasing drug purity —
despite massive investments in drug law enforcement.”

.  (Existing policies have produced) “a massive illicit market. …
These profits remain entirely outside the control of government. They
fuel crime, violence and corruption in countless urban communities
and have destabilized entire countries, such as Colombia, Mexico, and
Afghanistan.”

.  “Billions of tax dollars (have been) wasted on a ‘war on drugs’
approach …”

.  Governments should “undertake a transparent review of the
effectiveness of current drug policies.”

.  “A full policy reorientation is needed.”

Remarkable, isn’t it? It’s exactly what this crazed extremist has
been saying for more than a decade and yet the people who wrote and
signed it are anything but crazed extremists. Among them is a long
list of esteemed public health experts, including the president of
the International AIDS Society, the executive director of the Global
Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, and Canada’s own Dr. James
Orbinski. There are former presidents of Brazil, Mexico, and
Colombia. And there are several Nobel laureates, including the
economist Vernon Smith. (See the full list of signatories, along with
the statement, at viennadeclaration.com).

This should be big news. Drug policies affect everything from the
local street corner to the war in Afghanistan — and here is a long
list of informed and eminent people who agree what we are currently
doing is a horrifying mistake that wastes money and takes lives. The
public should be alarmed.

But this is not big news. And the public is not alarmed. In fact,
most of the public has never heard of the Vienna Declaration. Why not?

To answer that, let me take you way back to Sept. 5, 1989. That
evening, U.S. president George H.W. Bush made a televised national
address. Holding up a bag labelled “evidence,” Bush explained that
this was crack seized at the park across the street from the White
House. Crack is everywhere, he said. It’s an epidemic. Bush vowed
“victory over drugs.”

The whole thing was a fraud. Federal agents had tried to find someone
selling drugs in the park but couldn’t. Posing as customers, they
called a drug dealer and asked him to come to the park. “Where the
(expletive) is the White House?” the dealer said. So the police gave
him directions.

This chicanery was exposed not long after but it didn’t matter.
Bush’s address was a smash. The media bombarded the public with
hysterical stories about the “crack epidemic.” Popular concern
soared. And “all this occurred while nearly every index of drug use
was dropping,” noted sociologists Craig Reinarman and Harry G. Levine.

The power to throw the switch on media coverage isn’t exclusive to
the White House, of course. In 1998, the United Nations convened a
General Assembly Special Session which brought leaders from all over
the world to discuss illicit drugs. The media deluged the public with
stories about drugs — and the UN’s official goal, signed at the end
of the assembly by all member states, of “eliminating or
significantly reducing the illicit cultivation of the coca bush, the
cannabis plant and the opium poppy by the year 2008.”

Time passed. The Special Assembly was forgotten. When 2008 rolled
around, cocaine output had increased 20 per cent and opium production
had doubled. But this spectacular failure was almost completely
ignored in the media. Why? The UN stayed mum. So did national
governments. With no major institutions putting the subject on the
agenda, the media ignored it.

This is the essential problem: If governments talk about drugs,
journalists talk about drugs; if they don’t, we don’t. And since
governments are full of people whose budgets, salaries, and careers
depend on the status quo, they talk about drugs when doing so is good
for the status quo, but they are silent as mimes when it’s not. Thus
the media become the unwitting propaganda arm of the status quo.

I’m not sure what it will take to change this. It would certainly
help if the media would stop letting governments decide what is news
and what is not. Even better would be leaders with the courage to put
evidence ahead of cheap politics, entrenched thinking, and vested interests.

But that’s not happening. And so, on Monday, the government of Canada
felt free to categorically reject the Vienna Declaration because it
is “inconsistent” with its policies — policies which have never been
subjected to evidence-based evaluation and would surely be condemned
if they were.

This is how failure lives on.


Lessons in humility.

The freedom to choose has been The Almighty’s way of dealing with Man from the beginning. When we support aggression against people for their free will choices, apart from those choices that aggress against another, we take on a role that even The Creator Himself, usually, at this time, does not. That is not to say that people do not reap what they sow, only that that is a matter between them and The Creator.

There are no reasons to have any but an extremely minimalist government. The role of  governments, if any, should be to secure the freedoms of individuals to live as they choose so long as it does not infringe on the rights of another.

As believers, we are to be a light to the world. Too often, it seems, we seem to have helped spread more darkness than light through our tacit agreements with government aggressions against our own citizens as well as those of other nations.

Declaring war on anything that causes a problem, whether terrorists or drug addicts, is a violation of the command to love those who hate us and bless those who despitefully use us. If aggression is called for, then we should deal with the individuals who cause direct harm to others rather than every person who might be associated with them.

Criticism that Christians are militant is, often, correct. Unfortunately, it is, usually, not a militancy for The Messiah and His Kingdom, but rather, a militancy for political power. This will, inevitably, lead to greater aggression against citizens through laws that further subject the individual to increasing government tyranny.

The truth is that most of us are selfish. Most of us have no problem giving to our church or some ministry, but will pass by the poor, the homeless, the dirty with more than a little disdain for them. We judge that if they would just live right, well, then they would not be in their current position. We, above all else, do not want to get “involved” with them. Even these assumptions are correct we are in sin.

What is our sin you may ask. The pride of life. We pretentiously believe that what we have done has anything to do with our station in life. Sorry folks, that is the height of self righteousness. We are nothing and have nothing apart from His goodness and Grace toward us. We DO NOT and CAN NOT deserve anything.

This is THE first element of a life in Him. Our acknowledgment that we are the greatest of sinners. That we, I, crucified The Messiah. Me. No one else is more responsible for His death than I am. No one else is more responsible for His death than YOU. Without that realization, it is impossible to come into relationship with Him.

It is the desperate awareness of our complete and total insufficiency that brings us to the foot of that tree. Sin is the blackest of black. It does not matter how many sins we have committed. We were born sinners. The vilest of all sinners is no worse than the “sweetest” little girl or boy. At the foot of That tree we are all sin. We all nailed Him to it. That must be a personal revelation. Frankly, apart from it I seriously doubt whether anyone can be born again.

An exchange MUST take place. He takes my sin, I receive, by grace, His righteousness. The result is an abiding awareness that those who are worse off than I need Him. The only way they can find Him is through love. His Love expressed through me. You see, it His kindness, His LOVE, that leads us to repentance.

Forced submission is no submission at all. We expect that by being tougher on those who violate moral standards that we hold we will, somehow, convince them to change. While it is true when individuals have directly harmed someone else this may (may) be effective, it is just as true that when arbitrary laws where no one is directly harmed are enacted and enforced it often breeds greater contempt.

This is why few people incarcerated for drug offenses ever reform. Why? They know that they were not causing direct harm to anyone. Unless they were selling to minors or sold goods that were substandard or somehow tainted, everyone who bought from them was making a free choice to do so. It is, strictly, a contract between two adults. It has nothing to do with anyone else.

The violence that occurs within those groups of people who are involved with the sale, purchase, and use of drugs is, mostly, a result of the criminality of those activities. How many deaths occurred in even the past decade as a result of illegal alcohol or cigarette sales? I doubt that such statistics are even kept, though some bureaucrat in government might do it to justify his continued employment.

I suspect that if there have been deaths that it is likely a result of government agents interfering in what ought to be free commerce between individuals. But, of course, government must have it’s cut even if it costs the life of a citizen or 2 now and then.

And that brings us to the terrorists. Have you noticed that our “liberation” of Iraq and Afghanistan has resulted in an increase in radical Islam? If not, you just haven’t been paying attention. Fact, you agress against people’s homes and families. You ruin their nation and their future generations with depleted uranium and they get upset. Hmmm.

We could argue all day about whether we needed to attack all of Afghanistan for the acts of, at most, a handful of radicals. The fact is that we did not go after Osama bin Laden. This is established fact and can easily be researched on the web. We knew where he was and did not go after him. We attacked , mostly, innocent civilians and continue to do so. Why, because we could. Might makes right.

They will do things our way or else. Many of us, including myself, supported this initially because, stupidly, we believed our leaders. They lied. Governments are prone to lies, it is the nature of those in power to do whatever is necessary to remain in power. I am not talking the fluctuations between  parties. They are the same coin. Heads or tails, tyranny is tyranny in either of their hands.

Here’s something to think about. According to scripture no man is my enemy. Muslims are not the enemy. Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities, and powers and the rulers of darkness in this age. They control the terrorists as much as they control that neighbor who mocks you for being a Christian

That is why believers must stand for what is right no matter what. What is right is not necessarily what will keep “our side” in power. We have a responsibility to stand against tyranny no matter where it comes from or whom. To be light. To say that is wrong. To proclaim mercy and The Love of Messiah to a lost world.  Truth of scripture and His Kingdom are our weapons. This is where we so miserably failed.

The previous administration committed crimes against humanity, and most “Christians” supported it. They knowingly used weapons with depleted uranium, that’s radiation folks, against foreign nations. That violates the Geneva Conventions, no matter how it is twisted. The way we have treated prisoners is also a violation which the lawyers, (liars is more like it), again twist. Now Obama is continuing to follow the same course and has actually ramped up the wars by sending 30,000 more troops.

We wonder why our economy is tanking, (it is, by the way, no matter what “they” tell us). Why in The Gulf do we have potentially one of the worst ecological and economic disasters that this nation has ever faced. Well, remember reaping what we sow? We better change our attitude. It is not the unbelievers at fault here. Pagans do what pagans do. The question is what will the people who say that they are YHWH’s do.

WE must turn from our wicked ways and quit worrying about what those outside of the camp are doing. Daddy is going to judge this nation by our attitudes. Have we cared for the poor, the widows, the orphans as He commands in scripture?

Have you, personally, visited those in prison or invited someone homeless to stay in your home? Or taken someone less fortunate to lunch, not McDonalds but where you would want to be taken if you were in their position. I suspect most of us don’t even go around people “like that”. You know, Yahshua was known as a friend of sinners, the harlots, the drunkards…Are you?

Oh, this thought occurs to me. What if they take advantage of me? What if they harm me? Well, you and I take advantage of Yahshua every time we commit a sin. It is as though we crucify Him all over again. Spect that hurts Him huh?

He who has judged without mercy will himself be judged without mercy.


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