Legalize All Drugs Now

I don’t make a business of having popular opinions, and this rates as one of my least popular opinions: legalize all drugs, destroy the narco black market tomorrow.

Some of these newly legal substances are more dangerous than others, a one-size-fits-all reform policy would be unworkable.

The first part to understand in my reform policy is that drug addiction is treated as a “disease” as in a medical disorder. All forms of chemical / substance abuse must be recognized legally as individual physical impairments. This effectively separates the non-violent drug offenders from violent offenders.

Drugs like marijuana that are not connected to cases of death via overdose would receive the same treatment as alcohol and tobacco. Regulating based on age restrictions and driving under the influence based on existing regulations regarding alcohol.

Drugs that fail the standard of “death via overdose” should be subject to prescription. Just as we already have a Methadone program, we should do away with this and model after them dispensaries that provide clean, safe environments for addicts to get access to recovery programs and their drugs in the same place. For free.

I feel that decriminalization may prove to be the viable solution to getting the non-violent drug offenders out of the criminal justice system and ceasing the needless waste of the false ‘war on drugs.’

However, advocating for decriminalization has always been merely a pragmatic stance of mine given that the notion of having what I would call “sane drug policy” in the U.S. is likely too much commonsense to ever actually happen.

Advertisements

Boston Judge Rules Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

A touch of good news out of Boston.

It is about time the simple issue of a violation of equal protection under the law created by gay marriage bans of any sort was struck down as unconstitutional by a federal court.

HuffingtonPost.com:

BOSTON (Associated Press) — The federal law banning gay marriage is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define the institution and therefore denies married gay couples some federal benefits, a federal judge ruled Thursday in Boston.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro ruled in favor of gay couples’ rights in two separate challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, a 1996 law that the Obama administration has argued for repealing.

The rulings apply to Massachusetts but could have broader implications if they’re upheld on appeal.

The state had argued the law denied benefits such as Medicaid to gay married couples in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions have been legal since 2004.

Tauro agreed and said the act forces Massachusetts to discriminate against its own citizens in order to be eligible for federal funding in federal-state partnerships.

SB1070 For Dummies & Hayward Hung By The Toes

This YouTube video from 4409 “Wake Up America” Productions is what people really need to understand about ‘that law’ that everyone is talking about when not picturing BP exec Tony Hayward in some contraption from one of the Saw movies.
==================================================
“Please don’t kill me, America! I promise another ad campaign and more toxic dispersant!”
==================================================
This is not about immigration. This is about encroaching on civil liberties first with racial profiling and then moving forward from there to effect all groups.
At least five lawsuits have been filed thus far to fight against the Arizona law coming on behalf of the ACLU and others.
AZCentral.com:

A group of 14 civil and immigrant-rights organizations and 10 individuals on Monday filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona’s new immigration law. It is the fifth legal challenge of the law, which goes into effect July 29 and makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally.

All the lawsuits seek to prevent the law from going into effect. However, this latest case names Arizona’s county officials as defendants, while previous suits were filed against state officials.

Participants in this case include the American Civil Liberties Union, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Immigration Law Center, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Day Laborer Organizing Network and Asian Pacific American Legal Center.

Since I put “for dummies” in my headline I’ll move forward slowly about the why on this show-me-your-papers law signed by Jan Brewer is unconstitutional. Instead slamming a bunch of legalese at you it’s much better to simply look closely at the Section B paragraph of AZ SB 1070:
“For any lawful stop, detention or arrest made by a law enforcement official …”
This just means anything at all that might be contact with the police. If they flag you down on the street when you are walking, that is a “lawful stop.” It has very little to do with vehicles and everything to do with the security of your person from harassment from the police. Even when a police officer who has mistaken your identity, let’s say, it is still a committing a “lawful stop” to detain you and discover your true identity. In short, this opening clause of the law is both sweeping and overreaching in terms of the authority it grants. In this language alone that law has isolated undocumented workers from seeking police services should they be attacked or threatened in their safety for even requesting police services: a 911 call is nothing more an invitation to legal harassment and then deportation.
“… where reasonable suspicion exists that a person is alien and is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made … to determine immigration status of the person”
Many advocates for this draconian law claim it mirrors the existing federal immigration law, but this is completely false. No standing U.S. law fails to define what exactly “reasonable suspicion” is to be recognized as in regards to infraction in question. You may have heard the phrase: “What does an illegal look like?” This is what these people are referring to. There is no standard set within any part of this law as to what exactly is the definition of “reasonable suspicion” of being here under undocumented (“alien”) status. This failure to define what the terms of “reasonable suspicion” entail creates a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against “unreasonable search and seizure” which requires “probable cause” be clearly established prior to such “reasonable attempt”s of the Arizona law to toss you in a cell or search your person in any manner. Furthermore, the Fifth Amendment also protects any person, be they citizen or not, from incriminating themselves so this very act of having state authorities asking a person to identify their status with the federal immigration bureau is a “reasonable attempt” to force the affected party to admit to a minor misdemeanor. Which still ultimately amounts to a form of self incrimination. Another way to understand this is know that if a undocumented worker knew their rights at the time of a “lawful stop” taking place they would be within their rights to claim the Fifth Amendment protections while being asked by a state official their federal immigration status.
“… may not consider race, color or national origin in implementing the requirements of the subsection …”
This clause was added after the initial drafting of the law and fails to clarify just exactly how an officer is to determine immigration status without the use of “race, color and national origin” as the primary factor is raising the question. Had the misguided authors of this law inserted their media commentary that “clothing” was a factor to be decided upon it would have held more weight than this rather self defeating clause. As I stated above, without the method of attaining “reasonable suspicion” of being here under undocumented status outlined in the this law it remains the only standard in which to enforce such a law would be racial profiling. This clause turned a simply unconstitutional law into a literally unenforceable law.
The greatest layer of the unconstitutionality of AZ SB 1070 is the very top layer:
It is not the business of state authority to tread upon the direct charge of federal agencies. Even when they have a false charge of “inaction” on behalf of the federal government, the state laws never supersede federal authority on existing issues. Before any of the other elements of unconstitutionality would be considered this first brazen disregard for the Constitution will get this anti-civil liberties and pro-racial profiling law thrown out of court.
My point from the beginning is it is disgusting and un-American of all involved with this law to even have to drag this veiled racism mixed with an unconstitutional power-grab into our courts in the first place. Striking down this law effectively and immediately is the only course of action that will save both money and freedom in one swift movement.
==================================================
Colbert knows what to do with those Tony Hayward types…
What I myself find especially funny lately is this strange group of people out there, I guess we’ll call them the “Blame No One Party” because that seems to be their game here. They are trying to convince us that blaming someone for the catastrophe that they oversaw and helped create is some act of mad lunacy. That we all should be looking forward. To what exactly I’m not too clear. The next environmental disaster that Big Oil will bless us with? I’ll be over here with my burning Tony Hayward effigy and “Boycott BP” signs, thank you very much.
Don’t forget this is the “worst oil spill in U.S. history” and has turned the Gulf of Mexico “into a dead zone.”
I’m for cutting all our government contracts with BP, and cutting their jet fuel arrangement with the Pentagon as well. A company like BP has no place working under federal auspices of any sort. They have effectively destroyed America. Were this deliberate and not rampant greed and arrogance it could easily be classified as some form of terrorist or economic attack on all of America.
It seems when extremists blow people up: it’s a crime and everybody is mobilized to catch the criminals. But when careless suits at BP blow people up: it’s something to be ignored and just accepted as part of modern life.
UPDATE:
IPC has backed my statements here in their Q&A Guide.

Arizona Expresses Their Racism

Eleanor Roosevelt with the Spanish version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Arizona Senate and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer have passed an unconstitutional and pro-racial profiling law that has sparked intense debate across the nation over the issue of illegal immigration.

The law was written to pander to racist elements in the Republican Party and on the political right-wing. It does nothing to solve the problem, and creates a police-state devoid of civil liberties.

It is nothing more than lies that the federal government has done nothing about the issue, thereby making Arizona justified to pass an unconstitutional and immoral law.

FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON.

Revisions to the AZ SB 1070 have changed “lawful contact” to “lawful stop, detention, or arrest” which changes nothing.

A “lawful stop” and a “lawful contact” is the same thing. These revisions are a waste of the nation’s time. Until the law is abolished utterly there is nothing but racism and fascist tyranny being brought forth by Arizona.

This law violates the U.S. Constitution, requires that police officers engage in racial profiling (which is illegal), opens the door to endless lawsuits that will bankrupt the state, and validates the racist lies of immoral monsters in regards to undocumented workers.

I stand proud with the Boycott AZ movement. Those who love freedom and love American values must boycott all Arizona tourism and encourage a complete cancellation of all events and meetings held within the state until the governor and the state senate abolish this draconian law.

I also support the notion of Major League Baseball pulling out of the Phoenix All Star Game unless the state wishes to return to morality and constitutional enactment of laws.

The U.S. Constitution protects persons, not just citizens. The right to be secure in your person, and not be subject to this “show me your papers” fascistic law is a foundation of our country’s values.

These people spouting racism and excitedly endorsing this Arizona law are not Americans, in my view. They are the most disgusting and vile element of our society who hold no love for freedom, truth, or liberty.

Texas Joins In On The Science-Denial Trend

The state of Texas has jumped on the science-denial bandwagon currently gripping the right-wing. Texas has challenged the EPA findings that greenhouse gas emissions are classified as “dangerous,” claiming that the findings are based on flawed science. This is of course a false and absurd claim coming from the leading greenhouse gas emitter of the U.S.

Al Armendariz, the EPA’s regional director over Texas, said the agency is confident the finding will withstand any legal action. He also said the move isn’t surprising considering Texas’ pattern of opposition to the EPA.

“Texas, which contributes up to 35 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted by industrial sources in the United States, should be leading the way in this effort,” he said. “Instead, Texas officials are attempting to slow progress with unnecessary litigation.”

EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said it’s the first legal challenge by a state, though industry groups have also challenged it.

Texas says the EPA’s research should be discounted because it was conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore in 2007 for its work on climate change but has since been embarrassed by errors and irregularities in its reports.

(Nobody ever successfully connected the so-called “Climategate” hacking incident, which I assume are the “errors & irregularities” mentioned, and the matter of the Greenhouse Gas Effect or the Climate Science findings as a whole in any way except political partisans with obvious Big Energy funding and absolutely no facts to back up the case they make.)

The guys and gals of The Great State of Denial, good ol’ Texas, seem to hold different standards of The Scientific Method and Comparative Analysis. Maybe those words are just too big for Texas.

I see this as just a symptom of a much larger problem breeding under the surface: the praise of ignorance over knowledge; the willful destruction of critical thinking.

The “debate” over climate change can be settled in moments by the most simple process of comparing the credibility of the sources and the amount of raw data on both ends. There is not a debate going on in the scientific community, there is a consensus with a few skeptic holdouts that have almost all published debunked papers at some point or another, but within the political community and the business community they would like very much for this issue to be up for debate. But it’s not, an overwhelming body of evidence exists in favor of Climate Science and skeptics fail to bring any new data (“Climategate” was the biggest joke on conservatives and their complete inability to rationally review data ever) so it’s simply “denial” and nothing more from these Big Money influenced talking heads. The Deniers and the Consensus; Texas just put itself on the side of the Deniers.

What lies under the surface here is the desire to squelch all rational discussion and replace it with bumper-sticker sound bytes. If anyone dares speak out against these ridiculous claims circulating and tries to use facts instead of rhetoric, then you can bet they will start up the personal attacks and just making even more broad claims about more unproven garbage. If you are even perceived as “smart” then you must be a “elitist liberal” who will only “lie to confuse you.” They are teaching people to hate intelligence and love stupidity in the once great state of Texas, all in the name of keeping their rich friends happy and scoring cheap political points while they are at it too.

Dick Cheney Fails To Understand American Values

dick-cheney

Former Vice-President Dick Cheney continues to obfuscate the truth and tarnish the name of all Republicans by means of standing up for cruel and unusual punishment of military detainees.

Appearing on FOX News Sunday recently, the former Vice President continued to advocate a dangerous and sick agenda by claiming pride for the torture and prisoner mistreatment that occurred under The Bush Administration.

Beyond this outrageous fact, Cheney made a statement that I see as a direct affront to very heart of American Values like he has never done before.
1.Chris_wallace_fnc

WALLACE: So even these cases [of interrogation] where they went beyond the specific legal authorization, you’re OK with it.”

3_61_320_cheney

CHENEY: I am.

This was a true testament to how divorced Dick Cheney remains from any understanding of our national standards of justice and our mutual values as a people.

Cheney clearly declares that he cares nothing as to the pursuit of justice to those that break the law under the blanket of authority claiming to pursue justice themselves.

This country does not accept any person or body to be beyond the law, and Cheney insulted this nation by supporting the notion that supporting illegal actions under government supervision are acceptable in a free nation of laws.

Exception to Torture

18 US Code 2340 — Exception to Torture

“Torture means an act of a person acting under color of law to inflict severe physical and mental pain other than pain and suffering to lawful sanctions upon another person under lawful physical custody or control.”

This statute combined with the Justice Department memos seeking to define ‘enhanced interrogation’ as legal sanction are the method by which the Bush administration violated the US Constitution through the approval of cruel and unusual punishment on military detainees as part of lawful sanctions.

Many who use the word ‘torture’ on both sides of the argument fail to recognize this statute in it’s existence. I do not. Those who committed acts of torture as defined by US Legal Code should face prosecution for their acts no matter if they belong to an agency of US origin or not. The Nuremberg Defense is invalid. If your commanding officer orders you to commit torture you are bound by law to resign rather than accept the orders.

The US Supreme Court has rejected the argument that holding military detainees indefinitely is constitutional, stating that habeas corpus (the right to speedy trial) must be granted to terrorism suspects.

The United States Constitution applies as to persons and not exclusively to citizens nor exclusively within our borders. Wherever America goes, the Constitution follows.

Ours was the nation that defined specifically waterboarding as torture to be banned by the Geneva Convention, we proposed that their were to be no exceptions under the law for this method of interrogation to be lawful sanction. This nation once stood against the tactics of the communists who oppress freedom of opinion with fear and propaganda. When politically expedient such a review of history is rejected for the failed logic of ’enhanced interrogation’ being successful and vital to national security. All available credible information on the matter says otherwise and the FBI has warned of a ’blow-back factor’ from using such tactics from the beginning.

Not only do tactics like waterboarding endanger national security but they degrade our ability to conduct ourselves as a credible nation to other nations whom engage in human rights violations and nuclear proliferation. We have no weight in our stance while we allow illegalities to go unpunished within our own government and our own military.

Now somehow in these dark days we have a portion of the country who believe in using the very tactics of the communists that we rallied against so many years ago in a new battle where following this ideology will undoubtedly lead to yet another terrorist attack on the homeland and further the goals of global terrorism abroad. I contend if we listen to the perspective of former Vice-President Richard Cheney on the matter that we will provoke the national security situation to an irreparable state.