Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Decriminalization Fallacy

There has been a push from the libertarians and the left to decriminalize some or all drug use. The arguments made are that it puts non-violent people in prison for long sentences who's only crime was getting high (or facilitating others getting high.). But in reality the REAL reason why these people are pushing for decriminalization is that THEY want to be able to get high without going to prison. Almost to a man, those who argue for decriminalization are closeted drug users themselves. But be that as it may, let us look at WHY the drugs are illegal to begin with.

Illegal drugs are illegal because they are far more addictive than "legal" drugs such as alcohol or tobacco. That is not to say that they are all equally addictive, some are far more addictive than others obviously. Marijuana is much less addictive than say "crack" cocaine, but it is still more addictive than Vodka. Drugs are also very dangerous for young kids and young adults whose brains are still developing, as they can severely disrupt normal brain development, leading to an increase in paranoia and schizophrenia, as well as ADD and impulsive risk seeking behaviors.

But even if one were to make the libertarian argument that drug use harms only the drug user so it should be up to the individual to make that choice, that is again false. Drug users will drive under the influence and kill people and damage property. they will go to work under the influence and make stupid mistakes that either cost their employers a lot of money or get themselves or their co-workers killed. They will have drug addled unprotected sex and bring unwanted children into the world with no means of supporting them. These children will be neglected and abused mentally, physically, and sexually. they will also pass STD's along to their partners or contract them themselves, further draining the welfare state. They will be unemployable so they will be drains on the welfare systems as will their offspring and sexual partners. So arguing they will only be hurting themselves is a lie.

Others make the argument that legalization and regulation to keep it out of the hands of juveniles the way alcohol is sold will increase tax revenue as well as dismantle the drug cartels and their reign of terror on Mexico and Central America. this sounds good in theory but in practice this will not be the case. Some will not want to pay the tax, others will want the drugs but will be unable to buy them because they are too young, or the quack doctor writing the script won't write it for as much as they want, so the black market won't go away. And the attempts to control the black market won't either because the government won't want the competition undermining their newfound tax base. So the drug war won't go away, if anything it will get bloodier because of the added profit pressures.

So we are left with only one justification for legalization that makes any real sense, those calling for it just want to get stoned but don't want to risk going to prison. THAT is the only motivation that makes any kind of logic at all.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Looming Constitutional Crisis

In 1935, FDR was handed a defeat by the Supreme Court when it struck down a large portion of his New Deal. FDR's response in 1937 was an attempt to water down the Supreme Court by packing the court with his cronies. He was thankfully defeated in his attempt. This was seen then (and still) as a potential constitutional crisis.

Today we are presented with a similar looming Constitutional Crisis involving the Executive and the Judiciary. The Obama Administration has massively overreached both in it's attempt (so far successfully) to halt all oil and gas production from the Gulf of Mexico through a "permitorium" of slow-rolling permit applications and not approving any of them, and in it's attempt to take over 1/6th of the economy through Obamacare. In both instances, Federal courts have found the Executive branch in violation of the constitution and in both cases they were found to be in contempt of court by refusing to abide by the court's rulings. In the case of Judge Feldman's ruling concerning the "permitorium", his order was stayed by the Fifth Circuit only two days before the deadline for the Interior Dept. to act. and Ken Salazar had been quoted as saying that if the Order was not stayed, he would simply deny all of the permit applications outright. In the case of Judge Vinson's ruling concerning Obamacare, the Justice Dept filed a "request for clarification" which was really a request for a stay. Judge Vinson ordered the Justice Dept. to stop slow rolling the appeal to buy time for Obamacare implementation and to file an appeal, either to the Federal Appellate Courts or preferably directly with the Supreme Court within 7 days. As of this writing I am unaware of such an appeal being filed. It is the opinion of some observers that the Stay by the Fifth Circuit in the Judge Feldman Ruling was an attempt by the court to save face by preventing the Administration from openly defying the court.

It is clear to me and many others that the Obama Administration feels it does not have to abide by the Court's rulings. This sets up a looming constitutional crisis. If Obama does finally force the Judiciary's hand and openly defies the courts, who will make him? Who will arrest him? The US Marshall's Service? The FBI? The Secret Service? The US Military? All of them answer to Obama. The courts do not have a means of enforcing their own rulings, they must rely on the Executive Branch.

If the Administration feels it is above the law, and can do anything it likes, what is the liklihood that it will abide by a lawful election in which the administration is removed from power. Will it go quietly?

This will not end well. Mark my words.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

In search of the Fourth Amendment.

Much has been written and said about the TSA and it's total disregard for the fourth amendment. One state rep is doing something about it. David Simpson (R- Longview) has filed HB 1938 which makes it illegal to operate a whole body scanner in the state of Texas. a wgole host of other reps have signed on as co-sponsors, including: Reps. Jose Aliseda (R-Beeville), Leo Berman (R-Tyler), Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont), Allen Fletcher (R-Tomball), Dan Flynn (R-Vann), John V. Garza (R-San Antonio), Larry Gonzales (R-Round Rock), Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City), Charlie Howard (R-Sugar Land), Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs), Jim Landtroop (R-Big Spring), Jodie Laubenberg (R-Rockwall), Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), Debbie Riddle (R-Houston), Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston), and James White (R-Hillister). In addition, Congressman John Carter also supports the measure.

And as proof that politics spawns strange bedfellows, the Travis County GOP, the Travis County Libertarian party and the ACLU of Texas are all three supporting the measure as well.