[2010-05-21] PROHIBITION FAILED--AGAIN! What IS the Lesson of History? Ask the Right Question-REDUXhttp://dennisleewilson.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=418.msg770#msg770http://tinyurl.com/ProhibitionFailed-Again
Regardless of how this authority is derived, either by force, or declaration, or Immaculate Conception, or even popular vote, the idea that one or more people can create or deprive another of rights destroys the concept of rights as a valid political concept. There are, of course, many people who love nothing less than to destroy rights as valid political concept, because the idea of rights being universal, ubiquitous, and utterly equal is destructive to the people who would control others at any cost.
--Scarmig at http://www.strike-the-root.com/91/scarmig/scarmig1.html
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise*
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 572, May 30, 2010http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2010/tle572-20100530-03.html
Arizona politicians, reacting in part 
to tales of trespass and violence on private lands
near the border with Mexico, (see explanation by Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen HERE
) have responded by taking upon themselves the very same brutal, tyrannical powers of the Federal police state that caused the problem in the first place.
What Arizona politicians [and apparently most everyone else!] have conveniently ignored is that the Federal government's UN-constitutional
--and therefore illegal--action of putting armed guards and gates at the established border crossings several decades ago (and gradually "tightening" entry requirements) has been the CAUSE of people crossing at other places along the border--repeating the historical experience of "The Wall" between East & West Berlin.
Furthermore, the Federal government's UN-constitutional--and therefore illegal--War Against (some) Drugs has created
a lucrative black market accompanied by violence--repeating the violent historical experience of the "Roaring Twenties" War Against Alcohol.
Alcohol? Drugs? Travel? Guns?
Tobacco? Gambling? Sex? Salt? Sugar? Soda Pop? Even plastic bags!!
The target of government prohibition does not matter. PROHIBITION has NEVER worked! But the (unintended?
) consequence has ALWAYS been violence and "black" markets where none existed before.
The proper solution to border violence is REPEAL of the un-constitutional, Federally imposed prohibitions on both travel and drugs. The PROPER course of action for Arizona and other states is to invoke the 10th Amendment and NULLIFY the Federal drug and travel prohibitions within their state’s boundaries.
And THAT is what Arizona politicians have failed to identify and rectify.
I REMEMBER when the current problems DID NOT EXIST. I remember forty years ago when the border crossings were not so heavily Federalized and the government prohibition on (some) drugs was still in its infancy. The increase in violence came with the increase in prohibition. When the government prohibition on alcohol was repealed, the violence and black markets ceased immediately!
Protect Our Youth! Save our Children! Stamp Out Prohibition! Our grandparents admitted their mistake and resolved this problem in their time!
What part of that history lesson has the government school system successfully eradicated from the minds of Arizona’s politicians—and the voters who keep them in office?
Wake up Arizona! Prohibiting government from violating individual rights has ALSO failed! The lesson of history is that no form of political governance may be relied upon to secure the individual rights of life, liberty and property!
It is folly to create a political system (a government) that empowers SOME people to exercise control over other people. Such a system ALWAYS becomes abusive of individual rights. Government--at ALL levels--is an unnecessary evil, a deadly, ever-growing cancer posing as its own cure!
There ARE other ways to establish and "organize" social structures without resorting to a hierarchy of power. But as long as a person continues to embrace the idea of prohibition by use of government decree and power, that person will not seek out literature on better, non-intrusive social structures. As long as an individual seeks to employ a system of government to control the behavior of other individuals, that individual will not himself be free.
Dennis Lee Wilson
Signatory: Covenant of Unanimous Consent
Post Script to my would-be detractors : Yes, unlike Federal Attorney General Eric Holder, I did read the Arizona bill
at http://www.azleg.gov/alispdfs/council/SB1070-HB2162.PDF before I wrote this article.
Have you read the Constititution
and my published analysis of it 
regarding this issue?Notes
 "Ask the Right Question"
addresses the problem of "protecting" the government welfare, hospital and school systems from non-citizens, along with other issues long before they were mentioned by Senator Allen.
Expanded version with supporting material is available at http://dennisleewilson.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=12.0
 Explanation by Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allenhttp://bsimmons.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/i-want-to-explain-why-sb-1070-is-needed-by-arizona-state-senator-sylvia-allen/Ironically, her final sentence contains a plea for "...respecting and upholding the Constitution the law of our land..." while she herself--like so many others-- ignores what it actually contains.
(See  below).
 "Immigration control is UN-Constitutional!"
addresses the UN-Constitutionality of Federal immigration acts. REALLY! Its TRUE! The US Constitution does NOT AUTHORIZE immigration control! P.S., that goes for EXIT control and DRUG control also!!
Expanded version with supporting material is available at http://dennisleewilson.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=13.0
 Are the consequences of government's actions really "unintended"? Larken Rose makes the following point in "In Defense of Bigots"
- What those in "government" have done in the name of improving "race relations" was designed to forever divide the races, and to keep both sides forever begging "government" for its blessings and preferential treatment. The result is perpetual strife among the citizenry, and increased power for politicians.
 From the preamble of the Covenant of Unanimous Consent
Mr. Wilson has been a resident of Arizona since 1961. He has watched Arizona grow from benevolent Goldwater "conservatism" to intolerant "Bomber" McCain Madness and is disgusted, but no longer surprised by the intolerant bigotry of Arizona's "white" newcomers; intolerant bigotry that keeps Maricopa County Sheriff "Jeneral Joe" Arpaio
in office, intolerant bigotry that has driven-out Hispanic and other businesses and labor, and intolerant bigotry that has contributed in large measure to the more than $3.5 Billion Arizona government deficit. Mr. Wilson tolerates bigots who exclude Mexicans from their own (the bigot's) private property, but does NOT tolerate their attempts to exclude invited Mexicans, Canadians and other guests from HIS property.
at Mr. Wilson's forum/blogCreative CommonsAttribution Share Alike
"An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed." - U.S. Supreme Court, Norton v. Shelby County, 118 US 425 (1886)
Portugal has abolished all of their drug laws [in 2001] and they found that drug usage and addiction went down. Of course some naysayers predicted absolute doom for the country with all sorts of “drug tourism” but nothing of the sort occurred. Portugal didn’t do this out of some love for liberty, but rather the necessity of economics: the government couldn’t afford to pay police and court bureaucracy to prosecute their drug war, so they just threw in the towel and gave up. It won’t be long until the US and Mexico have to do the same, else they risk facing an overpowering drug lord insurgency and dissolution of government in Mexico.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/59962.htmlPossession of Any Recreational Drug Has Been Legal in Portugal Since 2001…
Posted by David Kramer on June 20, 2010 12:47 PM
…and the country hasn’t fallen apart. (I know—you’re “shocked.”) Portugal legalizes drugs. Crime & Usage falls.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7FshBjkS6U&feature=player_embedded
As I’ve mentioned before, the U.S. could never legalize recreational drugs—otherwise, how could the Bushes
make a living?
[Thanks to Wilt Alston]
"Every government failure becomes the pretext for more government growth.
If you don't get distracted by the spectacle, it's impossible not to notice the pattern: Every political solution to any problem involves more regulation of your life and more taking of your money.
"...the average person thinks that the government is some kind of a magic cornucopia and is the solution to their problems – when actually government is the basic cause of all these problems. Its only products are taxes, regulations, and inflation – along with wars, pogroms, persecutions and the like. Government produces nothing."
Care to see how really UN-popular my view is? http://world-news.newsvine.com/_question/2010/05/12/4274124-do-you-support-arizonas-tough-new-law-on-illegal-immigration
Total of 79,668 votes:
94.1% Yes 74,998 votes
5.9% No 4,670 votes
"One man with courage is a majority."
http://gazetteonline.com/blogs/covering-iowa-politics/2010/08/03/iowa-ranks-second-for-per-capita-public-debtThe state treasurer said Iowa continues to be a low-debt state and currently has the top bond rating of Aaa, .... He noted that the bonds are being repaid at $43 million a year from gambling profits to the state, not tax money.
Gee. I can remember when Iowa gambling was PROHIBITED, just like alcohol was prohibited--and just like drugs and travel are now prohibited. And NOW we have the State of Iowa politicians planning budgets and making money from legalized gambling!!!! Maybe there is some real value in REPEAL
Excerpt from http://www.lewrockwell.com/jacobs/jacobs9.1.1.htmlProperty Rights, Liberty, and Immigration
by Glenn Jacobs
When you empower the government to do something, the government often ends up using these powers in ways that you do not foresee or intend. And it may end up using these powers against you. In the preface to her novel Anthem
, Ayn Rand lambasted socialists for not recognizing or taking responsibility for the consequences of the policies that they advocated, ‘they expect, when they find themselves in a world of bloody ruins and concentration camps to escape the moral responsibility by wailing: "But I didn’t mean this!"’As the United States continues its war on immigration, the government is building the infrastructure for a police state – internal checkpoints, national ID cards, work permits.
When we wake up in that police state, will the anti-immigration crowd cry: "But I didn’t mean this!"
As a criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix, Marc Victor has seen his share of bogus drug cases and the effect the drug war has on peaceful people.
Video at http://blip.tv/file/3519312
PAGE NINECrime is not spread across the streets of America.
The Uninvited Ombudsman Report
No. 87 -- June 21, 2010
by Alan Korwin, Bloomfield Press
Crime, and crime using guns, happens in isolated areas
for well-known reasons the media and politicians hide from you.
See the maps. A picture is worth a thousand words.http://www.gunlaws.com/GunshotDemographics.htm
Public Enemy Number One Defined:Despite having some of the most restrictive laws in the country, Chicago is a national leader in shootings and murders, and the mayor himself noted that “we’ve seen far too many instances in the last few weeks” of firearm violence, including the shooting that left a cop dead last night. Since guns are readily available in Chicago even with a ban in place, do you really think it’s been effective?
Many of these aren't "gun deaths" at all, they are "war deaths."
It's the endless fruitless government-run War On Some Drugs.It's a declared war.
Combatants in the war are killing each other.
End the war, declare a truce, call for an armistice—
Watch a large part of the "gun problem" fade away.
But that would hurt the effort to disarm the public,
and would end many of the jobs programs fraudulently
labelled the war on drugs, so don't expect it to happen
any time soon.
CHICAGO MURDERS BY AREA, 2008
Chicago Tribune Data and Map
« Last Edit: 2012-May-13 01:13:29 PM by DennisLeeWilson »
As much as I disagree with the Arizona response, the Federal response is truly disgusting. The situation is a pathetic War of Words between those who claim to be our HIGHEST Lords & Masters and those with a lessor claim to such Rulership.
http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/biased-item/attorney-general-calls-for-lawsuit-against-law-he-hasnt-read/Attorney General Calls for Lawsuit Against Law He Hasn’t Read
Wednesday's Biased Item - May 19, 2010
-Read the excerpt below (posted on May 15th at Newsbusters.org by Tom Blumer).
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.
1. What type of bias is the excerpt below an example of?
2. a) What do you think of the assertion below made by Andy McCarthy at nationalreview.com
b) Ask a parent the same question.
- Holder Profiles Arizona -- Isn't that really what the Attorney General is doing?
He hasn't read the Arizona immigration law, even though reading the law is the basic duty of any lawyer (let alone the U.S. Attorney General) who is called on to assess a legal situation.
Thus, he hasn't got reasonable suspicion that Arizonans are violating the Constitution, even though reasonable suspicion is the basic investigative standard we expect law-enforcement to satisfy before officials harass Americans with stepped up scrutiny.
And we know he has a bias because he told us, unabashedly, that he thinks Americans are "cowards" on matters of race.
Think about it this way: If a police officer, without taking elementary investigative steps to inform himself about the facts of a situation, and thus without reasonable suspicion, simply assumed a person must be guilty of wrongdoing based on the police officer's avowed prejudice, what would Eric Holder call it?
Watch the video of Attorney General admitting he hasn't read the law (the first 1:30 minutes): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPCGVdvMH_A&feature=player_embedded
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answer(s).Excerpt
[Sunday, May 9 on NBC's Meet the Press, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the federal government is weighing a lawsuit against Arizona's recently passed illegal immigration law, which is supported by 60% of Arizona voters.
On Thursday, May 13,] ...Attorney General Holder...told...the House Judiciary Committee the following about his knowledge of Arizona's recently passed immigration law-enforcement measure: ...I've glanced at it. I have not read it.
...I have not been briefed yet.
... I've only made, made the comments that I've made on the basis of things that I've been able to glean by reading newspaper accounts, obviously, looking at television, talking to people who are on the review panel, on the review team that are looking at the law.
...Holder's admitted ignorance about a routinely misrepresented law ... has received very little establishment media attention.
There is one interesting exception to this at the Washington Post, where Jerry Markon hit Holder pretty hard. Read Markon's dispatch here.
... [Markon's Washington Post website article] is datelined 4:11 p.m. on Friday, May 14, just in time to be ignored, and that it seems not to have made it into Friday's or Saturday's WaPo print edition.
Elsewhere, it's slim-to-none pickings:
* At the Associated Press's main web site, a search on "Eric Holder Arizona" (not in quotes) returns nothing relevant.
* The same search at the New York Times returns nothing relevant. The two May 14 items only appear at the top of the paper's search results because there's a link to the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona ruling at those web pages. There is also nothing relevant at the Times's Caucus blog or its Opinionator blog.
* A Google News Search for May 13-15 on "eric holder arizona immigration law read" (not in quotes; string was necessary to separate Holder's immigration law comments from other unrelated items) returns 95 items. This is light coverage for an admission such as Holder's, and the roster of the 95 contains very few establishment press outlets. One prominent exception, as usual, is Fox News. Another notable link is at Investors Business Daily where the paper calls for Holder to resign.
Read the Arizona bill at http://www.azleg.gov/alispdfs/council/SB1070-HB2162.PDF
Read the original post at http://newsbusters.org/node/38677/print
« Last Edit: 2010-May-26 10:58:39 AM by DennisLeeWilson »
How PROHIBITION works in 2010 Chicago:
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-05-21/news/ct-met-kass-0521-20100521_1_handgun-ban-mayor-richard-daley-police-officerPolice officer slain as mayor embarrasses himself and city
May 21, 2010|By John Kass
In anti-handgun Chicago, criminals aren't bothered by Mayor Richard Daley's handgun ban. They haven't been bothered for years.
And so another Chicago police officer was shot to death. But it wasn't during a traffic stop or some hunt through an alley after a drug sting.
Thomas Wortham IV, 30, was a victim of a robbery, shot down outside his boyhood home in the staunchly middle-class Chatham neighborhood, his body dragged 100 feet or so by the getaway car.
The thugs were trying to steal his motorcycle, a gift to himself upon his return from a second tour of duty in Iraq as a first lieutenant in the Army National Guard.
Wortham, a patrol officer, was helping his neighbors reclaim a troubled neighborhood park, the scene of several recent shootings.
"He was the best of us. He was a role model. He was 30 years old, a grown man, a police officer, a soldier, a man of service," said Ald. Freddrenna Lyle, 6th, who has known the Wortham family since she was a child.
"It was 'Yes, ma'am' and 'No, sir' from him. He had self-respect. He was teaching these young men how to be men," she said.
I talked to Lyle on a side street in Chatham just after she'd paid a long condolence call to the Wortham family, as neighbors stood out on their sidewalks, agonizing over the loss.
The front lawns were neat and small. Backyard gardens were places of old-fashioned flowers, peonies and phlox and tea-roses. It is a neighborhood carefully tended.
At that moment, Mayor Daley was holding a news conference, another dog-and-pony show at City Hall to demonstrate his tough stance on crime.
He called it to express his concern that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the city's handgun ban. There were guns on a table as props, so much eye candy for the cameras.
A reporter asked the obvious question: Given the numbers of shootings in the city, isn't the handgun ban ineffective?
The question was more than fair. In Chicago, the only people who are confident in their 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms are the criminals, the cops and the politicians.
Law-abiding citizens can't own handguns. They don't have an army of bodyguards, as does Daley. Political hacks have guns. They get out the vote for his machine.
And the retired neighbor who's never been arrested in his life? Oh, no. If he has a gun, it would be anarchy in the streets, according to Daley.
Confronted with a logical question, here's what the mayor did: He picked up a rifle from the prop table of guns, raised it and began to babble. [See video at link above]
"It's been very effective," said Daley of the handgun ban. "If I put this up your butt, you'll find out how effective it is. Let me put a round up your, you know."
The mayor of Chicago then went on to say if the justices were attacked by thugs with guns, they'd see things his way.
"Maybe they'll see the light of day," Daley said. "Maybe one of them will have an incident, and they'll change their mind overnight, going to and from work."
Chicago politics is a rough business. But suggesting that Supreme Court justices need to suffer before becoming enlightened is despicable. It not only embarrasses the mayor, but everyone who lives or works in Chicago.
His press aides put out a statement saying the mayor used "less than ideal" language when he suggested inserting the rifle into his critics and pulling the trigger.
And there was no word of any plans to apologize to the Supreme Court.
But he meant what he said. And so the mayor reveals his nature.
Daley has been a bully his entire life, a child of muscle and privilege, and now he's terrified at the prospect that his citizens might think he's lost control of the streets.
The police despise him. Their department is terribly understaffed and overworked. Taxpayers want more cops. But there's no money for additional police because Daley wasted it all, hundreds of millions of dollars year after year after year on deals for his cronies.
While Daley spent his life pushing weaker people around, Thomas Wortham spent his life as a man of service. Now he's cold at the funeral home, waiting for burial.
His Chatham neighborhood once was considered free of violence. It is the home of Sen. Roland Burris, of former Police Supt. police Superintendent Terry Hilliard, of lawyers, judges, doctors, bus drivers and steelworkers.
Neighbors recalled Cole Park, just across the street from Wortham's boyhood home, as a place to see the best basketball players in the city. Even a young rookie named Michael Jordan played hoops in pick-up games.
Now there are iron bars over the rims to discourage young men from congregating in the park, the scene of a recent rash of shootings.
Wortham's tour of duty in Iraq ended less than two months ago. He bought himself that motorcycle and planned on helping Ald. Lyle reclaim Cole Park this weekend.
On Thursday, it was the setting for a prayer vigil for his immortal soul.
"His mother was worried that something was going to happen to him over there [in Iraq]," Lyle told me. "But he had to come home to Chicago to get shot down."
Home to Chicago, the anti-handgun city, where the thugs don't worry much about what the mayor has to firstname.lastname@example.org
http://www.chicagoreader.com/TheBlog/archives/2010/05/20/mayor-daley-threatens-to-shoot-the-messengernamely-meMayor Daley Threatens to Shoot the Messenger—Namely, Me
Posted by Mick Dumke on Thu, May 20, 2010 at 4:32 PM
Mayor Daley loves to bag on the local media, and given my recent line of inquiry into his politics and policies, I’ve never expected to be greeted with a fruit basket at City Hall.
But even I was a bit taken aback this morning when the mayor grabbed a rifle and threatened to shoot me.
The mayor was holding a press conference to discuss what the city was doing to prepare for the Supreme Court’s expected decision to overturn the city’s gun ban. The short answer: all sorts of things, but we’ll just have to wait until the court weighs in next month to find out the details. “We’re hoping for the best,” Daley said.
Guns are one of the mayor’s favorite soapbox topics—he regularly goes out of his way to point out that he despises gun manufacturers and “extremists” like the NRA. “It’s really amazing how powerful they are,” he said today, standing next to a table covered with handguns, rifles, and even a machine gun that police had seized. “They’re bigger than the oil industry, bigger than the gas industry, bigger than Google, bigger than President Obama and the rest of them."
Daley also likes to highlight what he considers to be flagrant hypocrisy on the part of the defenders of gun rights. “Now you can’t walk into the Supreme Court—you have to walk in the side way. They’re going to barricade the doors or something now. I mean, they’re barricading the doors but they’re saying everyone else should have guns. That’s the thing that bothers me in Washington. As you know in Washington all things are being barricaded, all federal buildings. But they’re saying everybody else should be able to carry guns.”
But even supporters of tough gun regulations—myself included—have to admit that it's not clear how much they reduce violence. Despite having some of the most restrictive laws in the country, Chicago is a national leader in shootings and murders, and the mayor himself noted that “we’ve seen far too many instances in the last few weeks” of firearm violence, including the shooting that left a cop dead last night.
So I asked: since guns are readily available in Chicago even with a ban in place, do you really think it’s been effective?
I’m hardly the only guy who asks the mayor things he doesn’t want to answer, and I’ve been responsible for at least one of his huffing, puffing, ranting tangents, which generally get the press corps laughing, thus enabling him to move on to the next question without giving a real answer to the one at hand.
But even by those standards, this was a masterful and surreal performance.
“Oh!” Daley said. “It’s been very effective!”
He grabbed a rifle, held it up, and looked right at me. He was chuckling but there was no smile.
“If I put this up your—ha!—your butt—ha ha!—you’ll find out how effective this is!”
For a moment the room was very, very quiet. I took a good look at the weapon. It had a long bayonet. (Was it seized during the Civil War?)
“If I put a round up your—ha ha!”
The photographers snapped away. Suddenly everybody started cracking up.
Daley went on. “This gun saved many lives—it could save your life,” he said—meaning, I think, that getting that gun off the street might have saved many lives, including mine.
And he went on some more. “We save all these guns that the police department seizes, you know how many lives we’ve saved? You don’t realize it. First of all, they’re taking these guns out of someone’s hands. They save their own life and they save someone else’s. You cannot count how many times this gun can be used. Thirty, forty times in shooting people and discharging a weapon. I think it’s very important.
“Next will be hand grenades, right? We’ll say that hand grenades are OK. I mean, how far can you go in regards to mass weapons? To me, any gun taken off saves thousands of lives in America. I really believe that, I don’t care what people tell me. You have to thank the police officers for seizing all these weapons. We lead the country in seizing weapons. This is unbelievable.”
I had to agree.
« Last Edit: 2010-May-23 11:45:10 AM by DennisLeeWilson »
Who banned my soda pop?
Some governments say citizens can't be trusted to make the right nutritional choices. So how far should they go in trying legislate better health?
From Saturday's Globe and Mail Published on Friday, May. 21, 2010 4:51PM EDT Last updated on Saturday, May. 22, 2010 11:47PM EDT
Soda pop is the new tobacco. First banned in some school boards, soda pop and other sugar-laden drinks are now being legislated away by different levels of government in the next wave of social engineering programs. But if the state starts by substituting soya milk for Gatorade at your local arena, will it end with them telling you, you can't buy Pizza Pops?
The City of Toronto has decided that – on its own property, at least – choice is something its citizens are better off without. Hoping to prod its children into better eating habits, the city is planning to banish pop and energy drinks from vending machines in its community centres and arenas. Canada is not alone. The battle against sugar is being engaged on many levels throughout the United States. On the international level, the World Health Organization was pushing through a global strategy initiative this week.
While few will argue against targeting obesity, the public-health consensus is at odds with those who would rather make up their own minds. “To what extent do you start regulating the lives of people, so as not to hurt themselves?” asks Jack Mintz, the Palmer Chair in Public Policy at the School of Policy Studies at the University of Calgary. “ How far down the road do you want to go? Should we disallow people from going to fast-food places?”— Jack Mintz, University of Calgary.
Of course, as Dr. Mintz notes, public-health issues come back to hit the public purse when a country has socialized medicine. To his mind, the state should intervene in the health decisions of individuals only when they threaten the well-being of others. Beyond that, he says, attempting to change citizens' behaviour is a questionable endeavour.
“The question is, a) does the state really know that much better? and b) to what extent do we want to encourage individual responsibility, and people thinking for themselves?”Toronto takes the lead
Nevertheless, the experiment is in play and public-health advocates across the country are watching Toronto's program with great interest.
If all goes according to plan, kids emerging from Toronto's locker rooms will be able to buy only 100-per-cent fruit juice, milk and soy-based products in 2014. (Even bottled water will be history, since the city is about to stop selling it on environmental grounds.) Most striking, though, is the plan's stringency. Toronto's bureaucrats argue that merely offering healthy choices in vending machines isn't enough – because people might make the wrong choice. And the cash-strapped city is prepared to lose tens of thousands of dollars in soft-drink revenues to make sure its good citizens don't.
“We know from our experience with vending machines that people are going to choose the soft drinks, even when you give [healthy] options,” says Brenda Patterson, the City Hall manager who is implementing the proposal. “People left to their own devices may continue to make a choice that is less healthy.”
Gatorade and Twinkies has been in politicians' crosshairs for decades.
Proposals for “fat taxes” on unhealthy products continue to be mooted at home and abroad, though an outcry forced Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to retreat from the idea in 2004. Earlier this month, an Ipsos Descarie poll suggested that 77 per cent of Quebeckers would want a special tax on soft drinks, energy drinks and other sugary beverages.
Commissioned by the Coalition québécoise sur la problématique du poids
(Coalition Poids), a group promoting weight-problem awareness, the survey found that 70 per cent of people in the rest of Canada also favour such a tax.
Ontario is rolling out new rules that would all but ban the sale of junk food in the province's schools in 2011. British Columbia did away with junk food in school vending machines in 2008. And the Squamish Nation banned ice-cream trucks from three communities on Vancouver's north shore in 2007.
And while the giant PepsiCo brand has pledged to phase pop out of schools by 2012 – globally! – a battle is brewing in Washington, D.C., over a proposed soft-drinks tax in the country's capital.
According to www.just-drinks.com
, a coalition set up by the Washington Beverage Association has called on the industry to sign a petition opposing a proposed tax on sugar-sweetened drinks. If passed, the “1-cent-per-ounce” tax will increase prices on juice drinks, flavoured waters, sports drinks and teas.
“What's truly unfortunate is that this tax would be paid by the hard-working families of the district,” the coalition said.Nanny State
“This is social engineering like you've never seen,” says Justin Sherwood, president of Refreshments Canada, the industry group that represents Coke and Pepsi.
Mr. Sherwood says that, starting in 2006, Coke and Pepsi voluntarily withdrew pop from elementary schools and replaced its high-school soda selections with “low- and no-calorie” drinks.
In an earlier letter to the city, Mr. Sherwood mused, “If the City feels so compelled to dramatically limit choices of consumers, where do you go next? Ban butter, ice cream, salad dressings, chocolate bars, pizza, cookies, cream and sugar in coffee, as well as doughnuts consumed on City property?”
“If kids want a pop, they'll cross the street, go to a plaza and buy a pop,” says Rob Ford, a city councillor who is running a populist campaign for mayor. “ Banning pop in a park is the most ludicrous idea I've ever heard. ”— Toronto mayoral candidate Rob Ford
Others asked whether limiting choice is the best way to go. There's a temptation to impose well-meaning but ultimately hypocritical restrictions on children when a community-minded approach might work better, says David Jenkins, Canada Research Chair in Nutrition at the University of Toronto.
“We take them and beat them around the gymnasium and tell them that exercise is good for them. Meanwhile, we sit back at home on the couch with a six-pack and watch other people doing physical activity on TV.
“Kids then come home and see us doing that, and realize that school is an awful place. I think that's really part of the danger,” he says.
Still, you won't get public-health advocates or, really, very many others in positions of influence arguing against Toronto's approach. “I don't know any sociologist who would take a libertarian position on a health-promotion issue like this,” Lorne Tepperman, a U of T sociology professor, wrote in an e-mail. Dr. Tepperman is the author of the forthcoming The Sense of Sociability
, which examines, among other things, whether individuals need government to save them from themselves. “Who would oppose milk and fruit juice, given the growing concerns about obesity among young (and not so young) people?”
Medical thinking has been shifting away from the individual, and toward the environment. Public-health advocates argue that individuals – especially children – can't be expected to make rational food choices when they're living in a media environment that is saturated with advertising and are subjected to intensive targeted marketing. That, they say, is something that can be fixed only through government interference.
“Taking a step in the right direction, like Toronto is proposing to do, is a great idea,” says David Lau, a professor of medicine at the University of Calgary and the president of the Canadian Obesity Network. “We have to bear in mind that, in the obesity epidemic, we shouldn't blame the individuals; we should blame the environment that's causing it.”
Indeed, on the same week that Toronto's city council sat down to consider the bureaucratic details of its drink-vending plan, delegates from the world's nations gathered in Geneva for a meeting of the World Health Organization's top decision-making body. On the agenda: a global plan to fight obesity by restricting the marketing of sugary drinks and fatty, salty foods to children.
“It took 50 years to put in place regulations with tobacco,” says Enrique Jacoby, an adviser on healthy eating and healthy living with the Pan-American Health Organization, a branch of the WHO. “It shouldn't take another 50 years to put in place regulations against obesity.”
If approved, the strategy would attempt to lay down global guidelines for marketing junk food to children, though the extent to which the regulations would be binding – as opposed to recommendations – has yet to be determined.
But kids may not need to be restricted so stringently. Indeed, the modern youth may already have a good grasp of the nutrition issues. Down at Toronto's Harbourfront Community Centre, teenagers gathered to play basketball gave an unequivocal take.
“Honestly, I think it's a good thing,” 18-year-old Sean Duffy says. “How many cups of sugar in each one? It's nuts. Take it off the market.”
“But fruit juice is just as bad for sugar,” one of his companions says.
The youngest one, a 13-year-old, chimes in, “But the sodium levels aren't as bad ...”
Toronto's proposal might not stop at city arenas and community centres. Adrian Heaps, a suburban councillor who brought a bag of sugar as a prop, moved to expand healthy vending rules to all city-owned facilities (and asked for a report on extending those guidelines to all “food” dispensed at those buildings). The city said no.
For Dr. Mintz, the line should be drawn where it comes to people doing harm to each other – not themselves. “I have no problem banning the use of cellphones in cars. The reason isn't the individual. It's the fact that the individual could put risks on other people.”
William Watson, a McGill University economics professor, was more puckish: “To be effective, you'd probably have to ban it totally, and enforce the ban, and police it so you don't get underground movements developing in terms of smuggling these things, or people making them in the basement by buying sugar and adding them to diet drinks.”
Moonshine soda pop. You can bet there'd be regulations on that.
* Selected comments:
Whatever happened to the concept of critical thinking? Rather than having an educated, self directed citizenry, we are all becoming sheepishly dependent on our government to protect us from bad choices. Ironically, fruit juices are far from sugar free. Doesn't anyone recall the tooth rot problem of the apple juice infused toddlers? What about diabetics and others who require sugar free drinks? Oops, we have forgotten the lactose intolerant group etc... When we substitute bans for brains, we bring forth a slew of unintended consequences.
K Morton 5/21/2010
I wonder if George Orwell would laugh or cry if he knew that petty bureaucrats everywhere are using his novels as textbooks.
It is time to take back our freedoms and rights from the socialist nanny state.
« Last Edit: 2010-May-24 02:36:50 PM by DennisLeeWilson »
Excerpt about drug war from interview with Hugo Salinas-Pricehttp://www.thedailybell.com/1071/Hugo-Salinas-Price-Silver-Should-Be-Legal-Mexican-Currency.htmlDaily Bell:
How bad is the drug war in Mexico? Do you think drugs should be made legal?Hugo Salinas-Price:
The drug war is mainly between those who are in the drug dealing business and are fighting over territory. But this war also breeds criminals who take up other ways of getting money, by assaulting peaceable citizens. A US President once told a Mexican President: "Mexico is the spring-board for drugs into the US." To which our President at once replied: "If we are the spring-board, you are the swimming pool."Legalization of drugs would greatly diminish the problem of outlaw drug lords in Mexico – but I mean, legalization in the US. We have a drug war, because drugs are illegal in the US and thus fetch a very high price. Legalize the business in the US and the price of drugs will come down to the price of corn. Mexicans will go back to raising vegetables. Remember, it was Prohibition that made Al Capone rich.Daily Bell:
Is the drug war Mexico's fault, America's fault or both? Is Mexico a failed state?Hugo Salinas-Price:
We had marihuana in Mexico when I was a boy. Only a few people indulged in it. Nobody cared if they did. Cocaine was in use in the US in the 30's – Cole Porter wrote it into one of his songs: "I Get a Kick Out of You".
Personally, I blame the artificiality of life in our times – caused by funny money, which distorts all aspects of human life – for the hunger that people feel for drugs, to forget their insecurity.
Mexico a failed state? Not yet, by any means! The US may be a failed state long before Mexico falls into such a condition. If we can monetize a silver coin – and believe me, it is quite possible we shall be able to do this – can a State which has silver money be called a "failed State"? Note well: our politicians are far, far less corrupt than yours! Ron Paul, a noble exception among US politicians.
Excerpted from http://www.babylontoday.com/bahamas_freedom.htmIt has consistently been in the best interests of the Global Socialist State to continue to wage, and loose, the so called "war on drugs" because claims of money laundering are all that offers it an opportunity to intervene in the otherwise private business of autonomous States and free peoples.
The global war on drugs persists in part because so many people fail to distinguish between the harms of drug abuse and the harms of prohibition.
« Last Edit: 2010-June-05 12:01:37 PM by DennisLeeWilson »
NOTHING is too trivial to escape the attention of the Control Freaks!!
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2010/05/california-plastic-bag-ban.htmlCalifornia poised to ban plastic bags
May 28, 2010 | 1:42 pm
Legislation that would ban many California stores from giving away single-use plastic bags has taken a step closer to becoming law. AB 1998 was passed by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Friday and will be voted upon next Friday by the full Assembly. If passed and signed by the governor, the law would go into effect Jan. 1, 2012.
Each year, Californians use 19 billion plastic bags, only 5% of which are recycled, according to the California Integrated Waste Management Board. The average California resident uses 600 plastic bags per year.
"This legislation starts breaking our addiction to single-use plastic packaging, which has gotten completely out of control," said Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay, a Santa Monica-based environmental group supporting AB 1998.
"We've been pushing on this a really long time -- for six years through four different legislative vehicles," said Gold, adding that previous efforts to reduce plastic bag use by charging customers a per-bag fee had failed to garner support, especially in a down economy. "Hopefully, persistence will pay off for the oceans."
Over the past couple of years, numerous California cities have proposed plastic-bag bans; five cities have passed them, including Malibu and San Francisco.
Uniformity is the main reason the California Grocers Assn. is supporting the bill.
"There have been a number of different proposals and different cities have approached this in different ways," said Dave Heylen, spokesman for the California Grocers Assn. in Sacramento, a group that represents 500 retail grocery companies that operate 8,000 stores in California. "This bill would impact supermarkets, chain pharmacies, local neighborhood markets, convenience stores and liquor stores, so this bill provides a uniform statewide standard to help level the playing field among food retailers."
Heylen added that a ban on single-use, carry-out bags bring the most environmental gain with the least competitive disruption for retailers.
"We think this could be historic legislation that is a model for other states to follow," said Gina Goodhill, oceans advocate for the L.A.-based environmental group, Environment California.
-- Susan Carpenter
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 574, June 13, 2010"America didn't have a drug problem
before it passed drug laws."Some Random Thoughts About the War On Drugs
by L. Neil Smithlneil@netzero.com
Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise
It is not my purpose in this essay to debate the merits or demerits of drug use, a question that should properly be left to the individual.
It is irrelevant—and often a matter of sheer conjecture and unsupported opinion—whether drugs in general, or any drug in particular, happen to be good or bad for the individual or for society. In an era in which most of the world—especially government and the media—was hoaxed into believing in global warming, it would be wise to be suspicious of science offered in support of government policies.
Even if drugs are fully as destructive as they are usually claimed to be, it is morally wrong—and demonstrably more destructive—for government to deprive people of their unalienable, individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to make an utter mess of their own lives. Since human beings are inclined to learn more from the mistakes they make, rather than from their triumphs, the right to fail, for individuals and groups alike, may be even more important than the right to succeed, and it must be fiercely protected at almost any cost.
Those who argue that an individual's drug use affects others—the drug user's family, for example, or his friends, his employers, his co-workers, his lodge brothers, or little children starving in India or China—are attempting to deprive those people of personal choices that they should be free to make, concerning their association with the drug user. Even children should have the right to disassociate themselves from a parent whose drug use threatens their wellbeing.
Moreover, while we may love certain people in our lives, and they may love us, that doesn't make us their property any more than it makes them ours. Each and every individual is the owner and sole proprietor of his own life, and nobody who understands history and human nature wants to live in a society where that principle is not upheld.
While employers have an understandable interest in forbidding drug use on the job, they have no right to dictate what an employee does on his own time. Current testing policies enforce company preferences off the job as well as on, and should either be modified or discontinued altogether.
Exactly the same restrictions should apply to schools.
Importantly, there is nothing in the Constitution—by which, under Article 6, Section 2, officials at every level of government are obligated to abide—that authorizes the banning of any substance or enforcing that ban with the threat of injury, incarceration, or death. The lawful powers of the federal government are enumerated in Article 1, Section 8, and they do not include forbidding drugs or any other substance. Politicians early in the 20th century understood this, and passed a Constitutional amendment allowing them to outlaw alcohol. No such amendment has ever been passed, or even proposed, with regard to drugs.
Given the number of turf wars, drive-by shootings, corrupted police and other officials, and invasions by police of the wrong address that are closely associated with the War on Drugs, it should be clear by now that drug laws and the attempt to enforce them cause vastly more destruction to individuals and society—and consume much more time, energy, and money—than the drugs in question ever did. We owe the existence and character of the police state which has sprung up all around us largely to government excesses in the name of the War on Drugs.
The production, processing, transportation, sale, possession, and consumption of drugs is, in fact, a Ninth Amendment right, exactly like the production, processing, transportation, sale, possession, and consumption of bread. All laws contravening the Ninth Amendment are unconstitutional and therefore illegal. Every agency and individual responsible for enforcing these laws is therefore an unappehended criminal.
America didn't have a drug problem before it passed drug laws. While drugs were consumed by large numbers of people—the number of women habituated to the opium found in laudanum was, no pun intended, staggering—they were, for the most part, easily able to live their lives, do their jobs, and raise their families pretty much the way we do today. None of that changed until legislation was passed generously handing the drug trade over to criminals and criminal organizations, removing commercial safeguards of uniformity and sanitation, cruelly endangering the lives and freedom of drug users, and generating all kinds of associated crimes of violence and the risk of disease and death.
Interestingly, the first turf wars, drive-by shootings, corrupt police and other officials, and invasions of the wrong address occurred, not in connection with drugs but with alcohol prohibition, an historic period that doesn't appear to have taught anybody anything.
Advocates for one drug or another often claim that their drug is less dangerous to individuals and less damaging to society than tobacco or alcohol. This "Do it to Julia" tactic—which George Orwell warned us about in 1984—is less than productive. What each of us must demand consistently is freedom for all to make important choices in our lives, rather than have them made for us by the government and the kind of sick, twisted, broken individuals who use it to control others because their own lives are so repulsive and unbearable.
Especially in this era where we can no longer trust science to be truthful, there is no reason tobacco and alcohol—or other drugs—should be regulated or taxed differently from any other product. The motivation to do so is punitive, essentially religious in character, and therefore forbidden under the First Amendment which states, in effect, that public policy is not to be made on the basis of religious beliefs.
Advocates for drugs like marijuana often point out that if it were legal, it could be taxed, as a sort of bribe offered to the government to leave them alone. This is the submissive behavior of a slave mind-set, and it has no place in the struggle for individual liberty. Taxation—of any kind—is theft, a far greater wrong than using dugs.
Criminals should be tried and punished on the basis of what they did, rather than how they were when they did it, or what they used to get that way. If we can outlaw drugs because they sometimes cause some people to injure or kill others, then, given the history of the last thousand years, between the violent and ugly excesses of Christianity and Islam alone, we should be able to outlaw religion for the same reason.
Many individuals in government don't seem to understand the laws of economics. Most of them—aside from those in Congress—seem to be concentrated in the area of "drug enforcement". They often brag at news conferences that their interception of drugs between producer and consumer has raised the "street value" of the drugs, meaning that the drugs are now scarcer than they were. What these statists stubbornly refuse to acknowledge is that this only increases the market incentive to cash in on those higher prices by making up for the artificial scarcity.
Can they really be that stupid? Or do they understand cynically that the livelihoods of thousands of police officers, administrators, bureaucrats, and politicians depend heavily on never actually ending the illegal traffic in drugs? The drug war, in fact, is a kind of corrupt, evil game played endlessly by so-called "law enforcement" and traffickers, in which both profit obscenely at the irreparable expense of the Productive Class in particular and Western Civilization in general.
Simply repealing drug laws at every level of government would save tens of billions of dollars every year, money that is badly needed now for America's economic recovery, money that shouldn't be wasted on an effort that has not only gone on for decades without positive results, but which has made the situation vastly worse than it was to begin with.
Repealing drug laws would remove the risks involved with producing and distributing drugs, bringing "street prices" crashing down (it's estimated that a "spoon" of heroin would cost about a quarter in the free market), thereby eradicating any incentive that criminals might have to compete with legitimate businesses, and greatly reducing—if not eliminating altogether—any economic reason to "push" drugs on children.
Choices about drugs and drug use must be left to the character of the individual, or, all choices having been made for them, we will inevitably end up with individuals who have no character at all. And concern for "the children", which is often an excuse for the most atrocious of authoritarian policies, must be left in the hands of their parents.
The alternative is chaos, insanity, and ruin.
How do you like it so far?
Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of more than 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at lneilsmith.org.
Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas is currently running as a free weekly serial at www.bigheadpress.com/lneilsmith/?page_id=53
Neil is presently at work on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Where We Stand: Libertarian Policy in a Time of Crisis with his daughter, Rylla.
See stunning full-color graphic-novelizations of The Probability Broach and Roswell, Texas which feature the art of Scott Bieser at www.BigHeadPress.com
Dead-tree versions may be had through the publisher, or at www.Amazon.com
where you will also find Phoenix Pick editions of some of Neil's earlier novels. Links to Neil's books at Amazon.com are on his website
In response to an article titled "Why Arizona Got It Exactly Right"
, I posted a portion of my article at http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/why-arizona-got-it-exactly-right/comment-page-1#comment-1307
I received the following comment and posted the following replies:
June 24th, 2010 at 6:59 amSo opening the border and legalizing tar heroin will stop kidnapping and car theft?
Dennis Lee Wilson
June 25th, 2010 at 12:33 am
Kidnapping and car theft have been with humans as long as kids and cars. They are related to criminals not borders. We have our own crop of home-grown criminals.
What the end of the War on Alcohol teaches is that the violence and black markets are entirely government created and they end when the government prohibitions are ended.
Portugal has abolished all of their drug laws for the past 8 years or so and they found that drug usage and addiction went down. Of course some naysayers predicted absolute doom for the country with all sorts of “drug tourism” but nothing of the sort occurred. Portugal didn’t do this out of some love for liberty, but rather the necessity of economics: the government couldn’t afford to pay police and court bureaucracy to prosecute their drug war, so they just threw in the towel and gave up. It won’t be long until the US and Mexico have to do the same, else they risk facing an overpowering drug lord insurgency and dissolution of government in Mexico.
Dennis Lee Wilson
June 25th, 2010 at 1:33 am
You are conflating drug wars and border crossings with other crimes. Kidnapping and theft have ALWAYS been illegal because they are violations of property rights.
Drugs and border crossings were ONLY RECENTLY made illegal and the CONSEQUENCES are the (illegal) black market in drugs and the (illegal) violence that goes with it, and the (illegal) trespass on private lands because the long established public border crossings have been closed and posted with armed guards.
BEFORE drugs were artificially made illegal there were no black markets in drugs, there were no drug lords and there were no gun fights over drug territories. And before the established border crossings were closed, there were no trespassers over private lands and thru deserts because it was easier and safer to cross at the long established, public border crossings.
Today’s problems are no different from the problems created by the Prohibition of Alcohol. And the solution is the same: REPEAL!
« Last Edit: 2010-June-26 11:55:01 AM by DennisLeeWilson »
AZ Governor gives ANOTHER reason why http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100626/ap_on_re_us/us_arizona_governor_immigrantsAriz. gov: Most illegal immigrants smuggling drugs
Federal Drug and Travel prohibitions should be REPEALED!
By PAUL DAVENPORT, Associated Press Writer 2010-06-25
PHOENIX – Gov. Jan Brewer said Friday that most illegal immigrants entering Arizona are being used to transport drugs across the border, an assertion that critics slammed as exaggerated and racist.
Brewer said the motivation of "a lot" of the illegal immigrants is to enter the United States to look for work, but that drug rings press them into duty as drug "mules."
"I believe today, under the circumstances that we're facing, that the majority of the illegal trespassers that are coming into the state of Arizona are under the direction and control of organized drug cartels and they are bringing drugs in," Brewer said.
"There's strong information to us that they come as illegal people wanting to come to work. Then they are accosted and they become subjects of the drug cartel," she said.
Brewer's office later issued a statement in response to media reports of her comments. It said most human smuggling into Arizona is under the direction of drug cartels, which "are by definition smuggling drugs."
"Unless Gov. Brewer can provide hard data to substantiate her claim that most undocumented people crossing into Arizona are 'drug mules,' she must retract such an outrageous statement," said Oscar Martinez, a University of Arizona history professor whose teaching and research focuses on border issues. "If she has no data and is just mouthing off for political reasons, as I believe she is doing, then she must apologize to the people of Arizona for lying to them so blatantly."
Sen. Jesus Ramon Valdes, a member of the Mexican Senate's northern border affairs commission, called Brewer's comments racist and irresponsible.
"Traditionally, migrants have always been needy, humble people who in good faith go looking for a way to better the lives of their families," Ramon Valdes said.
A Border Patrol spokesman said illegal immigrants do sometimes carry drugs across the border, but he said he couldn't provide numbers because smugglers are turned over to prosecutors.
"I wouldn't say that every person that is apprehended is being used as a mule," spokesman Mario Escalante said from Tucson. "The smuggling organizations, in their attempts to be lucrative and to make more money, they'll try pretty much whatever they need."T.J. Bonner, president of the union that represents border agents, said some illegal border-crossers carry drugs but most don't. People with drugs face much stiffer penalties for entering the U.S. illegally, and very few immigrants looking for work want to risk the consequences,
Bonner said."The majority of people continue to come across in search of work, not to smuggle drugs," he said. "Most of the drug smuggling is done by people who intend to do that. That's their livelihood."
A spokesman for a human rights group said Brewer's comments were "an oversimplification of reality."
"We have some stories of people being forced to carry drugs," said Jaime Farrant, policy director for Tucson-based Border Action Network. "We disagree with the assessment that people are crossing (to carry drugs). We have no evidence that's the truth. We think most people come in search of jobs or to reunite with their families
Brewer spoke Friday when asked about comments she made in a recent election debate among Republican candidates for governor.
She said during the June 15 debate that she believed most illegal immigrants were not entering the United States for work. She then associated illegal immigrants with drug smuggling, drop houses, extortion and other criminal activity.
Brewer on April 23 signed a controversial new state immigration enforcement law that is scheduled toe effect July 29, although five legal challenges already are pending in federal court, and the U.S. Justice Department may file its own challenge.
The Arizona law requires police officers enforcing another law to question a person's immigration status if there's a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally.
Francisco Loureiro, who has run a migrant shelter for more than 20 years in Nogales, Sonora, across the border from the Arizona town of the same name, said Brewer's comments are aimed at turning the people of Arizona against migrants and strengthen support for the state's new law.
"That governor is racist and she has to look for a way to harm the image of migrants before American society and mainly before the people of Arizona," Loureiro said.
Roberto Suro, a University of Southern California journalism professor who founded a research center on Hispanics, said he was skeptical of Brewer's assertion, partly because federal authorities would be trumpeting many more drug seizures than they do. "The Border Patrol is not secretive about saying when they apprehend 10 people and found knapsacks (containing drugs) nearby," he said.
Attorney General Terry Goddard, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, said Brewer "does not understand the difference between illegal immigration and the organized criminals who are members of the violent drug cartels who pose a very a real danger."
Associated Press writers Jonathan J. Cooper in Phoenix and Olga R. Rodriguez in Mexico City contributed to this report.
Excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Brewer#Governor_of_Arizona
In her inaugural address, Brewer promised to keep taxes low in Arizona, in an attempt to attract business from other states, including California. Fewer than two months into her term, however, Brewer proposed a tax increase in front of the State Legislature, causing two Republican members to walk out of the address mid-speech.
Attempting to rationalize the tax increase, Brewer stated that she was ultimately forced to ask for the increase due to the state's $4 billion state budget deficit.[2[Well, duh! The stupid train system that nobody uses, that you built thru central Phoenix cost almost half of that $4 billion--and drove out businesses while it was being built!. Government cannot be trusted with money....dlw]
« Last Edit: 2010-September-30 08:00:16 PM by DennisLeeWilson »
http://criminaljustice.change.org/blog/view/white_house_official_longs_for_the_days_of_prohibition White House Official Longs for the Days of Prohibition
by Charles Davis September 29, 2010 02:13 PM (PT) Topics: Marijuana Legalization, War on Drugs
Outside of perhaps the last living teetotaler in the Prohibition Party
-- and I bet they even have a bottle of scotch stashed away -- you'd be hard pressed finding someone in the U.S. longing for the days when alcohol was illegal and violent criminal gangs run by gentlemen like Al Capone ran the booze trade. But when not denying the obvious parallells between alcohol prohibition in the 1920s and the war on drugs today, government officials apparently bide their time sounding off on the evil that is your freedom to imbibe.
Speaking at a conference in Montana over the weekend, Kevin Sabet, a special advisor in the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy, expounded on the horrors of the legal trade in wine and beer, saying it presented a "frightening" example of legalization that should serve as a warning to voters in California and elsewhere contemplating drug reform measures this fall. At the same time, he said it was ludicrous to let mere voters decide what substances should and should be legal -- why, that's for unelected political appointees like Kevin Sabet to decide.
"How can we imagine that a dangerous, illegal drug like marijuana should be voted on by the people?" Sabet scoffed, according to The Missoulian
, presumably to uproarious applause from the audience of judges who make a living sentencing drug offenders. "That's not how we do medicine in this country." (Context: 62 percent of Montanans voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2004. And California looks set to legalize recreational use this November.)
And to be fair, Sabet's right: that's not how we do medicine in this country. We let grandstanding politicians in Washington, DC, decide what is and is not of medicinal value based on their electoral needs, not the needs of patients. That's why, despite the government's own Institute of Medicine acknowledging
marijuana's "therapeutic value" more than a decade ago, it remains legally classified right alongside heroin as a Schedule I controlled substance with "no currently accepted medical use."
Sabet, a carryover from both the Clinton and Bush administrations, highlighting the bipartisan nature of the war on drugs, also denounced medical marijuana as a trojan horse for complete legalization -- an argument that, if you actually think about it, assumes that once exposed to a legal medical cannabis trade voters are likely to favor even greater reform, as NORML's Russ Belville points out
."Our two legal drugs, tobacco and alcohol, serve as frightening examples of legalization," Sabet added.
"Look at the alcohol industry. It does not make money off the 10 people who drink one drink a week. It makes money off of the one person who drinks 50 drinks a week. Addiction is incentivized in this business."
The truth? Even the most alarmist public health groups -- Columbia's Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, I'm looking at you -- don't believe the alcohol industry makes most its money off addicts, with CASA placing the figure
at just over a third of industry revenues. More importantly, prohibition in the 1920s proved that making something illegal won't do away with addiction or the willingness of some to profit from that addiction -- it will just drive it further underground, increasing the risk to both the addict and society (legalizing marijuana would also drive people away from more harmful substances like tobacco and alcohol, reducing the costs they impose on society) .
There will always be those who ingest to excess; the question is whether they should be locked behind bars for it. But even die-hard zealots don't like to defend the reality: that much of America's 2.2. million prison population is composed of non-violent drug offenders. In Montana, Sabet said the debate between legalization and punitive prohibition was a "false dichotomy," echoing the ever-centrist Obama administration line that the government is combining kinder, gentler policing with good ol' fashioned rehabilitation. In reality, a drug offender is arrested every 18 seconds in this country, according to the FBI
, and almost 100 marijuana users are arrested every hour
-- and more than a quarter-million of them are behind bars.
It's telling that drug warriors aren't even willing to defend actual policy -- it basically concedes that the status quo is indefensible. And that people like Sabet are even engaging proponents of legalization is encouraging, however silly and fact-free that engagement may be. That they're even part of the establishment conversation is a sign those advocating an end to the war on drugs are gaining momentum.
Charles Davis is a Change.org editor. He previously covered Congress and criminal justice issues for public radio and Inter Press Service. Follow him on Twitter @charlesdavis84
« Last Edit: 2010-September-30 06:18:03 PM by DennisLeeWilson »
Excerpted from http://reason.com/archives/2010/10/05/how-to-slash-the-state/2 Declare Defeat in the Drug War
As Sting recently observed, channeling John Stuart Mill, the war on drugs by its very nature tramples on “the right to sovereignty over one’s own mind and body.” It also squanders taxpayer money while causing far more harm than it prevents.
To enforce drug prohibition, state and federal agencies spend more than $40 billion and make 1.7 million arrests every year. This effort wastes resources that could be used to fight predatory crime. But the direct taxpayer costs are only part of the story. While imprisoned (as half a million of them currently are), drug offenders cannot earn money or care for their families, which boosts child welfare costs. After they are released, they earn less than they otherwise could have—roughly $100,000 less over the course of their working lives, according to Harvard sociologist Bruce Western. These losses add billions more to the annual drug war tab.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy estimated that Americans spent $65 billion on illegal drugs in 2000, the equivalent of more than $80 billion today. Comparisons between legal and illegal drugs suggest that as much as 90 percent of that spending is attributable to prohibition’s impact on drug prices, meaning that legalization would make tens of billions of dollars available for other purposes each year. Some of those savings probably would be sucked up by drug taxes, which Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimates could generate nearly $50 billion a year in government revenue.
Lower prices also would dramatically reduce the incentive for heavy users to finance their habits through theft. In a 1991 survey, 10 percent of federal prisoners and 17 percent of state prisoners reported committing such crimes. Since stolen goods are sold at a steep discount, the value of the property taken to pay for drugs is several times higher than the artificially inflated cost of drugs.
Other problems associated with prohibition are harder to quantify in dollars, including official corruption, the erosion of Fourth Amendment rights and other civil liberties, interference with religious rituals and medical practice, terrorism subsidized by drug profits, deaths and injuries from tainted or unexpectedly strong drugs, and the prohibition-related violence that has claimed 28,000 lives in Mexico since 2006. The pervasive demands of the futile crusade against an arbitrarily selected set of intoxicants have made all of us, whatever our taste in psychoactive substances, less free, less wealthy, and less safe.—Jacob Sullum
Why Legalize Now?
by Mark Thornton
Mises Daily: Friday, July 01, 2011
[An MP3 audio file of this article, narrated by the author, is available for download
Suddenly the world is abuzz with talk about legalizing marijuana and other drugs. Political candidates, politicians, former presidents, interest groups, and even the Global Commission on Drug Policy
are all calling for drug-policy reform. Given that we are in a worldwide economic and fiscal crisis, why is everyone interested in drug policy? Have we all suddenly regained our senses and realized that prohibition is irrational?
No, the more important reason for the interest in this issue is economic sense. Drug prohibition is a burden on taxpayers. It is a burden on government budgets. It is a burden on the criminal-justice system. It is a burden on the healthcare system. The economic crisis has intensified the pain from all these burdens. Legalization reduces or eliminates all of these burdens. It should be no surprise that alcohol prohibition was repealed at the deepest depths of the Great Depression.
Two Republican presidential candidates, former governor Gary Johnson and Congressman Ron Paul, support legalization. Ron Paul and Barney Frank have introduced legislation that would allow the states to legalize marijuana without federal interference. Former president Jimmy Carter recently published an editorial
in the New York Times
calling for an end of the global war on drugs, a position he has held since he was president.
The organization LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, has recently released a report entitled "Ending the Drug War: A Dream Deferred"
on the 40th anniversary of the War on Drugs. They are critical of the war and point out that President Obama is actually making things worse. Finally, and maybe most importantly, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has issued a report
that declares the war on drugs a failure and provides recommendations for reform.The economic crisis is speeding up the realization that the war on drugs has failed and cannot be won.
Taxpayers have long been slow to recognize the economic burden of drug prohibition. They have been told for decades that we only need to spend a little more and remove a few more constitutional protections of our rights to win the war against drugs. With decades of broken promises, busted budgets with trillion-dollar holes, and a teetering economy in crisis, more and more people are saying no to the war on drugs.Drug prohibition is the single biggest burden on the criminal-justice budget. It is also a large burden for more than a dozen budgets within the federal government, and it is a growing burden on state and local budgets.
The incarceration of hundreds of thousands of nonviolent drug offenders often leads to the breakup of families and the loss of breadwinners, placing additional burdens on social services.
The criminal-justice system is overwhelmed, and the prisons are filled far beyond capacity. As a result, violent criminals are receiving early release from their sentences. Other measures of crime and violence are also disturbing. Street gangs use the illegal-drug business to finance and expand their activities. It has been estimated that the United States now has nearly 800,000 gang members. Organized crime continues to grow in numbers and sophistication — as well as the level of violence. The Mexican Army has replaced local police along the border in order to restore order and reduce the more than 10,000 prohibition-related murders last year. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, the war on drugs is undermining civilization.
People are also realizing that fighting the war on drugs (i.e., prohibition) only makes social problems worse. The number of drug-related emergency-room visits in the United States now exceeds 2 million per year
for illegal drugs and nonmedical use of prescription drugs. The progression of drug use from marijuana to cocaine, heroin, and crystal meth is clearly negative for health; and that progression is increasingly and correctly seen to be the result of prohibition, not addiction.
As I demonstrated, the failure of California's Proposition 19
legalizing marijuana should not be seen as a discouraging sign. Rather, it should be seen as a sign of things to come. All over the world, drug prohibition and its repeal or reform is now a matter of debate. In many areas of the world, the drug war has been rolled back.Portugal is a good case in point
. They were not winning the war; they were losing it. They were also losing the more general war for prosperity. In desperation, they de facto legalized all drugs. The result was not rampant, widespread drug abuse. Drug use and addiction actually declined, as did violence and disease.
- Five years later, the number of deaths from street drug overdoses dropped from around 400 to 290 annually, and the number of new HIV cases caused by using dirty needles to inject heroin, cocaine and other illegal substances plummeted from nearly 1,400 in 2000 to about 400 in 2006, according to a report released recently by the Cato Institute, a Washington, DC, libertarian think tank.
Most Americans have been told that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a great president and one of the most popular presidents of all time. However, most people — even most historians — do not know that the reason for his popularity was the repeal of Prohibition.
He won the Democratic nomination for president at the 1932 convention by switching from being a Dry to a Wet (that is, by siding with repeal). The repeal of Prohibition was the most popular plank in the Democratic Party platform, and it was FDR's number-one issue and campaign promise. He made it his number-one priority when he was in office. (He also cut federal worker pay by 25 percent).The results from repeal were both immediate and amazing.
Taverns, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and wineries reopened for business. Jobs were suddenly and noticeably available for the first time in years. The unemployment rate plunged from its historic high level of 25 percent. Crime and corruption sank, with the murder rate falling to its pre-Prohibition level in a manner of a few years. For politicians and government employees, repeal meant a new source of tax revenue and an end to budget cuts. Tax revolts, which had sprung up all across the country in opposition to government, sadly faded away. The people rejoiced that "Happy Days Are Here Again."
A similar opportunity lies in our future as the economic crisis continues to widen and worsen. We need to continue to learn and teach the real lessons of prohibition, some of which can be found in this free book
. To unmask the true nature of government control and to demonstrate the superiority of individualism within a classical-liberal environment, we must make ending the war on drugs a priority.
Mark Thornton is a senior resident fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, and is the book review editor for the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics
. He is the author of The Economics of Prohibition
, coauthor of Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War
, and the editor of The Quotable Mises
, The Bastiat Collection
, and An Essay on Economic Theory
. Send him mail
. See Mark Thornton's article archives
You can subscribe to future articles by Mark Thornton via this RSS feed
You can receive the Mises Dailies in your inbox. Go here to subscribe or unsubscribe
« Last Edit: 2011-July-01 01:46:42 PM by DennisLeeWilson »
Welcome to Needle Park
Mises Daily: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 by Mark Thornton
[An MP3 audio file of this article, narrated by the author, is available for download.]
The Panic in Needle Park was a 1971 movie starring Al Pacino, about a heroin addict couple whose life spins out of control. It was set in a New York City park frequented by heroin dealers and heroin addicts. The other well-known "needle park" operated in Zurich, Switzerland, during the 1990s, when authorities experimented with an open park for heroin dealing and consumption.
Military man and drug warrior Joseph Califano and former drug czar William Bennett recently teamed up to write a Wall Street Journal editorial entitled "Do We Really Want a 'Needle Park' on American Soil?" The editorial is an attack on the recent report
by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which declares that the US War on Drugs has failed and is ruining civilization around the globe. The commission consists of 19 prominent people with credentials equal to or better than Califano and Bennett's. It calls for the substitution of legalization and harm-reduction policies for the hopeless war on drugs.
The Califano/Bennett editorial has more holes in it than a heroin addict's forearm. First, the Pacino movie was about illegal drugs, not legalized drugs. The setting was the early years of Nixon's war on drugs. Marijuana was getting harder to obtain and heroin and LSD were rising in prominence. The portrayal in the movie is what advocates of legalization, not prohibition, would expect.
In addition, the economy of the time was turning from boom to bust. The movie debuted six weeks after Nixon closed the gold window. Governor Nelson Rockefeller would soon get to work on the infamous Rockefeller drug laws that Murray Rothbard called "the epitome of the belief in treating a social or medical problem with jail and the billy club." These draconian laws required long-term prison sentences for small-time dealers and even drug consumers. They would go down in history as a fiasco. Can't the drug warriors ever learn?
Conditions at Zurich's needle park also fail to support the Califano/Bennett opinion. True, the park was a haven for heroin addicts, but that was how the city designed it: a tiny island of legalization without controls or medical and social infrastructure. Naturally, addicts from all over the city, the country, and even other nations gravitated to the park. If I lived in the neighborhood I would have complained too.
However, instead of going the mistaken route of the Rockefeller laws, the Swiss learned from their mistakes. They set up drug consumption rooms that provided a "clean and safe" place for addicts to inject heroin under medical supervision instead of in public view.Download PDF They also established a needle-exchange program whereby addicts received clean new syringes when they returned their used ones. It should not be surprising that the Swiss have one of the lowest rates of HIV infection among those people who inject drugs — 1/8th the US rate and 1/20th that of Thailand, which maintains a fully draconian antidrug policy.
"The secret truth is that government healthcare actually encourages drug abuse."
Califano and Bennett argue that legalization will only increase the use of legalized drugs. That is a fair opinion, but they then leverage this argument to conjure up stories of a massive increase in crime. They say that violent crime will increase because of drug use, and that property crime will increase because more addicts will need more money to feed their habits. This, of course, is ridiculous. Most violent crime is committed by people on alcohol or drugs like crystal meth, which was only recently introduced because of drug prohibition.Download PDF With legalization, drugs would be affordable even for those with a minimum-wage job. The idea that property crime would increase because of legalization is far-fetched indeed.
Califano and Bennett argue that legalization would increase healthcare costs to taxpayers. They argue that 30 percent of taxpayers' healthcare costs are attributable to drug abuse, that drug abusers on Medicaid are three times as expensive for taxpayers, and that for every dollar received in alcohol and tobacco taxes, we incur $9 of taxpayer expense. Of course, one can expect that such freeloader programs would experience such results. Free ambulances, free emergency rooms, free doctors, free hospitals, free medication — what would you expect? The secret truth is that government healthcare actually encourages drug abuse.
Furthermore, Califano and Bennett's article reminds me of the study that found smoking kills 450,000 Americans each year. It gives you the impression that every year the equivalent of the entire population of a city the size of Atlanta just drops dead from smoking-related illness. But in reality, the study was only a "simulation." The simulation was designed to calculate the number of smokers who die each year. Yes, smokers do die younger on average than nonsmokers, but they still live well into their 60s, on average.
Let us take their three claims in order. First, what about that 30 percent of Medicaid dollars going to drug abuse? Well, the bulk of this expense is "attributable" to alcohol and tobacco, rather than to illegal drugs. For a fuller description, let's draw from Califano's own webpage, where he states,
Some 30 percent of Medicaid health care dollars are spent to treat the injuries from violence and accidents and the 70 plus diseases caused or aggravated by substance abuse and addiction.
So first he folds in the problems of tobacco and alcohol (which is the biggest cause of drug-related violence and accidents), and then he adds in "the 70 plus diseases caused or aggravated by substance abuse and addiction." Furthermore, the poor pot smoker who gets hit by a car is part of this "30 percent of Medicaid health care dollars." I am willing to admit, freely, that illegal drug use does cost the taxpayer a great deal of money on freeloader programs, but this 30 percent figure undermines the credibility of Califano and Bennett.
Next, what about Medicaid spending on drug abusers being three times higher than on non-drug users? Well, again they mix both legal and illegal drugs. They ignore the fact that marijuana use in and of itself does not contribute to higher healthcare costs. In fact, it is emerging as a very cost-effective way of treating various ailments, and it is now recognized as a likely treatment or even cure for certain types of cancer. Second, they ignore the fact that illegal drugs result in relatively more catastrophic incidents, like death from drug overdoses, whereas tobacco and alcohol result in relatively more chronic lingering ailments, like heart disease and lung cancer, which entail large expenses over long periods of time.
Now we go back to Mr. Califano's webpage for some clarification. It turns out that Medicaid expenditure for drug abuse is not simply three to one here, but between two and three to one.
Medicaid patients with drug and alcohol problems cost $5,000 to $10,000 a year more in healthcare costs than those without such problems [i.e., $5,000].
So, not only do Califano and Bennett blame all health consequences on one aspect of behavior, i.e., drug use (which is scientifically illegitimate), but they also conflate legal and illegal drugs, and they take the top estimates of additional costs and then misreport those inflated numbers.
Finally, there is their claim that every dollar in alcohol and tobacco taxes collected results in nine dollars in government spending on federal healthcare, criminal-justice and social-service costs. I could not find a reference to this fact on the Internet, except in their work.
Admittedly, I have seen a study arguing that smoking results in social costs that are several times the amount of excise-tax revenue collected. However, this study forgot to include the benefits of smoking in its calculations and wrongly considered private costs to the smoker as social costs. When these are taken into account, smoking generates more tax revenue than social costs.
Another study finds that smoking causes absenteeism at work. However, this study just looks at whether an absentee worker was a smoker or nonsmoker. When you include other variables like weight, gender, age, and marital status, the statistical significance disappears.
When you read about research with alarming statistical findings, you are probably reading about biased research funded by the nanny state.
No one wants a needle park in his or her neighborhood, but that is exactly what prohibition brings. Prohibition also brings increased violence and property crime. Legalization would bring commercially produced products that are reasonably priced. Consumers would be able to afford the products and could consume them in the privacy of their own homes. Violence and property crime would decline. Sellers would be required to provide sufficient safety information and would be liable if they sold an inherently deadly product.
I have no doubt that if Califano and Bennett were in charge, they would invoke Rockefeller-style laws or even worse (Bennett once suggested that beheading drug dealers was "morally plausible"). The reality is that limited legalization has been shown to work, and that full legalization is the policy we should be working toward. The recent legislation sponsored by Representatives Barney Frank and Ron Paul is one step in the right direction.
Mark Thornton is a senior resident fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, and is the book review editor for the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He is the author of The Economics of Prohibition, coauthor of Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War, and the editor of The Quotable Mises, The Bastiat Collection, and An Essay on Economic Theory. Send him mail. See Mark Thornton's article archives.
An MP3 audio file of this article, narrated by the author, is available for download.
You can subscribe to future articles by Mark Thornton via this RSS feed.
 "Report of the Global Committee on Drug Policy," June 2011, p. 6.
 Robert B. Ekelund Jr. and Richard W. Ault. "The Political Element in Science and Technology: SAMMEC II and the Antismoking Lobby," Research Conducted for Savarese and Associates (August 1991), pp. 37
 See, for example, "The Costs and Benefits of Smoking Restrictions: An Assessment of The Smoke-Free Environment Act of 1993," Executive Summary.
 See, for example, Willard G. Manning, et al., The Costs of Poor Health Habits, Cambridge, MA.; Harvard University Press, 1991; and Pierre Lemieux, "Social Costs of Tabacco: All Smoke, No Fire," The National Post, January 20, 1999, p. C7.
 R. Ault et al., Applied Economics, 1991, vol. 23, issue 4B, pp. 743–54.
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« Last Edit: 2011-July-20 11:46:34 AM by DennisLeeWilson »