Saturday, May 23, 2015

Memorial Day Is A Hoax

Memorial Day commemorates soldiers killed in war. We are told that the war dead died for us and our freedom. US Marine General Smedley Butler challenged this view. He said that our soldiers died for the profits of the bankers, Wall Street, Standard Oil, and the United Fruit Company. Here is an excerpt from a speech that he gave in 1933:
War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.
I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.
I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.
It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
Most American soldiers died fighting foes who posed no threat to the United States. Our soldiers died for secret agendas of which they knew nothing. Capitalists hid their self-interests behind the flag, and our boys died for the One Percent’s bottom line.
Jade Helm, an exercise that pits the US military against the US public, is scheduled to run July 15 through September 15. What is the secret agenda behind Jade Helm?
The Soviet Union was a partial check on capitalist looting in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. However, with the Soviet collapse capitalist looting intensified during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama regimes.
Neoliberal Globalization is now looting its own constituent parts and the planet itself. Americans, Greeks, Irish, British, Italians, Ukrainians, Iraqis, Libyans, Argentinians, the Spanish and Portuguese are being looted of their savings, pensions, social services, and job opportunities, and the planet is being turned into a wasteland by capitalists sucking the last penny out of the environment. As Claudia von Werlhof writes, predatory capitalism is consuming the globe. We need a memorial day to commemorate the victims of neoliberal globalization. All of us are its victims, and in the end the capitalists also.

It's Not Race That Divides Us, But Culture

The racialists in power have again called us to an “honest discussion” about race. As they foresee it, this honest discussion will involve those of us who do not practice racism, but are not black, to come forward, confess our inherent racism, and be duly chastised or punished. Dialogue is not going to be part of the process, since non-blacks have already been found guilty, and the president’s jury is not remotely interested in evidence.
The trap in the president’s faux invitation is that it focuses our attention on the wrong component. The emphasis on race assumes too much, but does so because it advances the agenda of dividing us on grand scales, which is more conducive to the illusion of victimhood and the cure of entitlement. To divide by race in the way practiced by the president and the left enables them to hide one set of social realities from scrutiny, while predetermining the fault of another social set, based entirely on the colors of their skin, as long as it is understood that the guilty are not black. How is it possible that two or more groups, coincidentally divided by skin color, live in the same country but do not live in the same reality?
To hear our black, democratically elected president tell it, our dystopian nation is a hellhole of virulent racism. Thus, every thought, word or action that is critical of the president, and those who peddle racial victimhood and entitlement, is inherently racist. This is the rationale of a leftist, of a simpleton, because there is far too much history and evidence to the contrary to entertain it as serious. No nation on Earth more consciously ensures equality of treatment than ours.
So, if it’s not race that divides us, what is it?  In a word, culture. For decades, a segment of the population that is black has drawn much attention, and critical scrutiny, for the culture that has become synonymous for many with what it is to be black. Not just what whites or non-blacks think constitutes blackness, but what many blacks think it is to be black. However, this is not true of all blacks, which is a critical distinction. There are many blacks who do not subscribe to black culture as it has been manifested in innumerable ways over the prior few decades. Even so, the ones who do, and whose practice of black culture is so visible and overt, make it easy for the lazy to think it is a representation of blackness in general, when it is not.
The president, for example, has no interest in representing the black citizens who live in stable family units, who work hard, provide for their children, encourage success, obey the laws, go to church, and try to do what’s right. He never speaks to their reality. His people, and Eric Holder’s people, are the ones who both celebrate and are imprisoned by a dysfunctional form of black culture. Within that culture there is self-segregation, hostility to other races, paranoia, anger, resentment, bitterness, victimhood, entitlement, crime, poverty, disinformation, deception, exploitation, broken families, destruction of religious faith, and failure.
At the same time within this country there are other cultures, successful social structures that are not afflicted with the same inherent flaws and imminent failure. What’s more, those cultures are not exclusive, because cultures embody the values and expectations of its members. You can subscribe to whichever culture you choose. For that reason, there are black Americans who have nothing to do with black culture as seen in the speeches of community disorganizers and race hustlers, in movies and music, and in videos of rioting in the name of whatever falsehood the left invented before the facts and evidence were made public. Those black Americans have accepted that there is an opportunity to advance and succeed, and create a family history of success and achievement, if they do not accept the invitation to the black culture that is championed by the likes of the president, Mr. Holder, Mr. Sharpton, and countless others whose power comes from using black culture to advance themselves while benefitting its practitioners nothing.
The clash of cultures is what primarily accounts for the divides that exist in reality even though, coincidentally, most of the subscribers to one culture may be black, and most of the subscribers to a competing culture are white or non-black. Race is a tool to inflame passions, using the lie that differences are the product of white and non-black hatred of blacks. Therefore, in black culture outsiders are not welcome. In non-black culture, however, skin color is irrelevant. Membership is defined, without reference to skin color, by one’s individual dignity, willingness to strive, adherence to rules of ethics and conduct, responsibility and accomplishments. In truth, the lines between the competing cultures can be crossed, but only one way.
Indeed, the biggest lie told in black culture is that to “act white” is to sell out other blacks, a fraud whereby some blacks define themselves and each other by loyalty to the culture, rather than to the potential and possibilities of the individual. In this way, membership in the culture that self-oppresses is ensured through coercion and shame. To join the other culture is betrayal and disloyalty, rather than an act of exasperation, or optimism. There is a way out, but it will cost many who try dearly in friendships and family ties.      
Those of us who do not oppress but merely live our lives with respect for the dignity of others, regardless of skin color, hear and see how black culture describes and defines us, and we cannot pretend to agree or accept their branding. We see the despair, the anger and hatred, the violence of the mob that is literally a single event away from boiling over, and we shake our heads because the wounds are largely self-inflicted. Their choices, be they in culture, leadership, propaganda, beliefs, morals or otherwise, were not made for them by us. They are not forced to remain in their perceived distress, but have chosen by their leaders and ideology to remain there, stuck until a future Moses leads them out of a self-imposed darkness that is unnecessary. 
If this were not true, and if ours was a racist nation, the countless foreign nationals who come legally to the United States from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia would all fail miserably, falling victims to the entrenched racism that simply doesn’t exist. A major reason those people succeed, seizing upon the opportunities that are there for the taking, is that they are not indoctrinated by a culture that lies to them about what their future is, or could be, in our amazing country. They succeed because no one is preventing them from doing so.
If we were ever to have that honest conversation about race, it would need to start with culture, and how that form of black culture which imprisons its subscribers condemns them to failure.  The last thing the president wants is that conversation. If all those people freed themselves from the yoke of that culture, they might turn on the Democrats forever. Imagine that.

Friday, May 22, 2015

What if We Didn’t Have a Constitution?

Personal Liberty Is Our Birthright


What if we didn’t have a Constitution? What if the government were elected by custom and tradition, but not by law? What if election procedures and official titles and government responsibilities merely followed those that preceded them, and not because any of this was compelled by law, but because that’s what folks came to expect?
What if those elected to office, and those appointed to it, as well, took oaths to uphold the Constitution? What if those who took the oaths promised fidelity to the Constitution? What if the Constitution declares itself to be the supreme law of the land? What if the supreme law of the land means what it says?
What if all in government, from presidents to park rangers, from generals to janitors, from judges to jail guards, take substantially the same oath? What if very few who have taken their oaths take them seriously? What if very few who have taken their oaths have actually read the Constitution? What if very few who have taken their oaths understand the values the Constitution upholds?
What if even fewer understand the historical, moral and legal bases for those values? What if most who took those oaths did so expecting someone else in government to tell them what the Constitution means and how to deal with it?
What if the whole purpose of the Constitution is to limit the government, not to unleash it?
What if the plain language of the Constitution puts clear limits on what the government in America may lawfully do? What if those in government began cutting constitutional corners about 100 years ago and overlooked prohibitions and limitations in the Constitution because they enjoyed exercising power over others and because they thought they knew what was best for everyone?
What if those prohibitions and limitations — some of which were in the corners that were cut — were written into the Constitution intentionally to keep the government off the backs of the people?
What if personal liberty is the birthright of all persons? What if government is essentially the negation of that liberty?
What if the Constitution represents the value judgment of Americans that our rights are higher in value than the government’s powers to interfere with them? What if those who wrote the Constitution believed that personal liberty is the default position and government power the exception? What if the Constitution means that our rights should be maximum and government minimum?
What if our rights are natural components of our humanity? What if that humanity is a gift from God? What if we were created in His image and likeness? What if the greatest likeness we have with Him and the greatest gift from Him is free will? What if we are perfectly free as He is perfectly free?
What if He created us with such free will that we are free to reject Him? What if we are so free that we are free to reject the government? What logic could underlie an argument that we are free to reject the Creator who made us but not free to reject the government we created?
What if a government that rejects its own Constitution were to be rejected by the people? What if the people have had enough of politicians and government leaders who promise safety and demand the surrender of liberty? What if liberty once surrendered is never returned? What if the liberty-for-safety trade is a façade that impairs both liberty and safety?
What if that trade makes government’s job easier, but does not keep us safer? What if the Constitution was written to keep the government’s job from becoming too easy? What if it is easier to listen to everyone’s phone calls than only to those as to whom the government has probable cause to listen? What if the Constitution recognizes that liberty is personal and cannot be sacrificed by a majority vote of representatives, but only by individual consent?
What if the greatest right protected by the Constitution is the right to be left alone, the right to be oneself, the right to answer only to one’s own free will? What if the Framers who wrote the Constitution so valued the right to privacy that they wrote very specific criteria into the Constitution to govern the government’s ability to interfere with it? What if the government violated those criteria millions of times a day in the name of safety?
What if the violation of the right to privacy is a gateway to all other government violations of personal liberty? What if every government witch hunt never stops until it finds or creates a witch? What if every government inquisition never stops until it finds or creates a heretic? What if government does create modern-day witches and heretics and then arrests them and seeks credit for keeping us safe from them? What if they never posed any threat? What if we fall for this?
What if those who love power defeat those who love liberty in a government election? What if there is no one left to enforce the Constitution against those in power?
What if all this is happening right under our noses? What do we do about it?

The Best of Andrew P. Napolitano

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Inside the CIA’s Use of Terror During the Vietnam War

Author Douglas Valentine discusses how the Phoenix Program set the stage for the War on Terror.

CIA organized and advised Montagnards
Photo: CIA Organized and Advised Montagnards. Courtesy of II Corps Phoenix Advisor Colonel Lewis Millett.

The CIA’s Phoenix program changed how America fights its wars and how the public views this new type of political and psychological warfare, in which civilian casualties are an explicit objective.
The CIA created Phoenix in Saigon in 1967 to identify the civilian leaders and supporters of the National Liberation Front; and to detain, torture, and kill them using every means possible, from B-52 raids and “Cordon and Search” operations, to computerized blacklists, secret torture centers, and death squads.
Originally called ICEX-SIDE (Intelligence Coordination and Exploitation – Screening, Interrogation and Detention of the Enemy), the program was renamed Phoenix for symbolic purposes. In time, the mere mention of Phoenix, the omnipotent bird of prey with a blacklist in one claw and a snake in the other, was enough to terrorize people into submission.
Practically speaking, Phoenix is a highly bureaucratized system for dispensing with people who cannot be ideologically assimilated. Implemented over the objections of South Vietnamese officials, the CIA found a legal basis for the Phoenix program in “emergency decrees” and “administrative detention” laws that enabled American “advisors” to detain, torture, and kill South Vietnamese “national security offenders” without due process.
Within this extra-judicial legal system, with its Stalinist tribunals, a “national security offender” was construed as anyone who didn’t support the government. To be neutral or advocate for peace was viewed as supporting terrorism. Proof wasn’t required, just the word of an anonymous informer.
Legendary CIA officer Lucien Conein described Phoenix as a very good blackmail scheme for the central government: “If you don’t do what I want, you’re VC.”
Modeled on the Ford Motor Company’s “command post” structure, Phoenix concentrated power in a chief executive officer and an operating committee at the top of the organizational chart. Supported by a computerized statistical reporting unit, management assigned “neutralization” quotas and other goals to participating agencies. But Phoenix was a CIA program, and deniability was one of its main objectives: Thus, stated policy (protecting the people from terrorism) was contradicted by the operational reality (terrorizing the public into submission).
Mismanaged by design, only the bottom line mattered, and corruption and abuses proliferated.
American military commanders resisted the unconventional Phoenix strategy of targeting civilians with Einsatzgruppen “special forces” and Gestapo-style secret police. Many resented the fact that young military officers were involuntarily assigned to the program. “People in uniform who are pledged to abide by the Geneva Conventions,” General Bruce Palmer said, “should not be put in the position of having to break those laws of warfare.”
Unfortunately, the current “stab-in-the-back” generation of senior American military officers, government officials, and reporters was forged on the anvil of defeat in Vietnam. This generation, which staffs America’s top “operating committees” in the public and private sectors, carries the burden of restoring America’s reputation for invincibility. This ruling class knows that its enemies, internal and external, must be conquered ideologically and economically, as well as militarily. And, thus, it has embraced the Phoenix concept of employing implicit and explicit terror to organize and pacify societies.
World Trade Center Lights
Photo: World Trade Center Lights. Courtesy of Scott Hudson / Flickr.
Phoenix was understood as the silver lining in the Vietnam debacle, and in the wake of 9-11, it became the template for policing the American empire and fighting its eternal War on Terror. So successful were Phoenix operations in overthrowing the Ba’athist Party regime in Iraq that in 2004, Lt. Col. David Kilcullen, one of the US government’s top terrorism advisors, called for a “global Phoenix program.”
However, as noted above, the Phoenix program’s stated policies (consumer safety) are contradicted by its operational realities (“buyer beware”). Thus, success at politically and psychologically neutralizing foreign and domestic societies depends entirely on deniability – on secrecy and censorship.
The overarching need for total control of information requires media complicity in Phoenix operations. This was the second great lessons Vietnam taught the ruling class. The highly indoctrinated managers who run the U.S. government will never again allow the public to see the carnage they inflict upon foreign civilians. American citizens never saw the Iraqi women and children killed by U.S. forces. On the contrary, CIA kidnappings, torture, and assassinations are glorified on TV and in movies.
Thanks to media complicity, Phoenix has also become the template for providing internal security for America’s ruling elite. This process also began immediately after 9-11 with the repressive Patriot Act and a series of Presidential executive orders, which have legalized the administrative detention and murder of American citizens.
Just as Phoenix “Intelligence Operations and Coordination Centers” were established in every province and district in South Vietnam, the Department of Homeland Security has established Fusion Centers and the Department of Justice has established Joint Terrorism Task Forces across America to coordinate representatives from every police, civic, security, and military unit in a particular area. This merging of government and corporate forces against the public is perhaps the most insidious of the Phoenix program’s effects on American society.
And it is done, disingenuously, in the name of “protecting the people from terrorism,” a phrase that originated in the Phoenix program in South Vietnam. Many key phrases in the War on Terror, including “administrative detention,” “high value target,” and “targeted assassination” also derive from Phoenix.
The success of Phoenix doctrine is evident in the ability of the ruling class to divert massive amounts of public money into the militarization of foreign and domestic policy. The constant barrage of propaganda about looming terrorist threats, and the human rights violations of perceived enemies, justifies heavily armed police officers patrolling in paramilitary formations, and the presence of heavily armed soldiers in airports and train stations. Implicitly, the public knows those weapons can be used against them.
Now that the Phoenix structure is firmly in place, however, it is only a matter of time until we enter the final phase of explicit terror.
Download The Phoenix Program on Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble.

Douglas Valentine is the author of four books of historical nonfiction: The Hotel Tacloban, The Phoenix Program, The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of America’s War on Drugs, and The Strength of the Pack: The Personalities, Politics and Espionage Intrigues that Shaped the DEA. He is the author of the novel TDY, and a book of poems, A Crow’s Dream. He is also the editor of the poetry anthology With Our Eyes Wide Open: Poems of the New American Century.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Marijuana Prohibition Is a Moral Scandal Built on a Mountain of Lies

Why the war on weed is unscientific, unconstitutional, and unjust

  Next Thursday I am scheduled to debate Robert White, co-author (with Bill Bennett) of Going to Pot: Why the Rush to Legalize Marijuana Is Harming America, on Glenn Beck's radio show. Each of us will get half an hour or so to make his case before taking questions from Beck and each other. Here is what I plan to say:

Marijuana Prohibition Is Unscientific
A few days before the House of Representatives passed a federal ban on marijuana in June 1937, the Republican minority leader, Bertrand Snell of New York, confessed, "I do not know anything about the bill." The Democratic majority leader, Sam Rayburn of Texas, educated him. "It has something to do with something that is called marihuana," Rayburn said. "I believe it is a narcotic of some kind.
That exchange gives you a sense of how much thought Congress gave marijuana prohibition before approving it. Legislators who had heard of the plant knew it as the "killer weed" described by Federal Bureau of Narcotics Commissioner Harry Anslinger, who claimed marijuana turned people into homicidal maniacs and called it "the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind." Anslinger warned that "marihuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes" and estimated that half the violent crimes in areas occupied by "Mexicans, Greeks, Turks, Filipinos, Spaniards, Latin Americans, and Negroes may be traced to the use of marihuana."
Given this background, no one should pretend that marijuana prohibition was carefully considered or that it was driven by science, as opposed to ignorance and blind prejudice. It is hard to rationally explain why Congress, less than four years after Americans had emphatically rejected alcohol prohibition, thought it was a good idea to ban a recreational intoxicant that is considerably less dangerous.
It is relatively easy, for example, to die from acute alcohol poisoning, since the ratio of the lethal dose to the dose that gives you a nice buzz is about 10 to 1. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 2,200 Americans die from alcohol overdoses each year. By contrast, there has never been a documented human death from a marijuana overdose. Based on extrapolations from animal studies, the ratio of the drug's lethal dose to its effective dose is something like 40,000 to 1.
There is also a big difference between marijuana and alcohol when it comes to the long-term effects of excessive consumption. Alcoholics suffer gross organ damage of a kind that is not seen even in the heaviest pot smokers, affecting the liver, brain, pancreas, kidneys, and stomach. The CDC attributesmore than 38,000 deaths a year to three dozen chronic conditions caused or aggravated by alcohol abuse.
Another 12,500 alcohol-related deaths in the CDC's tally occur in traffic accidents, and marijuana also has an advantage on that score. Although laboratory studies indicate that marijuana can impair driving ability, its effects are not nearly as dramatic as alcohol's. In fact, marijuana's impact on traffic safety is so subtle that it is difficult to measure in the real world.
Last February the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the results of "the first large-scale [crash risk] study in the United States to include drugs other than alcohol," which it described as "the most precisely controlled study of its kind yet conducted." The researchers found that once the data were adjusted for confounding variables, cannabis consumption was not associated with an increased probability of getting into an accident.
That does not mean stoned drivers never cause accidents. One challenge in assessing the extent of the problem is that many of the drivers who test positive for marijuana are not actually impaired, since traces of the drug can be detected long after its effects wear off. That means marijuana-impaired drivers get mixed in with drivers who happen to be cannabis consumers but are not under the influence while on the road, which would tend to mask the drug's role in crashes. Still, alcohol is clearly a much bigger factor in traffic fatalities.
Last year, during a congressional hearing on the threat posed by stoned drivers, a NHTSA official was asked how many traffic fatalities are caused by marijuana each year. "That's difficult to say," replied Jeff Michael, NHTSA's associate administrator for research and program development. "We don't have a precise estimate." The most he was willing to affirm was that the number is "probably not" zero.
The likelihood of addiction is another way that marijuana looks less dangerous than alcohol. Based on data from the National Comorbidity Survey, about 15 percent of drinkers qualify as "dependent" at some point in their lives, compared to 9 percent of cannabis consumers. That difference may be especially significant given the link between heavy alcohol consumption and premature death.
All told, the CDC estimates that alcohol causes 88,000 deaths a year in the United States. It has no equivalent estimate for marijuana. We may reasonably assume, along with Jeff Michael, that marijuana's death toll is more than zero, if only because people under the influence of cannabis occasionally have fatal accidents. But the lack of a definitive answer highlights marijuana's relative safety, which points to a potentially important benefit of repealing prohibition: To the extent that more pot smoking is accompanied by less drinking, an increase in cannabis consumption could lead to a net reduction in drug-related disease and death.
The comparison of alcohol and marijuana presents an obvious challenge to anyone who thinks the government bans drugs because they are unacceptably dangerous. If anything, that rationale suggests marijuana should be legal while alcohol should be banned, rather than the reverse. Judging from this example, the distinctions drawn by our drug laws have little, if anything, to do with what science tells us about the relative hazards of different intoxicants.

Marijuana Prohibition Is Unconstitutional
When dry activists sought to ban alcoholic beverages, they went through the arduous process of changing the Constitution, which prior to the ratification of the 18th amendment in 1919 did not authorize Congress to prohibit the production and sale of "intoxicating liquors." When Congress banned marijuana in 1937, it did so in the guise of the Marihuana Tax Act , a revenue measure that authorized onerous regulations ostensibly aimed at collecting taxes on production and distribution, with severe penalties for noncompliance. But by the time marijuana prohibition was incorporated into the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, there was no need for such subterfuge. Instead Congress relied on its constitutional authority to "regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states."
The Commerce Clause, which was part of the original Constitution, did not change between 1937 and 1970. But beginning with a series of New Deal cases, the Supreme Court stretched its meaning to accommodate pretty much anything Congress wanted to do. In the 1942 case Wickard v. Filburn, for example, the Court said the Commerce Clause authorized punishment of an Ohio farmer for exceeding his government-imposed wheat quota, even though the extra grain never left his farm, let alone the state.
The Court went even further in the 2005 case Gonzales v. Raich, ruling that the federal government's power to regulate interstate commerce extends even to homegrown marijuana used for medical purposes by a California patient in compliance with state law. That decision, unlike Wickard, applied not just to production but to mere possession. According to the Court, the Commerce Clause encompasses the tiniest trace of marijuana in a cancer patient's drawer. "If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause," observed dissenting Justice Clarence Thomas, "then it can regulate virtually anything—and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers."
Many conservatives who pay lip service to the Constitution and the system of federalism it is supposed to protect nevertheless seem comfortable with this audacious assertion of congressional authority. In fact, they complain that the Obama administration is not using the Controlled Substances Act to shut down the newly legal marijuana markets in Colorado and Washington. Either they do not really believe in federalism or they cannot think straight when they smell marijuana.

Marijuana Prohibition Is Unjust
Even if marijuana prohibition were consistent with science and the Constitution, it would be inconsistent with basic principles of morality. It is patently unfair to treat marijuana merchants like criminals while treating liquor dealers like legitimate businessmen, especially in light of the two drugs' relative hazards. It is equally perverse to arrest cannabis consumers while leaving drinkers unmolested.
Peaceful activities such as growing a plant or selling its produce cannot justify the violence that is required to enforce prohibition. In the name of stopping people from getting high, police officers routinely commit acts that would be universally recognized as assault, burglary, theft, kidnapping, and even murder were it not for laws that draw arbitrary lines between psychoactive substances.
The main justification for those laws is protecting people from their own bad decisions. The hope is that prohibition will deter a certain number of people who otherwise would not only try marijuana but become self-destructively attached to it. Toward that end, police in the United States arrest hundreds of thousands of people on marijuana charges each year—nearly 700,000 in 2013, the vast majority for simple possession. While most of those marijuana offenders do not spend much time behind bars, about 40,000 people are serving sentences as long as life for growing or distributing cannabis. And even if marijuana offenders do not go to jail or prison, they still suffer public humiliation, legal costs, inconvenience, lost jobs, and all the lasting ancillary penalties of a criminal arrest.
Note that the people bearing these costs are not, by and large, the people who receive the purported benefits of prohibition. The person who, thanks to prohibition, never becomes a pathetic pothead goes about his life undisturbed while other people—people who never hurt him or anyone else—pay for the mistakes he avoids. Even paternalists should be troubled by the distribution of these burdens.
I am not a paternalist, because I do not believe the government should be in the business of stopping us from hurting ourselves. I am with John Stuart Mill on this:
The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant….Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
Marijuana prohibition, along with the rest of the war on drugs, is a flagrant violation of this principle. It is a moral outrage built on a mountain of lies.

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason magazine and a nationally syndicated columnist.

This article originally appeared at

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Good Bye America, It Was Good to Know You

It used to be that as one grew older their experience developed wisdom that could help guide succeeding generations. Today the world moves too fast. In some ways my 10-year-old granddaughter knows more intuitively about computers than I do after working online since there was an online.
My father grew up plowing with mules as had his father and his grandfather and so on back to houses with no floors, no running water and no electricity. While they had passed wisdom down for uncounted generations, what they had to say to the flower children of America's prosperity seemed hopelessly out of date just as what we have to say to the children of the Millennials seems like gibberish from the Dark Ages.
One thing however remained a constant. We were all Americans. We all believed in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. We not only expected our freedoms we came to take our heritage for granted. Today most people can tell you more about their local sports teams than they can about their government or the History of America. None of us get the luxury of living in the country we grew up in yet in the past we could at least look forward to living in one that shared the same values and generally the same goals.
Today, as our values swirl the drain and our goals have morphed from freedom to free access to government largess, we are staring into the maw of an existential crisis that threatens to leave our children with the proverbial bowl of pottage for which we traded their future.
What is this issue that dramatically portends the ultimate doom of the America in which most of us grew up? As a British politician once said, "Demographics is destiny."
It used to be if the politicians were out of step with the voters the voters threw them out at the next election. Now our politicians have decided to import new voters who will support them and submerge us.
Just when you thought we were safe from the latest version of the Children's Crusade there is another surge of unaccompanied minors breaking on our borders like a tsunami. The second wave of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children has begun, with more than 3,000 of them surging across the Mexican border into the U.S. last month — the highest rate since the peak of last summer's crisis and a warning that another rough season could be ahead.
Immigration officials warned that they expected another surge as the weather improved. Although the numbers are down some 40 percent compared with last year's frenetic pace that sparked a political crisis for the Obama administration, fiscal year 2015 is shaping up to mark the second-biggest surge on record.
If this sounds ominous for us, never fear our ever vigilant Big Brother has a solution. Why don't we just spring for a free flight, education, health care and food stamps ad infinitum?
To facilitate the often treacherous process of entering the United States illegally through the southern border, the Obama administration is offering free transportation from three Central American countries and a special refugee/parole program with "resettlement assistance" and permanent residency.
Under the new initiative the administration has re-branded the official name it originally assigned to the droves of illegal immigrant minors who continue sneaking into the U.S. They're no longer known as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), a term that evidently was offensive and not politically correct enough for the powerful open borders movement. The new arrivals will be officially known as Central American Minors (CAM) and they will be eligible for a special refugee/parole that offers a free one-way flight to the U.S. from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. The project is a joint venture between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department.
Specifically, the "program provides certain children in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras with a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children are undertaking to the United States," according to a DHS memo obtained by JW this week. The document goes on to say that the CAM program has started accepting applications from "qualifying parents" to bring their offspring under the age of 21 from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. The candidates will then be granted a special refugee parole, which includes many taxpayer-funded perks and benefits. Among them is a free education, food stamps, medical care and living expenses.
I often wonder since we cannot know who or where the illegals are off in the shadows how do conveniently locate them to apply for programs, give interviews, attend inaugurations, or do anything else. Then again they do gather in large numbers to demonstrate for more rights. You would think the TV lights would at least brighten up the shadows a little bit.
Since it wouldn't be sporting to have so many people living, eating and breeding in America and not allow them to vote our visionary masters have that one figured out as well.
New York City is routinely described as a "global hub", a place so thoroughly penetrated by international capital and migration that it seems at once within and without the United States. It is the center of American commerce and media, but its politics, demographics and worldly outlook make the Big Apple an outlier.
New York may be about to become even more distinct. The left-leaning New York City Council is currently drafting legislation that would allow all legal residents, regardless of citizenship, the right to vote in city elections. If the measure passes into law, it will mark a major victory for a voting rights campaign that seeks to enfranchise non-citizen voters in local elections across the country. A few towns already permit non-citizen residents to vote locally, but New York City would be by far the largest jurisdiction to do so.
Under the likely terms of the legislation, legally documented residents who have lived in New York City for at least six months will be able to vote in municipal elections. Reports suggest that the city council is discussing the legislation with Mayor Bill de Blasio's office, and that a bill might be introduced as soon as this spring.
While the legislation stands a good chance of sailing through the council and even winning the approval of the mayor, the prospect of New York City enfranchising its residents has stoked controversy. Many Americans find the idea of non-citizen voting entirely unpalatable and fear that it undermines the sanctity and privilege of citizenship.
Advocates for non-citizen voting in New York City argue that it would right a glaring wrong. Invoking the ancient American battle cry of "no taxation without representation", they point to the enormous numbers of non-citizen residents who pay taxes, send their children to public schools, are active members of their communities, but have no say in local elections. This could add up to as many as one million voters.
Let's see no voter ID allowed. No purging of dead people from the voter lists allowed. Non-citizens voting is allowed can illegal alien voting be far behind? Of course they would never be allowed to vote in a presidential election, no how no way…..;--)
And how are they supposed to get to the welfare office, the emergency room or the post office to pick up their check from the IRS for not paying taxes (Earned Income Tax Credit) without a driver's license? Oh wait the America Last crowd has a fix for that too.
A surge of undocumented immigrants seeking driver's licenses has surprised the California Department of Motor Vehicles, pouring in at twice the rate officials expected and underscoring the massive interest in the new program.
Just three months after driver's licenses became available to immigrants living in California illegally, the product of legislation advocates had pursued fruitlessly for years before prevailing and passing Assembly Bill 60 in 2013, 493,998 have sought licenses. The number has surprised officials who spent months bracing for an influx of new customers by hiring staff, opening new DMV offices and extending hours.
"The interest in this program is far greater than anyone anticipated," DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said in a statement.
In preparing to offer the new licenses, the DMV estimated that about 1.4 million immigrants would apply over the course of three years. The new figures show they have handled one-third of that expected total in three months, a rate double what the DMV expected, although the official estimate of the total number of eligible applicants remains the same. About 203,000 people have received licenses.
Following the trail to the Fundamentally Transformed Amerika of course brings us proudly to motor-voter, that legacy from the Clinton administration, another gift that just keeps on giving.
Local and state government officials are registering non-U.S. citizens as valid voters — even when the non-citizens say they are not Americans on their voter registration forms, a former Justice Department attorney tells The Daily Caller.
J. Christian Adams, a former United States Department of Justice official in the Civil Rights Division will show the Supreme Court in a brief later this month that non-citizens are registering to vote through the government's motor voter program. The motor voter act became law during the Clinton administration as an easier way to register voters through their local Department of Motor Vehicles offices, but Adams says the program is failing to weed out those who are not American citizens.
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At least our educational system will teach our children what America is all about? They will instill in them a decent appreciation for our system, our History and our values.
Oh wait a minute the Denver Public School system is allowing immigrants who have resided illegally in the United States since they were children to teach in its classrooms under a relaxed employment policy advanced by the Obama administration, district officials said this week.
Denver has hired teachers in the program as part of its participation with Teach for America, which places teachers in low-income schools, many of whom are recent college graduates without a background in education.
Fred Elbel, director of the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform, an organization that opposes granting any type of legal status to such immigrants, criticized the program.
"There are at least 20 million Americans who either do not have a full-time job or are underemployed. This includes teachers," he said. "It is unlikely that most of the illegal aliens with (DACA) status are trained, qualified and certified as educators."
So if the illegals are teaching our children what do you think they learn about illegal immigration? Oh excuse me I mean Undocumented Voters.
Now that I think about it the status for some of our visitors is changing. These aren't illegal aliens they are refugees. This gives them a special status according to our blue helmeted world government over at the U.N.
Take New Hampshire as an example. The number of refugees arriving annually in New Hampshire has waned in recent years, down from a peak of 559 in 2009 to 345 in 2014. However, those numbers represent a small fraction of the total number of refugees resettled nationally. During the last fiscal year, for example, 7,214 refugees arrived in Texas, 6,108 in California, 4,082 in New York, 4,006 in Michigan and 1,941 in Massachusetts. Connecticut and Maine resettled slightly more than New Hampshire; Vermont and Rhode Island resettled slightly fewer.
What rights are we obligated by the U.N. to provide our reclassified visitors? It cannot be many, right? Here is the official list:
Articles 12 - 30 of the Refugee Convention set out the rights that individuals are entitled to once they have been recognized as Convention refugees:
  • All refugees must be granted identity papers and travel documents that allow them to travel outside the country
  • Refugees must receive the same treatment as nationals of the receiving country concerning the following rights:
    • Free exercise of religion and religious education
    • Free access to the courts, including legal assistance
    • Access to elementary education
    • Access to public relief and assistance
    • Protection provided by social security
    • Protection of intellectual property, such as inventions and trade names
    • Protection of literary, artistic and scientific work
    • Equal treatment by taxing authorities
  • Refugees must receive the most favorable treatment provided to nationals of a foreign country concerning the following rights:
    • The right to belong to trade unions
    • The right to belong to other non-political non-profit organizations
    • The right to engage in wage-earning employment
  • Refugees must receive the most favorable treatment possible, which must be at least as favorable to that accorded aliens generally in the same circumstances, concerning the following rights:
    • The right to own property
    • The right to practice a profession
    • The right to self-employment
    • Access to housing
    • Access to higher education
  • Refugees must receive the same treatment as that accorded to aliens generally concerning the following rights:
    • The right to choose their place of residence
    • The right to move freely within the country
    •  Free exercise of religion and religious education
    • Free access to the courts, including legal assistance
    • Access to elementary education
    • Access to public relief and assistance
    • Protection provided by social security
    • Protection of intellectual property,
      such as inventions and trade names
    • Protection of literary, artistic and scientific work
    • Equal treatment by taxing authorities
Being a nation of immigrants I am sure the average American is totally on board with these policies. Maybe not, despite President Obama's efforts to cool the nation's views on illegal immigrants storming over the U.S.-Mexico border, Americans have reached a new level of anger over the issue, with most demanding a more aggressive deportation policy and reversal of an interpretation of the 14th Amendment that currently grants citizenship to kids of illegals born in the U.S.
A new Rasmussen Reports survey released Monday also finds Americans questioning spending tax dollars on government aid provided to illegal immigrants. A huge 83 percent said that anybody should be required to prove that they are "legally allowed" to be in the country before receiving local, state or federal government services.
Overall, the poll is bad news for the White House because it shows sustained, and in some cases, elevated anger and frustration over the surge in undocumented immigrants in the United States. For example, 62 percent told the pollster that the U.S. is "not aggressive enough" in deporting those illegally in the United States. Just 15 percent believed the administration's current policy was "about right" and 16 percent said it was "too aggressive."
That 62 percent number was a jump from a year ago when it was 52 percent.
When asked if the baby of an illegal born in the United States should automatically become a U.S. citizen, as is now the law, 54 percent said no versus 38 percent who said yes.
In another area that seems to test American patience with the administration, 51 percent said that illegal immigrants who have American-born children should not be exempt from deportation.
No matter how the haters try to stop it at least this tidal wave drowning America in the third world is all being done legally, or is it?
Take the celebrated case of a Federal Judge trying to staunch the flow down in Texas. President Obama's new deportation amnesty will remain halted, a federal judge in Texas ruled Tuesday night in an order that also delivered a judicial spanking to the President's lawyers for misleading the court.
Judge Andrew S. Hanen, who first halted the amnesty in February, just two days before it was to take effect, said he's even more convinced of his decision now, particularly after Mr. Obama earlier this year said he intends for his policies to supersede federal laws.
Judge Hanen pointed to Mr. Obama's comments at a February town hall when the President warned immigration agents to adhere to his policies or else face "consequences."
"In summary, the chief executive has ordered that the laws requiring removal of illegal immigrants that conflict with the 2014 DHS directive are not to be enforced, and that anyone who attempts to do so will be punished," Judge Hanen wrote.
"This is not merely ineffective enforcement. This is total non-enforcement," the judge continued, saying that Mr. Obama's descriptions of how he is carrying out his policies have hurt his case.
Mr. Obama in November announced a new amnesty for illegal immigrant parents whose children are either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. The amnesty could apply to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants.
Texas and 25 other states sued to stop Mr. Obama, and Judge Hanen sided with them, finding that they suffered an economic harm from the policy, granting them standing in court, and then finding that the President broke the law in bypassing Congress to announce his policy.
The administration has appealed Judge Hanen's ruling, but also asked the judge to reconsider.
On Tuesday, the judge not only refused to reconsider, but also said the administration misled him when it said no part of the amnesty had been implemented, and the lawyers bungled their attempt to try to repair the damage by filing an "advisory" with the judge early last month.
Since November, the administration had been granting a three-year amnesty to illegal immigrant Dreamers under the new policy. That's a year longer than the two-year program Mr. Obama announced for the Dreamers in 2012.
More than 100,000 applications were approved for the three-year amnesty between Nov. 21 and the February date when Judge Hanen halted the program.
"Whether by ignorance, omission, purposeful misdirection, or because they were misled by their clients, the attorneys for the government misrepresented the facts," the judge said, adding that he was stunned the government waited for two more weeks after his ruling to inform him that the applications had already been processed. In addition, the DHS broke the judge's order moving forward in approving amnesty applications despite injunction
Texas argues that had it known applications were being processed, it would have taken extra legal steps to try to halt the program earlier.
Judge Hanen said he might still issue sanctions against the government for misleading him though he declined to strike the government's pleadings, which would have essentially closed the case and granted victory to Texas.
The judge said that while that may be warranted, it would do a disservice to the weighty issues at stake in the case, including fundamental issues of presidential power.
What about that passport to everything else a legal Social Security number? That has to be well regulated to make sure none of our uninvited guests can gain unfettered access to the entire social network we have built and paid for, doesn't it?
The Obama administration has issued more than half a million new Social Security Numbers (SSN) to illegal immigrants granted amnesty under President Obama's Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals program.
In a letter to Sens. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Ben Sasse (R-NE), exclusively obtained by Breitbart News, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reveals that, by the end of Fiscal Year 2014, the Obama administration "had issued approximately 541,000 original SSNs to individuals authorized to work under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy since its inception" in 2012.
What do we face in America today?
  • A government dedicated to importing enough voters to achieve unassailable dominance.
  • A government that is out of control, ignoring laws and trampling on the rights of its own citizens in favor of those who have crashed the gate.
  • If the Constitution was established to guarantee Americans a limited government what can we say except that, at this moment in American History, the Constitution Failed.
Looking at the sad state of our Republic about all I have left to say is, "Goodbye, America, it was good to know you."


A voter's quandary

So many times in November, I think I  have cast an intelligent vote for which our founding fathers would be proud.  Then come the years of disappointments.  The attractive, seemingly sensible, practical, and fair-minded person for whom I voted suddenly shows an unsavory side.  That smiling campaigner who seemed poised to get constructive things done for our country in a bipartisan way now proves unworthy.  I have been duped again.
After all these years, I finally think I have figured out our problem as voters.
I thought I had been voting for one person.  Wrong!  I have been voting for multiple personas.  Here are at least four of these multiple personalities residing in that seemingly one candidate:
1) The Campaigner.
Many candidates for president mount wonderful campaigns.  They do particularly well when they vigorously attack our current herd of political sheep in Washington.  They never mention how our basic human nature makes consensus almost impossible for so many of us narrow-minded Americans.  Attractive, photogenic campaigners do not always effective presidents make.

(2) The Political Thinker / Strategist / Manipulator.
Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and Abraham Lincoln are often touted as brilliant political strategists.  The cliché reads, “To get anything done in Washington, a president must know how to exquisitely and deftly manipulate political colleagues and voters in order to get things accomplished.”  What candidate ever discusses the details of such applied chicanery ahead during a campaign?

(3) The Organizer / Administrator / CEO.
Even an MBA doesn’t present a valid credential for a prospective president.  Presidential candidates never mention the endless numbers of appointments of heads of even key federal agencies and departments during election campaigns.  They should name their cabinets before the election!  The candidate should discuss during the campaign how he or she plans to oversee the head of the IRS, VA, NSA, INS, NLRB, INS, ICE, DoE, Homeland Security, etc.

(4) The Leader / Inspirer / Role Model.
This important domain of a president’s identity is said to be grown into as his time in the White House unfolds.  We voters must use our creative imaginations to predict this crucial domain of our future leader, as we listen to the shallow TV debates conducted by media personas who take their orders from the media network moguls.
Good luck, fellow voters!

Peter Olsson, M.D. is a retired physician, psychiatrist, and psychoanalyst.