For those who don’t live in the Cornhusker state, it would be tempting to think that we don’t really play “rough and tumble” politics. But, that’s not necessarily the case. Although Republicans are the dominant power in the state (holding all of the constitutional offices—executive branch—in the state, as well as 4 out of 5 of our federal seats; not to mention a significant majority of our officially non-partisan legislators are actually registered Republicans), some of the Democrats understand how to play tough:
Gov. Heineman, who days after his re-election in 2010 announced that he would NOT be a candidate for the U.S. Senate, thus opening up the 5 way race we currently have between the current State Treasurer (who used to be the Attorney General), the current Attorney General, a current State Senator, a businessman and a young veteran—has more recently (since Sen. Nelson announced his retirement) been not-so-definite about his unwillingness to run.
The assumption is that Heineman would be the presumptive favorite for the GOP nomination if he ran, although I’m not actually sure that would be the case. It seems to me that the three candidates who have been running for almost a year—in one case longer (current Treasurer, Don Stenberg, and current AG Jon Bruning, and businessman Patrick Flynn) might have a little something to say about that, after spending significant time and treasure running.
The Republican Liberty Caucus of Nebraska is sponsoring the first debate of the primary campaign on February 11. So far 4 of the 5 declared candidates have agreed to participate. The nominal favorite (assuming Heineman doesn’t run), Attorney General Jon Bruning, has yet to confirm his participation, and has indicated that he probably won’t be there, suggesting that he isn’t going to debate anyone until the “field is set.”
Strategically, that might be a good idea for the Attorney General—if Bob Kerrey is the Democratic candidate, and Gov. Heineman doesn’t get in, then as the current “frontrunner, Brunning undoubtedly doesn’t want to get bloodied up any more than he has to in a primary race. On the other hand, it seems to me that in an era of Tea Parties, when transparency and accountability is something the voters seemingly want, candidates would be better off to embrace more debates, and openness.
Matt Ridley explains, while we are influenced by our genes, dependence works the other way around,too. Genes are vitally influenced by man and his culture.
Human beings, we tend to think, are at the mercy of their genes. You either have blue eyes or you do not (barring contact lenses); no amount of therapy can change it. But genes are at the mercy of us, too. From minute to minute, they switch on and off (i.e., are actively used as recipes to make proteins) in the brain, the immune system or the skin in response to experience. Sunbathing, for example, triggers the expression of genes for the pigment melanin.
As a recent study confirms, on a much longer time scale, genes are even at the mercy of culture.
Make sure to read the entire article at the source.
Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies … those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. – C.S. Lewis
Fair Haven, a quaint little town of about 6000 residents somewhere in the swamps of Jersey, holds a very special place in my heart and life. Why? Because I grew up there.
It is also the home of my new hero: Eric Hafner. Hafner is real life example #4,479,563 or so of how America’s War on Drugs is incontrovertibly insane. Here are the Cliff Notes on his story.
In 2008, at age 16, the young Hafner had a “horrifying, traumatic” experience that brought on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. He declines to divulge details and this is his prerogative. And how he medicates himself would likewise be his prerogative if this were a free country.
This is medicine. Don't like it? TOUGH!
In a free country, people would still suffer traumatic life experiences. However, their choice of medication would be entirely immune from the tentacles of state and federal control.
Doctors prescribed Xanax for Eric. However, he claimed that it “did little to mitigate ‘nightmares, flashbacks and depression,’ and left him feeling ‘like a zombie’ the next day.” However, he claims that marijuana allowed him to function normally.
In 2010, Governor Corzine signed into law the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. This law allows patients who suffer from certain maladies such as AIDS and MS, to obtain marijuana from state-licensed dispensaries. Two years later, though, no dispensaries have opened their doors. And even if they had, PTSD is not among the conditions for which doctors are allowed to recommend marijuana.
On November 27 of last year, Hafner was a passenger in a car that was pulled over for a broken headlight in Locust, four miles from Fair Haven. The police officer said he smelled pot and proceeded to search the vehicle. The search turned up a pipe in Hafner’s sweatshirt and a gram of the forbidden weed in Hafner’s wallet.
Hafner faces up to six months in jail and $1000 in fines if found guilty.
Here comes the hero part.
Hafner states: “I’m not going to plead guilty to using my medicine.”
Eric Hafner: hometown hero. Ron Paul supporter, too!
A guilty plea would carry with it probation and mandatory drug testing.
Hafner cites Article I of the New Jersey state Constitution in his defense. This article states, in part:
“All persons are by nature free and independent, and have certain natural and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.”
Hafner goes on to say: “I’m not going to stop what I’m doing, so probation is not an option. I’d be sacrificing my own health and safety, and I’m not going to do that, and the government has no right to tell me to do that.”
Denver is the marijuana dispensary capital of America.
Out here near Denver, Colorado, where I live now, a friend recently stated the following on Facebook.
“You know what really gets my knickers in a twist? Aurora. Charging me extra money to buy cold medicine. And my Driver’s License having to be swiped to buy Alka-Seltzer in PILL form. Really? Do I look like I’m gonna OD on Alka-Seltzer??? Unfortunately, my moral indignation lost out to the need to not feel like death walking backwards eating a cracker… but still. I’m pretty ticked.”
To this, I responded: “Yay drug war.”
P.W. chimed in: “No Doug….Yay nanny state.”
Me, again: “2 wings of the same bird of prey.”
I went on to say: “A government that will throw you in jail for possessing, selling, buying or using a plant that probably grows wild in your zip code will not be restrained in the stupid laws and regulations it imposes.”
The mindset that drives the right’s police state is the exact same totalitarian mindset that drives the left’s nanny state. A government that will imprison you for using a plant that was given to us in the eleventh verse of the Bible – and just may well grow wild in Fair Haven – will inevitably also tell us which kind of light bulbs to use and how fast our toilets can flush. And if you have your undies in a bunch over someone medicating themselves with marijuana, then you already believe that the state should nanomanage medical decisions. Don’t moan and groan at me about Obamacare!
Does the Forbidden Weed grow wild here? Maybe so.
The left is at least honest about its belief in big government. The right, on the other hand, is rhetorically pro-liberty, but all too often loves big government when it imprisons people for victimless offenses. (“Victimless crime” is an oxymoron. If there is no victim, there is no crime.) No matter how much evidence you present about the abject failure of the drug war, they simply will not cast off their smelly little politically correct orthodoxies about their menu of favorite unconstitutional federal programs.
All federal laws relating to what you ingest into your body are unconstitutional under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. And while the states may pass their own drug laws, state drug laws are just as odious as the Jim Crow laws of the old South.
But then the objection always arises: “There are prescription drugs for things like PTSD.”Go back and read the quote at the top of this article. Hafner says that Xanax didn’t work. Thousands of other people across the nation also say that marijuana worked where prescription drugs didn’t.
Many who scoff at the notion that cannabis has medicinal properties will insist that they are Christians. Jesus had very harsh words for people like this. “Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.” – Luke 11:46, KJB
Moreover, it is perfectly legal to do irreparable damage to your body in so many ways.
And, yes, I hear the train a-coming: “The kid is just looking for an excuse to get stoned.”
Let’s see. Hafner gets his bake on, gets the munchies and veges out for a few hours to some pre-Dark Side Pink Floyd tunes. Who has he harmed?
And yet, there are millions of people who wouldn’t care if he were locked in some anal rape cage for years on end. For his own good, of course. 99.99 percent of the time, the legal penalties associated with marijuana possession do far more damage than the actual herb itself. Cruel and unusual, anyone?
And these millions just don’t care that the War on Drugs has, in the last three decades, turned the “land of the free” into the nation with the world’s highest incarceration rate.
And while Hafner faces six months in prison, and while this Oklahoma woman got ten yearsfor a $31 marijuana sale, the children of the elites are not punished anywhere near as severely. Noelle Bush – one of those Bushes – got ten days for possession of crack cocaine. Hence, the War on Drugs is a lot like other wars. The elites sell it and the hoi polloi suffer as a result of it.
Daughter of a governor. Niece of a president. Granddaughter of another president. Got 10 days for crack possession. Live as the elites say and not as they and their offspring live.
The War on Drugs is a war on all of us, whether we do illegal drugs or not. How so?
Imagine yourself suffering from unremitting pain and having exhausted all conventional medical remedies. You are down to one last option: that herb that you have, until now, ridiculed as the Devil’s Lettuce. Will thou, in this moment, still be as holy and pious as thou currently art?
Or will this life experience finally clue you in as to the tyrannical nature of drug prohibition? Will you finally realize that the real-world implications of your favorite social policy are no laughing matter? And when you find yourself in the cross hairs of the authorities, will you boldly and defiantly proclaim, like Eric Hafner: “I’m not going to plead guilty to using my medicine.”
It is always easy to sit there and say that the government should “do something”, as long as they do it to somebody else. ___________________________________________________________ Posted at DailyPaul and on Facebook. ___________________________________________________________ In the event that you would like to post this elsewhere – who knows why? – please email me and include a link to this URL. Thanks!
Mercedes-Benz 170V Holzvergaser. At least, in those days during and immediately after the war, people in Germany clearly saw just how inadequate alternative sources of energy were.
Summing up Germany's rushed shift to renewable energy, a commentator at NoTrickZone writes:
At least the old-style 5-year-plans were aimed at heavy industrial production and modernization; and after the “Thaw” there were pockets of the so-called “Goulash communism” to provide at least a minimum of poultry and vegetables (in 1962, the “dachas” comprised 3% of the USSR’s agriculture and supplied 50% of the victuals). This sounds more like the Great Leap Forward with local windmills instead of backyard smelting yards, backed up by AGW instead of Lysenkoism, with Arcadia as the new collectivist paradise.
Germany’s energy transformation has already failed. For Germans, the outlook is bleak. …the planned mismanagement is heavily damaging the economy and will fail spectacularly some years later because its economic and social costs will have become unbearable. The question remaining open is how many billions of euros will have to be destroyed before a new energy policy (a new energy transformation?) picks up the shattered pieces.
Alex Epstein tells the story of a green, anti-capitalist prejudice of genocidal proportions:
Think for a moment about the last time you had a bad case of the flu: the headaches, the chills, the vomiting, the congestion, the depressed mood, the inability to function normally for days. But imagine it felt 10 times worse, and lasted for months or years, robbing you of anything resembling a truly human life.
That is life for the hundreds of millions of people who live with–and often die from–malaria.
The malaria parasite is one of nature’s cruelest torturers. Acquired from the bite of the common Anopheles mosquito, this parasite enters the bloodstream and, left to its own devices, wreaks havoc on the lives of its human hosts.
In its milder forms, the malaria parasite leads to cycles of different symptoms including fever, sweat and chills, muscle pains, shock, and breathing problems. More dangerous variants lead to liver failure, coma, and brain damage. And, of course, there are the deaths–millions and millions of individual lives ended prematurely, usually after enough suffering to make death a relief. The most common malaria deaths afflict the most vulnerable–children under 5, pregnant women, and individuals who are already weakened by malnutrition or other diseases.
When you hear of “living in harmony” with nature, remember this: nature gives us unmitigated malaria, while human ingenuity and industry gave us the ultimate weapon against malaria–the industrial, “artificial” chemical DDT. As the National Academy of Sciences said in the 1970s, “[T]o only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT…in little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million human deaths, due to malaria, that otherwise would have been inevitable.”#
Jeff Taylor over at Front Porch Republic lambasts the candidates as well as their voters:
The Republican Party managed to accomplish three amazing things last week, in the course of two debates and one election. It revealed a bloodlust that easily trumps concern for personal character and social morality. It scorned a fundamental teaching of Jesus Christ. It showed that the only thing that really matters to the party is the perceived ability to beat Barack Obama in the November election.
… The trajectory of empires is pretty standard. We’re overextended and going broke. We’re crumbling at home. We’re morally bankrupt. But, as one front man among many for the crackpot realists who administer our foreign policy, Santorum condescendingly smirks and shakes his head while Paul tells the truth during debates.
… Sanctimony is not sanctification. In moments such as these, the Southern Baptists (and others) in South Carolina are far better Americans (in the corrupt, imperial sense of the word) than they are Christians.
…Yes, the crowd actually booed the golden rule of Jesus Christ. … The apostle Paul, archangel Michael, or Jesus himself could have been on the stage and they would have gotten the same reaction. It was the message, not the messenger, that outraged the audience. The crowd reaction to the militaristic, hateful pandering of a group of chicken hawks was shameful in the extreme. Sadly, it’s the norm for purportedly Bible-believing Christians so it barely raised an eyebrow.
… Let’s turn to the winner of the latest election. The new darling of the Religious Right is the thrice-married bloviator and million-dollar Freddie Mac historian Newt Gingrich. An unlikely pairing in some ways, but quite likely in others.
… Gingrich is a master of righteous indignation although he’s far better at being indignant than being righteous. Like his political twin Bill Clinton, Gingrich is a good liar because he’s shameless. There are few politicians who can lie with more vigor. It’s a trait that convinces the clueless.
… When I went to bed at the end of South Carolina primary day, I was depressed. I wondered, with Jeremiah, “Why do the wicked prosper?” Of course, the answer is no secret. It is as old as Paradise Lost. If Christians are going to participate in politics, we should not only pray the Lord’s prayer but mean it. We should avoid temptations concocted by the unscrupulous, ameliorate the effects of sin, and practice Kingdom principles on earth. If we’re not up to the challenge, let’s stick to our pews and prayer closets—and stay away from debates and voting booths.