Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pulled down a tidy honorarium for a 40-minute talk to the Global Financial Markets Forum in Abu Dhabi on March 4. CNBC’s Squawk Box financial program reported on March 5 that he had been paid “at least $250,000” for his keynote speech. READ MORE
(Seeded by Jim Nutting) Article by Jacob G. Hornberger January 15, 2013
Matthew R. Davies is a 34-year-old father of two young girls who has a master’s degree in business and has worked in various real-estate, restaurant, and mobile-home enterprises. He’s also a man who has no criminal record but who is now facing 15 years in the federal penitentiary.
Davies’ crime? He established one of the most reputable and best-run medical marijuana dispensaries in California, one that limited the drug to truly sick people.
While Davies’ store was fully legal under California law, it was illegal under federal law. That’s why he’s been indicted by the feds as a major drug trafficker.
As the New York Times points out, two of Davies’ associates are accepting a plea bargain that will enable them to serve “only” 5 years in jail. So far, Davies is rejecting the plea offer and instead is appealing to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to dismiss the charges.
The case exemplifies what can happen in those states where the citizens have voted to end or modify the drug war. Since possession or distribution of illicit drugs is still a federal offense, the feds maintain the legal authority to prosecute people within those states for violating federal drug laws.
That’s why it’s imperative to continue confronting the central issue in the federal drug war: Under what moral authority does the federal government punish Davies or anyone else for engaging in purely consensual transactions with other consenting adults?
The problem is that that Americans have become so accustomed to having the federal government wield omnipotent power over them that their regimented mindsets don’t permit them to break out of the box and challenge the legitimacy of federal power in so many aspects of their lives. Since most everyone has lived much of his life under the war on drugs, it’s just assumed that this is a necessary part of a free society.
But it’s not. In fact, it would be difficult to find a better example of a direct attack on individual freedom than drug laws.
Let’s assume that a person is sitting in the privacy of his own home and smoking marijuana, snorting cocaine, injecting heroin into himself, or overdosing on non-prescribed pain killers. You can say that this person is doing harm to himself. You can say that he’s damaging his family. But why should that be the business of the federal government? Why should the federal government wield the authority to bust into the person’s house, arrest him, and send him to jail for engaging in an action that doesn’t involve the initiation of force against another person, such as robbery, theft, burglary, murder, or rape?
That’s really what is so audacious about the drug war. It’s the mindset of the busybody with a gun, a mindset that says: “You will ingest what I tell you to ingest and if you violate my orders, I will have you jailed until you get you get your mind straight.”
The drug war epitomizes a society in which the government has become the master and the citizen has become the servant. The master dictates what can be ingested and what can’t be ingested, and the servant is expected to obey. If the servant disobeys, the master punishes him by sending him to his room for 15 years.
It is becoming increasingly clear to the American people, however, that the drug war has failed to attain its purported goal after decades of relentless and ruthless effort. It has also produced a sordid world of death, destruction, violence, official corruption, waste of money, and severe loss of privacy and liberty.
People are finally figuring out that the best thing to do is simply end the drug war, just as earlier Americans ended Prohibition, and to leave consenting adults free to decide for themselves how to deal with drugs. Those sentiments are being reflected in the legalization of marijuana itself or its legalization for medicinal purposes at the state level.
The feds, however, are clearing not letting go, at least not yet. They know that ending the drug war would not only restore a large degree of sovereignty and freedom to the American people, it would also unravel the vast web of federal infringements on the privacy and freedom of the American people, not to mention cut off an enormous source of revenue, both legal and illegal, for federal officials.
When laws are being used to send ordinary citizens into jail, that’s a good sign that there is a problem with the law, not the people. Matthew Davies no more belongs in jail than President Obama, an admitted former drug user. The same applies to the thousands of people who are rotting away in jail for non-violent drug offenses. Every one of them deserves to be pardoned immediately.
What people provide to others or ingest themselves is no business of the government. It’s high time to for the American people to restore American citizens to their role as masters and federal officials to their role as servants in American life. There is no better place to start than by ending the federal drug war.
Like many people, I don’t like clowns. To me they are another species of warm-blooded creatures. I can’t even look into their eyes. It is such a mystery to me why someone would want to be a clown. Are they really trying to make people happy and laugh? Shit, most kids scream when they see one of these freaks. Ronald McDonald is one of those monsters.
I have to disagree with the anti capitalist activists at the Boston-based Corporate Accountability International who demanded that McDonald’s stop marketing junk food to children. They claim that because of Ronald and the happy meal toys that there is a rise of health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Just to set the story straight, I don’t frequent McDonald’s. I grew up with that iconic zombie-like freak. As a kid it was the mere fact that it was a place where all the other kids were going and they had flat hamburgers. I remember seeing Ronald on occasion visiting some of the restaurants and scaring the shit out of little kids. It’s not him that is responsible for fat kids and their health issues, it’s the lazy parents who cut corners and use the place to shut their kids up. Why attack the clown because of lazy parents who are probably fat and unhealthy as well. If anything, Ronald is probably trying to say “don’t eat this shit or this will happen to you”.
We need to stop big brother from spoiling our fun and freedom. We can’t have the government telling us how and where to feed our kids. It’s all about individual responsibility. Aside from their creepy clown Ronald, McDonalds is one of the most charitable corporations in the world. They have bent over backwards to change their menus to show the world they really do care. On the flip-side, I don’t really think they care that their icon sends kids to bed with palpitating little hearts, bed-wetting and nightmares.
What’s next on the whinny Corporate Accountability International’s agenda? Are they going demand the government force the removal of hooters from Hooters because the hot wings may cause erections and the hardening of an artery? Why don’t they take braille off of the drive through bank ATM’s. Isn’t that sending a fucking message to blind people that they could drive?
My point being that though businesses have logos and icons, it is the individual’s responsibility for their own eating habits and health. This sends a clear message that without government intervention, we would all kill ourselves while aimlessly walking the streets following clowns who’s sole purpose it is to fatten up our children. I sure hope that McDonald’s doesn’t give in more than they already have. They are an American success story.
We vote these career leeches into congress, then they pat us on the ass and thank us for our comments and concerns. Than somehow they manage to slip our wallets out of our pockets. Anyone getting caught pick pocketing by someone would generally get his face punched or getting arrested.
This is what they’re doing. We are their constituents and as Republic, we have representatives in our districts who have to take our comments and concerns regarding bills and spending of our hard earned money. They have to carefully review each and every law they intend to put on the table. They are sworn to the constitution and have to make sure the law is within its guidelines. Of course all of this has to be reviewed and fit in with the rest of the district. None of us can always get what we want. Remember, it’s the guarantee of the pursuit of happiness, not happiness itself.
Either way in most cases this isn’t happening. Personal interest and gain comes into play so many times. Both democrats and republicans do this. Look at Cunningham and Rangel. This is not what our founders had in mind for a Republic. To start with, they are way too over paid. Cunningham plead guilty to tax evasion, conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud, who knows how much more side money he really made.
Rangel misappropriated money from his district by using his professional letterhead to solicit money from people and organisations to donate to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York from corporations with business interests before his Ways and Means Committee. Who really knows how much was obtained and spent on a project the majority of his constituents may not have even wanted?
No matter how noble the cause some may believe a congressional leader is fighting for, the full constituency has to be considered. The past congress’ stole my wallet with the help of Chairman Obama and Bush. I warn this next congress, who at this point looks a little more promising. ” My wallet is connected to a chain and the chain is connected to a personal part of my body, get the hint and don’t touch it. I will have consider that sexual battery.”