Jeff Sessions Believes Violence Follows Marijuana Sales Because of Unpaid Debt

war-on-drugs“You can’t sue somebody for a drug debt. The only way to get your money is through strong-arm tactics, and violence tends to follow that.”

That is the quote from the Attorney General of the United States in regards to marijuana legalization. What else is there to say? How stupid is he? Or does he just think those who support him are stupid?

Is it possible he doesn’t realize that in states where marijuana is legal that you can sue for debt and thus violence is completely unnecessary? Is it possible that he doesn’t realize the vast majority of violence surrounding the drug trade is caused by interdiction?

Police officers die. Innocents die. Drug dealers die. Drug users die. The violence is almost completely centered on the enforcement of drug laws. If drugs were legal there would not be anywhere near the violence. Do we see violence around prescription drug debt? No? Gosh, a shocker there.

Of course if drugs were legal the police forces of the United States wouldn’t have nearly as much to do. Nearly as much to spend on neat equipment. Not nearly as many citizens to bully and attack. Of course, on the plus side, they would also be much safer. They could focus their energies on non-drug crime and helping the citizens of their communities rather than financing their entire department off the misery of said citizens.

If drugs were legal the prisons would lose most of their inhabitants. That’s a good thing? Right? Well good for everyone except the prison system which enriches itself on putting citizens in jail.

What would the DEA do if drugs were legal? Well, just about nothing. How much money would that save? But we don’t want that, we want to employ people.

I’ve ranted enough. I can’t take any more.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
April 2017 Release: For the Gray

In some Countries a Speeding Ticket for a Sports Star is a Big Deal

moana-hopeI’m fairly certain that most of my readers are aware that I love sports. I fell in love with Australian Rules football a few years back when it was broadcast on ESPN3. I still follow the sport and something happened this weekend that makes me think. Two players in the game, one a man and one a woman, were caught speeding.

If you say big deal then it’s likely you are much like me and completely inured to sports stars behaving badly here in the United States. In Australia it’s a big story. Both players are facing serious trouble and potential suspensions. The teams are issuing strong words about expecting better from their players, how they take road safety quite seriously.

There is all sorts of chatter on the Collingwood Facebook page about the incident.

It’s not easy to compare a country with a smaller population like Australia to a large one like the United States where we have far more sports stars in a wider variety of sports. The reaction in Australia to the incident, which would probably not even rise to the level of an actual news story in the United States, does raise an interesting question.

Do Australians hold athletes to a higher standard than we do here in the United States?

If so, why?

I certainly think the population of the two nations has something to do with it but perhaps there are cultural differences to account for as well. In Australia police are given wide latitude in interdictions on traffic violations. In Australia the police can stop you while driving at any time for no reason and check for intoxication or pretty much anything else, they have no Fourth Amendment restrictions.

Is this good? Bad? Does it effect how things like speeding are viewed by the general populace?

I’m not really sure I have any world altering conclusion here but I do find the entire thing quite interesting.

I’m a big fan of the Fourth Amendment. I think allow government officials to stop people for no reason is an extremely bad idea. I’m also not a huge fan of vilifying people for relatively minor transgressions. Who among us hasn’t driven faster than the speed limit?

What do you think? Is the culture for sports stars too forgiving in the United States? Too harsh in Australia? Somewhere in between?

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
April 2017 Release: For the Gray

I’ll Use Our Second Amendment Rights to Defend our First Amendment Rights

Constitution of United StatesCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I want to be as clear as possible about the First Amendment.

The freedom of media to report as they will without fear of retribution from the government is vital to the survival of this great nation and of This Great Experiment. The media must be allowed to tell the story; the true story, the false story, the agenda driven story twisted with nuance, or the apolitical story. It is necessary. It is my freedom.

If you are under the impression those telling stories you don’t like must be arrested, repressed, intimidated, fined, sued, or otherwise cowed from doing their job; know that I will defend them. If necessary I’ll use another right guaranteed to me to do so.

I will accept the consequences of those action.

Just so you know where I stand if you want to discuss Freedom of the Press in my presence.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
April 2017 Release: For the Gray

Before you Laugh at Kyrie Irving and Flat Earth Examine What you Believe without Evidence

kyrie-irvingWho was it that said something about casting stones?

There’s an article all over the news today about a basketball player named Kyrie Irving who believes the earth is flat. The comment section is filled with scorn. The same commenters who generally flood stories with absolute belief in many things without any supporting evidence.

President Obama banned the pledge of allegiance.

President Trump vacationed with Vladimir Putin before the election.

90% of the Ninth Circuit Court Decisions are Overturned by the Supreme Court.

Richard Gere and the Gerbil.

All these things are nonsense and yet the very people calling Kyrie Irving all sorts of names believe stories exactly like those I listed above. Do you? I’d guess the answer is probably yes. You believe something that is completely false. There are reasons for this.

Perhaps the story matches up with your political or personal beliefs and you’d like it to be true so you don’t investigate or willfully ignore any evidence suggesting the story is false.

Perhaps the story was told to you by someone you trust, so you didn’t bother to investigate because of that trust.

Perhaps you are stupid.

Perhaps you’re not stupid but you never learned Critical Thinking skills.

All these things are possible and I would venture to say there is no one who has not fallen into the trap at one point or another. Kyrie Irving believes the Earth is flat. He’s wrong but I’m not going to convince him, you’re not going to convince him, no amount of evidence is going to convince him. He’s going to have to decide for himself to investigate the topic, look at the all the evidence, and come to a conclusion that ignores his preconceived notions. Easy, you say? Then you do it. Do it in every aspect of your life. Do it for every political story you read.

In my Libertarian Group of supposed Free Thinkers there are scam artists everywhere. Some make promises about freedom and life in South America while stealing money from members, and yet they are supported almost endlessly. Some rave and rant about problems that simply don’t exist. There is no shortage of those who believe in defiance of evidence. I would say anyone who denies Evolution is such a person and that includes a healthy percentage of my friends.

Before you start throwing stones at Irving, take a look in the mirror.

And, of course, try to apply Critical Thinking skills to all aspects of your life.

Tom Liberman

Censored for Sex, Marry, Kill on the Washington Post

censoredI have been censored! My rights stripped from me like so many pasties from an exotic dancer.

I demand satisfaction. I demand action. I demand a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, mmm, delicious peanut butter cups. Wait, distracted, sorry, I’ve been wronged I tell you, wronged!

Congress I need your help. Congressman Jason Chaffetz an investigation must be ordered. This is big, huge, enormous.

There is a story about some teachers who were playing Fuck-Marry-Kill while imbibing drinks at a local restaurant. For those who are unaware of this delightful pastime I will explain the rules. Three people or things are listed. You must choose with what or whom you will have sex, which you will marry, and which you will kill. Someone videotaped the teachers playing the game. Their co-workers were mentioned. They said unflattering things about students although apparently refrained from mentioning them in connection with the game.

The video was posted on Facebook. One of the co-workers who ended up in the kill category complained. Parents complained that their precious little students were being taught by people horrible enough to play this game. To dare say an unflattering thing about one of the children. They were horrified. The school district has fired one of the players and the other have been reprimanded which is apparently not enough for the enraged internet.

And now I have suffered a grievous blow. My comment was censored, banished, removed, annihilated, destroyed, put into a secret CIA prison somewhere in Africa. I find myself in a barren wasteland without a single Like (I use my Facebook account to make comments because I have nothing to hide, well, there was that thing in college with the blender, three live chickens, and some mini-cans of orange juice but that’s all just rumor). No likes!!! It hurts. It hurts.

My comment, you ask? I wanted to play the game with

A) The person who taped the conversation.

B) The co-worker who complained.

C) The parent who wants them all fired.

Now we will never know and I must live the rest my life in barren desert of Likeless shame. Unless, you, dear, brave reader, will play the game with me now?

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
Next Release: For the Gray

Removing Competition the Immigration Way

senator-tom-cottonSenators Tom Cotton and David Perdue don’t like competition. Spin it how you will but this Libertarian will not stand silent. They are wrong and somebody needs to tell them. I think I’m the guy!

The situation is relatively simple. With the election of Donald Trump a wave of Protectionist policies have swept through Congress. Cotton and Perdue want to limit the number of immigrants coming into this country annually from one million to half that. Why?

In their words: Cotton said his goal was to stop competition that lowers wages for workers without high school or college degrees. “Unless we reverse this trend, we are going to create a near-permanent underclass for whom the American dream is always just out of reach,”

Because reducing competition always makes things better, right, Senators? That’s the American way or at least the modern American way. Reduce competition by making laws that benefit one group over another.

They aren’t even apologizing for it. Making up some wild story to excuse it. Nope, we want to eliminate competition so United States citizens who can’t hold down a decent job have a better chance to do so. And the comments section is filled with cheers. Yay! Let’s keep those dirty foreigners from stealing our jobs.

Perhaps they wouldn’t take your jobs if you were willing to work harder but I guess that’s a mantra from bygone days. Yes, the jobs that immigrants do suck and don’t pay a lot. They are hard. I wouldn’t want to do it so instead I work in IT making a nice salary doing things that are not back-breaking. Maybe rather than complaining that someone is stealing your job you should better yourself? Get an education. Work harder. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps as we used to say around here.

Nope. Gone. See ya. How ’bout we get rid of the competition. That’s the sure-fire path to success, ain’t it, Senators Cotton and Perdue? Let’s Make America Great Again by getting rid of the people who do the job best. That’ll work.

It’s a bit disheartening to be a Libertarian these days. But I’m not giving up!

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
Next Release: For the Gray

Breezewood PA Clashes with the Objectivist Idea of Self-Interest

breezewood-paSelf-Interest. That’s the mantra of this Objectivist. When I act in my own self-interest I help those around me. Now I read about the interstate near a place called Breezewood, Pennsylvania and it brings the philosophy into question.

Let me explain. Breezewood is a community that exists largely because there is a connecting road missing. Highway I-70 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike almost intersect at Breezewood … but they don’t. The reason they don’t is because travelers who want to get from one interstate to the other can’t do so without exiting one, driving through town amidst an almost constant traffic jam, and arriving at the other.

Without this little traffic jam the city would probably not exist. People would simply transit from one highway to the other without stopping. Some would stop for gas or a bite to eat certainly, but most would go merrily on their way. There is plenty of blame to go around.

Government regulation prevented tax dollars from building the interchange because one road was a toll road and the other was not. That regulation was removed eventually but the loop through Breezewood was already built by then. The Congressman from that district prevented any construction for years.

It’s clear millions of dollars and tens of thousands of hours of driving could easily be eliminated and yet it doesn’t get done because the people who live there don’t want it done. It’s in their interest not to have the interchange.

Where does that leave this objectivist? The people of Breezeway are doing exactly what my philosophy says they should do. Act in their own self-interest. In doing so they are inconveniencing many, many more people. They are wasting time and money. They are causing unnecessary pollution. What they are doing clearly helps those immediately around them but hurts the vast majority of people who travel that part of the country.

I’m all for the people of Breezewood doing what they think is in their best interest but where are the politicians from Pennsylvania and the United States? It’s in their interest to build that interchange and save a lot of people a lot of hassle. Yes, jobs will be lost in Breezewood. People will suffer. That’s the nature of the world.

The problem here isn’t objective self-interest, it’s the lack thereof. Far more people suffer because the people of Breezewood are acting in their interest. The solution. The people of Pennsylvania and the surrounding states need to elect officials who will solve the problem. They are the one’s not acting in their own self-interest.

It’s not always easy to be self-interested. The people of Breezewood live together, vote together, have a common issue. Those who need the interchange do not. It is more difficult for them to act in unison. I admit it.

We live in an age where people can share information and causes at the click of a button. With the right leader and a strong voice that interchange would be built. I still believe in self-interested objectivism but it’s not always easy.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
Next Release: For the Gray