Friday, October 31, 2008

Michigan Proposal 1: Medical Marijuana: YES!

Next week, the Michigan ballot will contain an initiative piece of legislation that asks voters to approve a new state law to de-criminalize the medical use of marijuana. It is important to note that this is not a constitutional amendment, as many ballot proposals are. Approval of this proposal would put a new law on the books that would prevent state and local authorities from enforcing anti-marijuana laws against anyone who has a debilitating disease and is approved by the sate. Here is the preamble to the proposed law:
Sec. 2. The people of the State of Michigan find and declare that:

(a) Modern medical research, including as found by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine in a March 1999 report, has discovered beneficial uses for marihuana in treating or alleviating the pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with a variety of debilitating medical conditions.

(b) Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports and the Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics show that approximately 99 out of every 100 marihuana arrests in the United States are made under state law, rather than under federal law. Consequently, changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill people who have a medical need to use marihuana.

(c) Although federal law currently prohibits any use of marihuana except under very limited circumstances, states are not required to enforce federal law or prosecute people for engaging in activities prohibited by federal law. The laws of Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Washington do not penalize the medical use and cultivation of marihuana. Michigan joins in this effort for the health and welfare of its citizens.

You can read the entire text of the proposal here.

Of course, the people opposing this law are invoking families and public safety, with names such as Citizens Protecting Michigan's Kids and No Pot Shops. This is the same sort of jibberish that the anti-gun people pulled back in 2001 when they tried to repeal Michigan's concealed carry laws.

Does anyone remember the group called People Who Care About Kids? This was the group that opposed the CCW laws. Thanks to the Internet Archive, you can take a look at their web site by clicking here. It's humorous to read their dire predictions:
We need 151,356 signatures by March 27, otherwise the lead will start flying on July 1 [2001].


One of out 50 residents carry a gun on them at all times. In the shopping malls, movie theaters, parks or even in courtrooms. You're at your kid's soccer game, and a bunch of people around could be packing heat.


Violent crimes like murder, rape and robbery will skyrocket.

Well, of course, none of these dire predictions came to fruition. In fact, as the state police are required to report each year, concealed carry licensees are in fact much less likely to commit a crime than a non-licensee.

The same sort of, well, just plain stupid arguments are used against medical marijuana in Michigan. The opponents fret about "pot shops" and the harm to children. I suppose the opponents prefer drug houses and dealers. But that is beside the point, because this law requires state approval to get the marijuana.

This is a simple matter of freedom and common sense. Marijuana is harmless. No one has ever overdosed on marijuana. If someone is ill and can't keep food down because of chemo, cancer, or AIDS, then why not let them help themselves in this way? The process would be regulated by the state and drug dealers would not be involved.

It's time to continue expanding personal freedom in Michigan by approving 2008's Proposal 1!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

History Will Frown on West Michigan Bigots

An article in Monday's Grand Rapids Press outlined the hundreds of thousands of dollars being donated by local doctrinaires to oppose gay marriage proposals in Florida and California. According to the article, Rich DeVos has donated $100,000 to support a ban on gay marriage that will appear on the ballot in Florida. Elsa Prince Broekhuizen, Betsy DeVos' mother, has donated $450,000 to support a gay marriage ban in California. It's sad to see so much zealous bigotry in one family.

This is why, in our opinion, the Republican Party is on the wane. They thrive on anti-gay bigotry. This site has been accused of having a conservative bias, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. We are solidly libertarian. We believe that government should stay out of the marriage issue in general. However, since government does recognize marriages and confers special rights on those who are married, we believe that marriage should be inclusive. Gay people shouldn't have any different right to get married to the person they love than a non-gay person. Unless and until the Republican Party gets on board with equal rights for gays, they will have a hard time gaining majorities again in the United States. It's just a simple case of freedom and civil rights.

The point of this article is not the Republican Party, however. We wanted to point out how many people (including the donors mentioned above) use the Bible to support their bigotry. We believe that the DeVoses of the world will fade into history and be remembered as those people who opposed equal rights. The Bible has been used many times in the past to justify bigotry and hatred.

Thanks to the fantastic Google Books service, we can search old books for the people who debated in favor of slavery and against women's suffrage. We look at these arguments today as curiosities, but at the time, they were extremely influential.

For instance, one book from 1852, called Bible Defense of Slavery lays out a biblical justification of slavery. This book purportedly traces the origin of the "negro race" to Ham, Noah's son, who Noah cursed for looking at him naked while he was sleeping in a drunken stupor (See pages 90-91).

Another, from 1861, called Slavery Sanctioned by the Bible, examines both Old Testament and New Testament arguments in favor of slavery. For instance:
As a starting point I cite the Apostle's code of reciprocal duties for masters and slaves as we may fairly call it which is found in chapter sixth of Ephesians:

5 Servants be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh with fear and trembling in singleness of your heart as unto Christ

6 No with eye service as men pleasers but as servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart

7 With good will doing service as to the Lord and not to men

8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth the same shall he receive of the Lord whether he be bond or free

9 And ye masters do the same things unto them forbearing threatening knowing that your master also is in heaven neither is there any respect of person with him.

An 1869 book, called Women's Suffrage - a Reform Against Nature, makes the argument that women should not be able to vote because, basically, it's against nature (sound familiar?):
As "the head of every man is Christ," so "the head of the woman is the man;" as "he is the image and reflected glory of God," so "the woman is the glory of the man." "For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man." "The woman is to learn in silence with all subjection not to teach nor to usurp authority over the man but to be in silence."

What's the point of this demonstration? the Bible has been and is used to justify all sorts of cruel, oppressive, and bigoted behavior. But what these people forget is probably one of the most important passages of the New Testament - "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you," Jesus said, "do ye even so to them…"

It's easy to dismiss those who argue against equal treatment, but there are real consqeuences. We've seen a recent videotaped beating of a student who was speaking out against bigotry. Students are bullied and verbally and physically abused because they are gay. Suicide is the number one cause of death amongst gay teens. Yeah, right. It's a choice.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Socialism in America

Pelosi blubbers with glee over the bailout bill

Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.

-Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

If ye love wealth better than liberty and the tranquility of servitude better than the animated contest of freedom, then crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly on you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen…go from us in peace, we ask not your counsel or your arms.

- Samuel Adams

Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.

The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.

-Frederic Bastiat

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Where Does the $700 Billion Bailout Size Come From?

Here's an example of the absolute recklessness of the current bailout mess. An article from Forbes ought to make all Americans go berserk on the members of Congress that are voting in favor of this thing:
In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."

Are you &*#%@%^ kidding me?!?!


Giant Socialist Bailout: Levin YES, Stabenow NO

The giant socialist bailout bill passed the Senate yesterday 75 to 24. Senator Carl Levin voted YES, Senator Debbie Stabenow noted NO.

Call Senator Stabenow and say thanks! 202-224-4822. Email her here.

Call/write Senator Levin now and tell him that Josef Stalin would be proud! (202) 224-6221 (Fax him at 202-224-1388) Email him here.

Call the US House's switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak with your Congressperson's office. Tell him or her to vote no on this monstrosity.

Josef Stalin would be proud of the US Senate today. Hopefully it's not too late to stop the statist/socialist cabal in Washington that is governing by fear and ignorance.

Further reading: