Saturday, June 20, 2009

Drugs are bad, m'kay?

Okay, I've gone over some very disturbing facts in a few of my previous blogs, and there's no reason to drag them up in their entirety now. For now, let's talk about how this whole thing pertains to us..."us" being your average Joe or Julie. There's a good chance that someone close to you has been addicted to mind-altering drugs at some point in your lifetime, if it wasn't you personally.

My reasoning behind this post is because of a conversation I had with a very good friend of mine the other day, regarding "addiction issues" afflicting certain members of his family. We tend to agree heavily on many socio-political issues, but disagree heavily on many others. He brought up some of the issues he was facing, and posed the question "Do you still think the legalization of drugs is a good idea?", and I responded with a question of my own, mainly due to knowing full-well that he already knew my answer to his.

After hearing of the issues concerning his family's issues, and also understanding my own family's issues, I asked him this one simple question: "DID THE CRIMINALIZATION OF DRUGS PREVENT ANY OF YOUR FAMILY'S PROBLEMS WITH DRUGS?". It's a simple and straight-forward question, with a simple and straight-forward answer. Of course, that answer is a deafening "NO".

The fact remains that there are three kinds of people in this world, as far as any particular drug is concerned. Those who have never used that drug, those who once did use the drug but no longer do, and those who currently use drugs. I can assure you that drug criminalization (with the possible exception of marijuana) has absolutely zero bearing on the use of drugs.

The reason I list marijuana as the one exception to this rule is because marijuana is so clearly "safe" (by medical standards, when compared to all other drugs, legal and illegal), and most people who actually enjoy marijuana and understand its relative "safety" factor simply don't use it because it is illegal and the legal headaches simply aren't worth the high.

With the exception of psillocibin mushrooms and a few other natural hallucinogenics, there is no mind-altering drug available today that will not present adverse health problems, regardless of legal status. You'd be hard-pressed to find any reasonable person that is unaware of the inherent safety issues associated with alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, meth, smack, XTC, et cetera.

Alcohol will destroy your liver and your brain. Cigarettes will erode your lungs. Cocaine, horse, and meth have serious addiction issues that no one really needs to discuss any further, because any idiot knows what a "junkie" is. I could go on, but you get the idea.

The same holds true for prescription drugs, which believe it or not, happen to be the biggest "drug problem" in this county. Prescription drug addiction is, according to court records, the second-most common reason for divorce in this county behind online dating/pornography websites.

Regardless, everyone knows that drugs are bad for you, it doesn't matter if you're munching Xanax, smoking Marlboros, or snorting meth. The shit will kill you, eventually...and, like it or not, there's not a single anti-drug law on the books today that will actually prevent anyone from using drugs. If drug laws did any good, we wouldn't be arresting users and dealers in record numbers, like we are today.

Okay, so it's obvious that drug laws don't do any good to remove the ills of society...but what purpose do they serve?

First and foremost, they let politicians get elected. "Getting tough on dope" isn't going to prevent your house from getting robbed, it's just going to prevent it from getting robbed by the crackhead that got arrested for possession last night. Ask anyone who's been ripped off, and that person will tell you that it doesn't really matter who did was your stuff, and it was stolen. If drug users and dealers are getting arrested in record numbers, does that mean we're "cleaning up the streets"? Hell no, it doesn't! It means we've got record numbers of people dealing and using dope!

Drug laws (until recently, when the SCOTUS ruled that this was illegal) gave the police an excuse to rifle through your vehicle when you got pulled over for an ALLEGED traffic violation, because they were able to arrest you if they had a "hunch" that there were drugs in the vehicle and you wouldn't consent to the search...and you wouldn't be technically arrested for refusing to consent to a search, but for not using a blinker. You see, after you get arrested while driving, your car gets impounded and "inventoried" (read: SEARCHED) for illicit substances, guns, et cetera.

Drug laws, as evidenced by the "Police Beat" section of today's Brazosport Facts, utilized the "Drug-Free Zone" section of our state penal code to enhance the charges against two individuals, merely because they happened to live within 1,000 feet of a school. They weren't arrested for selling drugs to children, going to the school for any reason whatsoever (let alone, for the purposes of dealing drugs), or having anything to do with drugs at school...yet, they were arrested for having drugs in a private residence, and had their charges enhanced by the mere fact that the home they resided in was within 1000 feet of a school. They had a bag of pot larger than 5 grams (less than 1/4oz, or roughly $10 worth of pot), and that alone made them eligible for this enhanced charge. They also had 2.7 grams of MDMA (roughly 10 pills). If I'm not mistaken, their baggie of pot was listed as "larger than 2 ounces", or roughly $100 worth. Had they lived in an apartment on the other side of the complex, they wouldn't have been charged with "Drug-Free Zone" charges. What's more, they weren't even arrested in the process of dealing drugs...they just had a neighbor get angry about something and call the cops with an "anonymous tip", and got busted for a personal-use amount of pot and pills. They now face charges that, upon conviction, will make them eligible for parole when they're slightly older than I am. They aren't even old enough to buy beer yet. What's more, there's a damned good chance that any of their friends they might have shared with will now merely be forced to call someone else. Probably, in the same apartment complex.

How many people have been arrested for marijuana, and had their children taken away, merely because they may have had a bag of pot in the vehicle with them when they got pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt? When they didn't even have their children in the vehicle with them? That's a family destroyed...or, at the least, forever scarred by constant fears of CPS intervention. And for what? Mere possession of a plant that's infinitely more safe than Bud Light?

When we look at all the harm that our drug laws are doing to this nation, and then look at the fact that our drug laws are NOT curing ANY of this nation's social ills associated with drugs, it's obvious that we as a society need to spend more time educating our children about drugs, instead of persecuting those who use them merely because they do use them. Theft, murder, child neglect, and Driving Under the Influence are already illegal. Use our LE resources to combat these actual crimes, instead of combatting the mere use, sale, and/or possession of drugs, and you've got a safer society. It's just that simple.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Silly Trooper, guns are for free men!

So I'm at work today, and a Texas Department of Persecution & Sellouts trooper comes into my store to get an "eyebrow" on the windshield of his patrol car, in order to shield his shiny new digital recorder from heat.

Now normally, I'm against buying new toys for these tax leeches, but this is an expense I honestly don't mind...because if they've finally decided to join the 21st century and ditch the trunk-mounted VHS recorders, maybe there won't be seven months of "technical difficulties" providing a video the next time they decide to wrongfully arrest me.

Whatever. Anyhow, I'm talking to my tinter about another customer's invoice, and I overhear him and the trooper discussing a new law that supposedly was passed (I'm still searching for confirmation on this, I haven't seen it yet...I'll keep you posted) that ups the minimum amount of Visible Light Transmission (VLT) allowed on automotive windows.

Prior to 1988, all that was required was a total minimum of 20% total VLT on the front doors of any vehicle, with no restrictions on any other windows if the vehicle had two side mirrors. 1988 and newer passenger cars with an enclosed trunk compartment separate from the cabin of the car required 20% total VLT on all windows except the rear windshield. Trucks, vans, SUVs, hatchbacks, station wagons, and any other vehicle without a separate locking trunk compartment were still only subject to the 20% total VLT on the front door windows, as they had no trunk to act as a "privacy area" in order to secure ones' the "privacy area" was set to include any area behind the driver's seat.

This alleged new law (I still haven't been able to find any information on it, and had last heard it died on the floor, although this was contradicted by the trooper this morning and is supposedly set to go into effect on September 1, 2009) will require ALL "roll-up" windows of ALL vehicles to maintain a minimum total VLT rating of 35% or more.

So how does that affect me? Well, it's quite simple...a vast deal of the shop's income is derived from keeping our window tinter covered in sweat on a daily basis, from the time he shows up until the time he leaves. We are able to do this because a 20% VLT allows for a combination of the VLT reduction of bare automotive glass AND a 35% window film to reduce heat coming into the vehicle. With standard traditional dye-based films, the amount of heat rejection is roughly 40% at a 35% VLT rating on the film. Start raising the VLT raiting of the film beyond that, and the amount of heat rejection is going to drastically increase. The only way to get around this is to install very high-dollar extruded or nanoceramic films, which can cause the price to double. Joe sixpack may spend a third of his paycheck to stay cool in the brutal Gulf Coast summers, but he'll think twice about having to spend most of it.

On top of this (again, according to "Trooper Toughguy", I haven't been able to find the law and the state website hasn't made any changes yet), there is no "grandfather clause" for cars that have been tinted to previous standards...which means that if you got your car tinted today, it becomes illegal in less than three months. You will either be forced to peel it off, or pay us to do it for you.

***Now for the LET ME POINT OUT YOUR HIPOCRASY section of this blog.***

I had issues with the "post-88" law regarding cars, because it was obviously not a "safety issue" as claimed by those who enforce it. For that matter, neither was the prior law requiring 20% total VLT on the windows, mainly because of the "exemptions" clause in the law.

Now obviously, I can understand some concern about law enforcement not wanting to be known, if they are on some sort of G-14 Classified undercover assignment...but if you're continuously parked down the street from a crack dealer's house in a brand-new SUV, and EVERY WINDOW ON THE VEHICLE is draped in limo tint except for the windshield (which has an "eyebrow" dropping six inches below the AS1 line, to conceal your "cherries and berries" and cameras), and you're the only illegal vehicle in the area NOT getting jacked up by the cops, and no one knows who the guy in the brand-new SUV is, isn't that a dead giveaway? I mean, for real? Obviously, crack dealers are a special breed of stupid...but they at least have a modicum of "street smarts". You start looking suspicious, and no one is going to talk to you. You're gonna get labled as "Five-Oh" from jump street.

Yeah, more on that...umm, the "Law Enforcement Exemption" doesn't just cover "surveillance vehicles", but EVERY vehicle owned, maintained, and used by law enforcement...including patrol cars AND the cars you and I pay for, that are used by the DA and our county judges. You don't know how many cars I've been forced to accept with limo tint on the front doors, because the people just happened to work for the state.

On a semi-related note, you don't know how happy it makes me when I get to tell a cop "No, I'm NOT going to do that!", and then get to point out the law. You see, it really doesn't matter how many antennas you have on the trunk of your unmarked Crown Victoria with the steel wheels...if the license plates don't read "Exempt", it is not a "cop car" is a COP'S car. In other words, a privately-owned vehicle that does not fall under the exemptions of our window tint laws. Sweat it out, pig. You wanted it, you got it. Welcome to Texas!

Before I digress any further, let's talk about why we have the 20% total VST law in effect right now. Apparently, it's for "safety concerns". The law enforcement (LE) community claim it is to promote "driver safety", because having darker windows prevents us from being able to see oncoming traffic and road hazards as well as clear glass. Yeah, I get why have an exemption for POLICE PATROL CARS, WHO DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BUT DRIVE AROUND ALL DAY AND NIGHT THROUGH OUR CITIES? It seems to me like, of all vehicles, cars driven by people whose job is to not only navigate safely through our road systems, but also to catch people violating traffic laws, should not be allowed to have their views obstructed more than any other driver.

***And now comes the "BUT HERE'S WHAT REALLY PISSED ME OFF" portion of tonight's blog.***

Okay, so I asked said trooper this morning, "if it's an issue of safety, why make it apply to every roll-down window?".

His response was, and I quote, "It's not for your's for OUR safety." I heard that, and I almost choked when I bit my tongue in an effort from telling him what I really thought. Why would I do such a thing, you might ask? Well, here's why:

First off, there were 133 police officers killed "In the Line of Duty" last year. Not "officers murdered while performing their jobs", but rather, merely killed by unnatural means while on the taxpayer's dime. To date, in the ENTIRE HISTORY OF THIS NATION, there have been only 18,861 officers to have died on the all 50 states and the District of Columbia, by all means except natural.

According to the Department of Justice, there were 731,903 patrol AND administrative LE officers working in the United States (state and local only) in 2004. In that same year, there were THIRTY SIX officers actually shot to death. That's 36, out of more than 700k. The ratio is one in more than TWENTY THOUSAND. The rate of on-the-job fatalities for EVERY AMERICAN WORKER, INCLUDING POLICE OFFICERS, is one in twenty-five thousand...including that dipshit that does nothing but answer the phone at the cable company.

I'm sorry, but getting shot at is an on-the-job occupational hazard, and will continue to be such until the police begin to start policing their own. I can't open a newspaper or crack open the facebook without seeing youtube videos of pregnant chicks, retarded people, skateboarding teenagers, and the elderly getting tasered for "disrespecting your authority".

If a policeman is afraid of getting shot, there are two very distinct things that can help prevent this. First and foremost, let's try not acting like dickheads. That might prevent people from wanting to shoot you. Second, start policing your own. When you see your fellow badge-wearers acting like dickheads, denounce them for what they are in public. Tell them, privately, they are being dickheads. When you see your colleagues tasering a senior citizen on YouTube, don't give us that line of bullshit about how we "don't know how dangerous it is" or how "she shouldn't have broken the law". That dipshit tasered a social-security-drawing grandmother over a speeding ticket...and when you make excuses, it makes the world think you are no better.

Another thing, let's not forget that you WILLFULLY CHOSE THIS LINE OF EMPLOYMENT. No one forced you to wear a badge. You sought out the opportunity, while knowing the risks. At what point does your willingness to accept a semi-dangerous (I say "semi-dangerous", as it is proven that it isn't much more dangerous than any other line of work in America!) occupation somehow outweigh my freedom to not sweat my balls off in the Gulf Coast summers? What right do you have to interfere with my paychecks, merely because you are afraid of what might possibly happen to you?

I am, statistically, far more likely to be seriously burned by a hot seatbelt buckle (you know, the ones you guys require us to put on when we drive?) than my local cop is to be shot while on duty. What makes you think that a willfully-assumed danger YOU accepted, as a condition of your employment, somehow trumps my constitutional rights?

My 1A right guarantees me the right to "freedom of speech"...and, as SCOTUS has repeatedly ruled, it extends to all forms of personal expression, INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO CUSTOMIZE MY CAR AS I SEE FIT, so long as it does not interfere with the rights of another. If it's a "safety" issue, as far as my driving is concerned, I'll give up my right to customize my car as soon as you give up the right to customize yours.

My 4A right guarantees me the right to be "secure in my person, papers, and effects", and you don't have the right to search my personal property without my consent, probable cause, or a warrant. Yes, that includes ALL of my property, including any vehicles that I own. I'll give up the right to be secure in my own vehicle, as soon as you give up the right to be secure in yours. You want to look in my windows, and be able to see in? That's fine...drop your gun before you approach my car. Your gun makes me feel less secure.

My 5A right guarantees that I don't have to tell you WHY I want my windows blacked out. It tells me that you don't have the right to know what's in my back seat, if you have no reasonable cause to believe that there's something illegal back there.

***Now for the "Here's why I think this law (and the cops who think it somehow protects them!) are stupid!" portion of tonight's blog.***

Under Texas law, I am legally authorized (as if I really needed someone to write this down for me!) to pack a loaded and UNLICENSED pistol in my vehicle, as long as it is concealed. I am not legally required to tell you I have it, I am only legally required to not lie to you if you ask. Yes, that means I can lawfully tell you to mind your own fucking business, because any pistol I may or may not be carrying is no business of yours, and you have no cause to believe that any such pistol may be evidence of or partaining to a crime.

That means I can lawfully be sitting on a LOADED AND UNLICENSED pistol, within the confines of my vehicle, persuant to 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code. I prefer to keep mine in the glove box and/or center console, because it's more comfortable than sitting on it...but that's beside the point. If you walk up to me while I'm LAWFULLY sitting on a loaded pistol, with intent to use it against you, two things are happening, you're completely unprepared for it. Two, I haven't broken a law until I draw a bead on you.

What does this mean? MY WINDOWS CAN BE CLEAR AS HELL, AND I CAN STILL BE LEGALLY CONCEALING A PISTOL. If I want to shoot a cop, window tint regulations aren't going to make a difference.

***So what have we learned tonight?***

Window tint laws DO NOT increase "officer safety". In all reality, they weren't really in any danger to begin with, as statistics have clearly shown.

Window tint laws DO NOT increase "driver safety", as they are written to SPECIFICALLY EXEMPT the members of our society that spend the most time on our public streets.

This is statism in its highest form. First and foremost, it provides a "pretext" to initiate contact between LEO and citizen that would otherwise be illegal. Second, it provides revenue for the LE agency writing the ticket, that would otherwise not exist.

***Silly Trooper, guns are for FREE MEN!***

Seriously, if you have an issue with the tinted windows of a man who has never intentionally caused the suffering of another, merely because he MAY POSSIBLY DO SO IN THE FUTURE, they have places for you. It's called "Great Brittain", where they outlaw certain kinds of kitchen knives and photograph everyone when they go into public places...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Liberalism is a mental disorder...or, "why Billiam White is a liberal!"

Who are these damned dirty liberals?

Before we can answer that question, we must ascertain exactly what a “liberal” is. One needn’t be a mohawked and tattooed dope-smoker in order to be a “liberal”. Just the same, all mohawked and tattooed dope-smokers are not liberals. In fact, many people I know happen to be liberals, and don’t even realize it!

So, exactly, what is a “liberal”? A liberal, in the political sense, is essentially someone who feels that the state (as opposed to the individual) is the best solution to dealing with society’s ills. It matters not if it is poverty, terrorism, drug abuse, property crimes, assaults, et cetera. A “liberal” is called a liberal because he doesn’t mind allowing the state to LIBERALLY take his money and his freedoms by LIBERALLY expanding government regulations, government bureaucracy, and government spending.

Contrary to popular belief, many of our so-called “right-wing conservatives” are very politically liberal. You see, the very notion of “social conservatism” in the world of politics is nothing but a myth. Liberalism, under the guise of “social conservatism”, is what brought us things such as our nation’s children being tried (and sentenced) as adults, mandatory minimum sentencing, our “War on Some Drugs”, our “War on Terrorism”, and so forth. In all reality, these things really do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to even put a dent in the social ills they are supposedly trying to fight. What they do accomplish is making a select few people extremely wealthy, at the expense of our wallets and our rights.

The major difference between “left-wing” and “right-wing” liberals is, quite simply, a leftist has enough balls to speak out and tell you that he wants to take away your rights and your money. A so-called “social conservative” is still going to take away basic liberties, and continue to tax you, but he’s going to hide behind such glittering generalities as “family values”, “public safety”, et cetera.

What’s the biggest red flag, when trying to determine whether someone is a “liberal”? Quite simply, if you see someone doing something that does not directly harm another individual or interfere with his fundamental rights UNLESS that other individual is a consenting participant, and someone says “That should be illegal!”, then that person is a liberal. Here are a few prime examples:

A left-wing liberal will tell you that your money must be taken from you, for the purposes of providing drug treatment and social services to those that didn’t listen in health class and decided to try drugs anyway, while simultaneously telling you that we need to continue to criminalize “only the big fish” who deal drugs in large quantities.

A right-wing liberal will tell you that we need to criminalize ALL acts associated with drugs, including the possession of things which may possibly at some point be used to manufacture or ingest drugs. In the interest of public safety, of course.

A conservative, on the other hand, realizes that you cannot legislate morality and intelligence. He also realizes that laws criminalizing the possession of certain chemicals, houseplants, papers, and tire gauges do absolutely NOTHING to prevent drug use. He also realizes that criminalizing the possession by ALL based upon the actions of SOME is destructive to liberties, and leads to an overall decrease in freedom…just as our “War on Drugs” has consistently done.

A left-wing liberal will tell you that we need to keep those awful dreaded “assault rifles” out of the hands of would-be terrorists…and the hands of everyone else, because terrorists used some box-cutters to hijack an airplane.

A right-wing liberal will tell you that we need to spend $15bil per month on foreign wars to “fight terror”, because they “hate us for our freedoms”.

A conservative understands that when we spend LITERALLY hundreds of billions of dollars every year tampering with the governments of other nations, instead of providing avenues of open trade with these nations, they are going to get very angry at us…and do silly shit, like crash airplanes into our World Trade Center.

A left-wing liberal will tell you that we need all manner of afterschool programs to combat the crime associated with urban neighborhoods, stiffer penalties for crimes committed with firearms, as well as increased penalties for crimes that involve “hate” of certain minority demographics as their motive.

A right-wing liberal will tell you that we need an increase in police presence, less parole release, more criminalization in our penal codes, et cetera.

Both of these are destructive to our freedoms and our wallets. A conservative knows that any prosecution involving a victim named “The People of the State of…” is bogus, and the act being prosecuted should never have been criminalized in the first place. We don’t need laws that make it easier for the police to make arrests. We need less criminal acts on the books that we can be arrested for. A true conservative really begins to understand this when he’s pulled over for not using a blinker and his car gets ripped apart by an overzealous policeman looking for non-existent marijuana.

A left-wing liberal will tell you that the only firearms a person should ever need are single-shot rimfire rifles for “sporting purposes”, and until everything else is banned, we should be forced to utilize uber-expensive “smart technology” such as microstamped ammunition, magnetic trigger locks, biometric gun safes, et cetera while registering every firearm in existence, as if this would somehow prevent crimes with guns.

A right-wing liberal will tell you that we need to “enforce the gun laws we already have”, and make the penalties for their violation more substantial.

A conservative knows that, first and foremost, there are far too many laws on the books classified as “Felony”, and many of them should be downgraded to “Misdemeanor” (if we keep them at all). You can be barred from owning a firearm for committing the “State Jail Felony” of vandalizing someone’s car, at an age of 13 years old! Being a “felon” in many states removes the ability to own a firearm completely, and in Texas, you are prohibited from owning a firearm for five years after your final release from custody or supervision, whichever is later. He also knows that a law prohibiting a person from owning a gun does nothing to keep him from owning a gun. A conservative understands that while there are a great many “sporting purposes” associated with firearms, the true meaning of the 2A isn’t the ability to shoot a moose. It’s providing for the defense of one’s liberties, no matter if the aggressor is wearing a badge, a Kevlar helmet, or a do-rag. Any firearm that can be stored in ones’ home without endangering his neighbors (read: ALL OF THEM) should be completely legal…and they were, up until the early part of the 20th century. A six year old was able, at that point, to purchase a Thompson submachine gun via the Sears mail-order catalog, provided he could afford it and spell his address properly. That’s the way it should be today, just as it is in many nations.

A left-wing liberal will tell you the death penalty is evil, and should be abolished, because no one ever deserves to die at the hands of the state…no matter what they’ve done.

A right-wing liberal will tell you that not only should capital punishment be carried out, but that we need to be doing it more often and as a punishment for more crimes! Most right-wing liberals also think that we should just do away with the appeals process, as if it somehow has something to do with the majority of the money spent on having someone executed.

Conservatives, on the other hand, realize the stupidity in this. The state of Texas executes people like it’s cool. We all know this. It costs the state roughly $68 for the chemicals we use to kill a man. It costs several million more to get him strapped onto the gurney. Just the TRIAL portion of the average capital murder case, after deducting the amount of money spent on the average non-capital murder trial, will still be more expensive than housing the average prisoner for the remainder of his natural life.

The money isn’t, for the most part, spent on appeals and drain-o. The housing of a prisoner, and even the equipment used to kill him, are relatively inexpensive when you really think about it. The money comes into play when you must put together enough evidence to prove not only that a person committed the crime of murder, but that the circumstances surrounding that act warrant a penalty of death according to the letter of the law. Even if you have a videotape clearly showing a man’s face while in the act of shooting a cop to death point-blank, that’s STILL not enough evidence on its own to send a man to the death chamber. The person must pass a series of rigorous psych evals, be considered mentally competent enough to not be classified as “mentally retarded”, and also be determined to be a “future danger to society”. You can get a murder conviction for a third of the cost, spend another third on housing, and still have the guy off the streets for the rest of his life.

Now, let’s look at the “limit the appeals and cut down on the cost of killing someone!” approach. Ummm, no. Bad idea. We don’t limit the appeals for someone who gets caught stealing bubble gum. Why the hell would anyone, in their right mind, want to limit the appeals for someone convicted of an act that can cost him his life? Sorry, but no. For every 13 men convicted of a capital offense since the reinstatement of the death penalty in this nation, one of those men has been released due to incontrovertible proof of innocence after the conviction and sentencing. Yes, you read that correctly. For every baker’s dozen set to be killed at the hands of the state, one of these people has been released from prison due to evidence of innocence. Now take into consideration that these are only the people who have been released from death row due to incontrovertible evidence nationwide. In the state of Texas alone, nine people have been freed from death row because their innocence was proven post-conviction. There’s no telling how many innocent people have been murdered by the state because they couldn’t produce evidence of their innocence. Obviously, innocent people are the minority in prison, even on Death Row…but they’re also very obviously there.

Then, of course, we have the ever-present right-wing liberal “for the children” bullshit that calls for the killing of individuals committing crimes that don’t result in the death of a victim. Thankfully, this was overturned by the SCOTUS in 2008, which prevented six states from executing people for child molestation. Obviously, child rape is a very serious crime…but anyone who’s seen the armored car robbery in the opening scenes of “Heat” knows why the death penalty is a genuinely BAD idea for any crime that doesn’t result in the death of the victim. It’s quite simple, stupid! If you’re going to face the possibility of death for the crime of rape, robbery, kidnapping, et cetera, why would you leave a living witness? That’s just universally ignorant and backward thinking.

Let’s move on to the idea that the death penalty somehow is going to be a “deterrent” to murder. Yeah, right. The state of Texas kills so many people that our death chamber has to do creative scheduling, yet people are getting sentenced to death in record numbers around here. New York and Texas have a per capita capital murder rate that is very similar, and they both use the same manner of execution. The difference between the states of New York and Texas is that Texas has executed more than 430 people since the reinstatement of the death penalty and New York has executed NO ONE. New York’s death penalty was ruled unconstitutional under their state constitution in 2004, so it’s really a non-issue there. I would also like to add, however, that states who actively carry out the death penalty on a regular basis tend to have, on average, much higher per capita murder rates. Not just Texas, but ALL states who regularly kill people.

The only thing the death penalty has been proven to do, so far, is to provide a shitload of money to attorneys, psychologists, and other “experts”. It hasn’t brought any murder victims back from the dead. It hasn’t reduced the number of murders committed. It has only resulted in the waste of tax dollars and the undoubted (in my mind, at least) deaths of innocents at the hands of the state.

So there you have it, folks. A person doesn’t necessarily need to be some dope-smoking hippie lesbian feminazi immigrant art student in order to fit the classification of “liberal”. All you need to do is hold to the ridiculous assumption that the state actually knows what is going on, and actively support legislation that provides the state with the power to strip away your rights and your paycheck. When you provide power to the state, you are taking it away from the individual…from all individuals, including yourself. And if you do this, then you are in fact a “liberal”. You’re willing to LIBERALLY give up your own (and my) money and rights to the state, because you’re under the misguided assumption that it will somehow promote a better society.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

So I slept with a hairy bitch last night...

No, not one of those chicks you hear about when your drunken friend scores after a night of heavy drinking, but my aunt's wolf named Harley. Apparently, she thought my bed was more comfortable than the floor. Anyhow...


Kathy was forced to bring Harley and her brother Zeus with us on a four-hour road trip to the middle of nowhere. As we're meeting up at Grandpa's place in Spring so we can take one car, I dismount the truck and discover that Zeus apparently has a rather weak stomach...and does not like riding in a Mustang GT, as he was kind enough to show us by puking on the side of his sister's ass. We hose them both off in the yard, get a new sheet for the backseat from Grandpa, and we're on our way.

Several hours later, we arrive in Gonzales, TX...when Kathy discovers that she left the Wolf Chow at her boyfriend's house. Bad idea on her part. Apparently, wolves don't eat Kibbles and Bits. Unfortunately, the local Wal-Mart doesn't sell food specifically made for wolves, which is supposedly what you're supposed to feed a pure-blood wolf. And please, for the love of Jodi Foster, don't ask me why my aunt Kathy owns a pair of pure-blood wolves. I really don't understand why, and she really couldn't tell you.

So the Wal-Mart doesn't sell Wolf Chow, but they do sell beer and wine. It's not a "Super Wal-Mart", so the beer isn't cold or anything, but they had Rolling Rock and it's not terribly bad when it's luke-warm...which is good, because the mini-fridge in our motel sucked at chilling down the beer. Regardless, we both stayed up far too late last night, because we were unable to sleep. And we had booze.

If you know my aunt, who's been a registered nurse for the past 20 years, you know that she's a complete freak about microbes and whatnot. Seriously. She's worse than I am about politics and religion. She insists that we remove the bedspreads from the beds we're sleeping in, because motels aren't required by law to wash and sanitize them like they are required to do with the sheets and blankets underneath...and they often don't. I now know why you should ALWAYS pull the bedspread off the bed at a ratshack motel.

So we pull the bedspreads off our beds and pile them up in the floor. Harley and Zeus try to eat them (just like they did with their new dog bowls, my left boot, my pistol, the trash can, the television remote, a roll of toilet paper, the motel room's telephone, and everything else they could reach). Eventually, they calm down and go to sleep.

I'm up until 3am, partly due to nervousness about the events of today and partly due to the mass amount of redbull I consumed while driving to Spring. I woke up at 4:30am, and Zeus is hovering over me. 30lbs may not seem like too big of an animal to you...but it scared the hell out of me, mainly because there was wolf slobber all over my throat. Seems like a good indication that my larynx was probably inside the jaws of a wolf at some point that night. I go wash myself off in the sink, and go back to bed. Harley has decided that she really wanted to share my bed with me, and she wanted her half right out of the middle. I tried to persuade her to move, but soon realized that I probably shouldn't do that.

So the alarm goes off at 6am, we snooze-button until 7am because we're both dead tired and mildly hung over, and then make a mad rush out of getting ready for court. On our way out the door, I notice that one of the wolves has taken the most massive canine grumpies I've ever seen. Right in the middle of the bedspread I had pulled off of my bed the night before. ALWAYS take the bedspread off the bed of a cheap motel room. We come to the conclusion that we really need to get going, so Kathy and I decide to deal with it when we get back from the courthouse.

Court didn't last nearly as long as we thought it would, and we were back at the motel by 10:45...which means if we can get our stuff cleared out of the room in 15 minutes, we get our money back for the second night we had paid for. We hop out of the ride, and I unlock the door for Kathy so she can be gathering our stuff while I return the key and collect our refund. Punjab's wife asks if we're out of the room, and I tell her we'll be out by 11am...which is, at this point, ten minutes from now.

I get back to the room and find Kathy on her hands and knees, scrubbing up the painful lesson learned by giving Kibbles and Bits to a pair of wolves. The dump one of them took in the bedspread was obviously the last solid turd either of them would have that day. While we were at the courthouse for less than three hours, both of them dropped Big Mac-sized piles near the door. You could tell they both grumpied on the floor, because the piles were two different colors. One was a reddish brown, while the other was a greenish brown. It was like Christmas. But with wolf poo.

While I'm trying to gather up all of our stuff, and Kathy is scrubbing the carpet furiously, the room's phone rings. It's Bride of Punjab, wanting to know if we're out of the room yet. I inform her that we still have eight minutes. She informs me that my watch is slow, and we're two minutes late. Housekeeping is waiting outside. All of a sudden, it dawns on me. There's still a massive pile of poo was still tangled up in that bedspread. Housekeeping is now banging on the door. I attempt to stall by shouting "Just a minute, we're almost out." Apparently, my Spanish is worse than her English, because the maid didn't stop beating on the door after I shouted "Uno momento, dammit!". I had a flashback to Tommy Boy, and was trying not to laugh.

I've got our stuff piled up by the door as Kathy is flushing the last of the two piles by the door, and as she walks out of the bathroom I point at the bedspread. Housekeeping is still beating on the door. Bedspread is still wadded up on the floor, with a huge surprise waiting inside.

I open the door to our room, and Housekeeping is still waiting, with the cart and vacuum blocking the doorway. I tell Housekeeping to please move so I can get all our stuff out in one shot. We throw our stuff in, get the dogs loaded up into the back seat, and burn out just as Housekeeping is walking in.

I tell Kathy that I'm feeling rather guilty about it, but didn't want her to lose the money she paid for the extra night. I tell her that karma is going to kick our asses. She replies by telling me that leaving a grumpie-filled bedspread in Punjab's motel room is "showing support for our troops". I inform her that Iraqis and Afghanistanis are Muslim, not that exemption can't really be claimed in this situation. Her response? "Oh well, they needed to wash that nasty-ass bedspread anyway."

And the moral to this story? If your aunt decides to take her wolves along on a road trip, make sure you don't check in to the motel in YOUR name...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Still really confused about something...

At what point does a person gain a "soul"? This is the fundamental question asked during many random debates between myself, cousin Billiam, and cousin Travis. Personally, I believe that cognitive thought is necessary for a soul to be created.

The reasoning behind this is my understanding of the Christian Bible. Of course, there is no bible verse that specifically states such a thing...just the same as there is no specific bible verse stating that "life begins at conception".

Through literally more than a century of medical studies, modern science has told us several things about the human brain. First, it is most definitely possible for muscular action to take place in the absence of cognitive thought. Second, the most "mechanically vital" portions of the brain develop first, as this is most mechanically necessary for survival. Third, the frontal lobe is the portion of the brain responsible for cognizant thought.

Yes, you have a heartbeat, lung activity, and "brain waves" early on in pregnancy. However, the forebrain does not truly begin to develop to the point of basic cognitive self-awareness until approximately seven and a half months into a normal 9-month pregnancy.

Now, back to the whole "biblical" thing I was talking about earlier...

It's quite apparent that God gave free will to mankind. Without free will, the Morning Star would not have rebelled against God. Without free will, Eve wouldn't have been tempted by the serpent...nor would Adam have been tempted by Eve. Typical mainstream Christian beliefs hold that a child without any spiritual guidance and/or knowledge cannot be sent to hell for failure to believe in Christ, as that child is considered "an innocent".

This leads me to believe that the essence of the human soul is the ability to think on his own, and I have yet to see anything suggesting the contrary. If our decisions in life are what determines our ability to attain salvation, is it not the ability to acknowledge our own existence what gives us the essence of our soul?

Furthermore, if we have no soul, are we truly a "living person" in the rational sense? Of course, we may be brain-dead and still have a beating heart/breathing lungs...but are we truly alive, if we are unable to know we are alive?


The reason I ask such questions, of course, goes back to the original argument that I had with my cousin Billiam, about the righteousness of abortion.

Unfortunately, he could not do any more than quote me random bible verses. While the bible obviously gives us guidance, it must be taken in context.

Most of these bible verses center around the phrase of "I was sinful from the time my mother conceived me", as if that were supposed to be some sort of reference point for when "life" begins.

I'm sorry, but Romans tells me that ALL HAVE SINNED, AND FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD. Yes, that means that any human being on earth is sinful. If you manage to be a part of the human species, you are sinful.

Some take the "life begins at conception" thing from Psalm 139:13, in which we were "knit together in the womb". Yeah, it should be obvious at this point, that I believe God is responsible for the molecules being put together into the formation that is known as human life. Does that mean that the soul is created when the "life cycle" begins? If so, I'm somewhat confused. Seriously. Science tells us that the human body is made of cells...which are, at its most basic levels, nothing more than carbon-based organic chemicals formed by reactions from other carbon-based organic chemicals. If this is the case, then our "life cycle" began the moment God gave the breath of life to Eve. Adam was already created, but Eve was necessary for reproduction through "natural" means. From the point where God created Adam, we have been nothing more than an amalgamation of molecules organized in the most intelligent way, so our life cycle began several thousand years a minimum.

The part that really burns my ass, however, is how people would like to pretend they are attempting to enforce their ideals upon others through legislation.

It really doesn't matter if it's the subject of gay marriage, abortion, school prayer, et all boils down to the same pile of bullshit. People attempt to take away the availability of free will through legislation, as if they had any authority from God to do so.

Last time I checked, the Almighty One True God of Abraham doesn't need any help, any money, or any support of the Republican National Convention. Yes, he really is that awesome and all-knowing.

I'd also like to say that if you impede upon a person's ability to make personal decisions upon his own life (obviously talking about an adult, not your own child), you are attempting to undo the very basis of free will that He himself so obviously set out to create.

Lead by example, not legislation. The world needs moral guidance, not a police state...

Also, I'd like to add, for my relatives who tend to disagree with me on religious matters...

Have enough human decency to explain yourselves, in your own words, instead of ONLY quoting scripture. Seriously, I've already read the book. I have in my bookmarks. I don't need a refresher course here. Please don't quote scripture at me, if you aren't prepared to explain WHY you quoted it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gay marriage, the Bible, the US Constitution, and the arrogant ignorance of my Cousin Billiam.

So here we go again, in the ongoing feud between the proud libertarian (being ME, of course), and the just as proud statist pig (being my cousin Billiam). Today, the topic is homosexual marriage. I asked two very simple questions of him, that he has STILL refused to answer. The first being a question of what rights of his would be infringed if two homosexuals were allowed to enter into a legally-binding contractual relationship known as marriage, and the second being what possible harm to him would come of this. Still waiting on answers, Billiam. You got any?

Didn't think so. Moving right along, let's look at a few things here.

1) The United States Constitution, namely the First Amendment to. It reads:
Congress 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.

Now, Billiam, is there any part of that amendment that you DIDN'T understand? I'm specifically referring to the first ten words. As far as the state is concerned, marriage is nothing more than a contractual relationship entered into by two consenting adults who pay a fee to the government.

Prohibiting gay marriage, through legislation, goes against the very tenets that this nation was built upon. We not only have freedom OF religion, but also freedom FROM religion. If you don't like gay marriage, don't be gay and get married. It's really that simple. Gay marriage won't infringe upon any of your rights, nor will it harm you in any way, shape, or form.

2) The Holy Bible.

Yes, the Bible says it is an "abomination". In that same book (Leviticus, for you non-scholars), it also tells us many things. Namely, that it's okay to have slaves. It's a violation against God to get tattooed. You're allowed to kill your children if they curse you. A fetus isn't a person.

Leviticus even says that you are guilty of sin, EVEN IF YOU ARE UNAWARE THAT YOUR ACTIONS ARE SINFUL. Leviticus 4:27 goes directly against a legal principle that has been recognized for centuries prior to this nation.

Now, let's talk about "free will". The concept of "choice", and God's allowance of man to have said choice, runs all the way from Genesis to the Gospels, and then some. If God didn't support the idea of "free will", he wouldn't have given such a gift to us. Adam and Eve wouldn't have munched on that fruit. We wouldn't have war, murder, pedophilia, theft, et cetera in this world. I'm sorry, but I put more faith in my God than to think that he's powerful enough to create the entire earth, but has no power to force people to act in the manner he chooses. Passing legislation that interferes with a person's freedom to act according to his own beliefs, with no apparent regard for the protection of the liberties of others, is like pissing in the face of God.


And now, for my uber-arrogant cousin Billiam...

You swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, against all enemies (foreign AND domestic), yet you think it's okay to disregard this oath based upon a particular verse in the bible. For anyone else reading this, it's Leviticus 18:22.

First and foremost, let's not forget that the commandments in Leviticus are what is known as "Mosaic Law", being applicable only to the ISRAELITES. Last time I checked, neither one of us wears a yarmulke.

Moving right along, let's look at a few other things the book of Leviticus says. Your myriad tattoos, just like mine, are a violation of God's law...and yet, it's obvious that neither one of us think that we should have a law of man to prevent them. I know I don't...and I'm fairly certain you don't either, seeing as how you proudly sport a tattoo of a cross emblazoned with the words "GOD IS MY JUDGE".

Leviticus also provides biblical rationale to HUMAN SLAVERY. Are you going to look your cousin Tamara in the eye, and tell her that it should be legal that your cousin Brehan may be OWNED by another person, because the Bible says it's okay, and the laws of her state of residence once stated that anyone with "one drop of negro blood is a negro"?

You yourself have personally stated to me, on more than one occasion (in regard to your wish to become a Law Enforcement Officer), that you have been more than willing to violate the commandment of Leviticus 19:15.

Judging by your carefully manicured chinstrap beard, you are obviously in egregious violation of Leviticus 19:27, as am I...and your father, my father, your brother, my brothers, and so on.

I have seen you, on numerous occasions, violate the commandment set forth in Leviticus 19:19, which declares that we should not wear garments made of different materials. As a matter of fact, the hat I gave you (and the one I sold you, to replace the one you gave away, which you have proudly sported in the pictures you post), are violations of this.

And then you have the nerve to start quoting the Bible to me, as if I hadn't read it when you were LITERALLY still shitting yellow.

You start off with Deuteronomy 16:18, which deals with the election of judges and "officers", and states that they must judge the people fairly. According to the laws set forth by our constitution, you yourself have judged homosexuals unfairly, as you have denied them unequal protection under the law.

Then you're going to quote Luke 12:57, as if it somehow gives you the right to decide what is righteous. I find this especially unnerving, when taken in context of the passage. The remainder of this particular passage (verses 58 and 59) specifically tells us NOT to do such things.

You go on to quote John 8:16, and attempt to pass off your usage of the words of Christ as something you yourself have a right to claim. I've got news for you, Billiam. You aren't Jesus. Neither one of us are anywhere close to being the perfect individual that HE is.

To top it all off, you have lied to God Himself, and did so to his face. Our United States Constitution does not have a "Unless God says otherwise" clause in it...but it does have the aforementioned "establishment clause". Your oath of enlistment required you to swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. I know good and well what it says, because I swore the same oath, back before your nuts got fuzzy. At the time of your oath, there was a constitutional amendment stating that our government CANNOT restrict the liberties of any man or woman based solely upon religion. You swore an oath before God Himself, to protect the liberties of your fellow countrymen...and you sit today, telling me why you shouldn't, based solely upon random bible verses that don't back up this position.

If you want to start quoting the Bible, I'm going to first direct you to 1 Peter 2:13-17. Essentially, we should not only be following the supreme laws of the land (the US Constitution), but we should also respect our neighbors. Yes, even my Uncle Bill, who lives in a state of "abomination" with his gay lover. Last time I checked, God sees sin as sin, with none being greater than the next.

Do not judge, or you may find yourself judged. It is not for you or I to decide, but for He to decide.