Sunday, January 11, 2009

Senator Johnson Says Close Down the Zoo

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NOTE: I do NOT, repeat NOT mean that Senator Bob Johnson wants to suspend the state legislature. He refers to the LITERAL Little Rock Zoo.
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The Senator said a lot of things concerning spending all of that money that the state has not "earned" yet by conning rubes into buying lottery tickets. The craziest? He complained about "three strikes" legislation that put "simple drug offenders" in jail. He thought it would be better to pay to send them to college or trade school! And this is one of the most powerful legislators!

If all he is doing is looking at the cost of scholarships vs. the cost of incarceration I respectfully suggest that he is grossly over-simplifying the numbers. If you let repeat drug-offenders out they are STILL going to be a burden on society with health care costs, with killing people behind the wheel while high costs, with personal habits and attitudes which make them unemployable in a professional capacity even AFTER you dump the tech school money on them.

The Senator probably knows this, he is just trying to get as much of the loot for "his block" as he can, and that includes the trade schools and big business. Big business benefits because they are shifting what used to be their training costs onto the backs of taxpayers and lotto suckers.

PS- I disagree with him about the zoo too.

22 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The majority of drug offenders are pot users, pot being relatively harmless, safer than alcohol.

Prison is a pretty horrible place, where drug offenders learn to become hard criminals.

If we insist in our stupid war on drugs, the least we can do is attempt to improve the lives of drug users first, instead of destroying them utterly.

12:40 PM, January 11, 2009  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Don't get me wrong, I am not in favor of keeping someone in for life due to being a pothead, it is giving them trade school scholarships before they have demonstrated their head is straight that I object to.

2:41 PM, January 11, 2009  
Anonymous Chuck said...

Many studies have shown the long-term effects of smoking MJ to be harmful, including but not limited to permanent loss of short-term memory, anxiety, depression, psychosis, schizophrenia, and respiratory & lung problems. Is that enough information to know not to smoke it? To me it is. Pot is not "relatively harmless" as Anon asserts. Short-term use may not have much effect, but those who smoke it regularly will experience some, if not most, of those symptoms at some point. Anon, don't the drug users have a responsibility for improving their own lives? Why does that responsibility rest with me? Perhaps they have a responsibility not to smoke it in the first place. Agree or disagree, it's still illegal.

Perhaps the lone drug user should not be locked up with violent offenders, and instead be treated, but at the present time they are not being segregated in prison. However, I really don't have a problem with illicit drug manufacturers/dealers being placed in with violent offenders b/c they are almost as much of a scourge on society as the rapists & murderers. I could be sympathetic to the recreational short-term user who outgrows using it after college. For those who continue using well into adulthood, particularly in front of children, I have little or no sympathy, prison-wise or mental health-wise.

Anon should also know that approximately 70% of crimes committed involve some sort of illicit drug use, including MJ, either as the result of the drug use, or to support a drug habit. "Midnight Express" should be required watching for all teenagers looking to experiment with drugs.

3:46 PM, January 11, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Chuck, some studies have have indicated that long term effects of smoking pot aren't serious:

http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/pot/a/blucsd030628.htm

But that isn't the point, the point is that it is *relatively* harmless, especially when compared to alcohol.

Yes, I agree we should be from the responsibility of rehabilitating drug abusers, but since we have taken it upon ourselves to destroy their lives, we shouldn't have any qualms about improving their lives.

"Anon should also know that approximately 70% of crimes committed involve some sort of illicit drug use, including MJ, either as the result of the drug use, or to support a drug habit."

Anonymous wonders where Chuck gets his stats, (as stats like these http://www.safetycops.com/drug_related_crimes.htm are so easy to find) and also wonders how many of those crimes are mere products of the prohibition of drugs such as MJ.

Certainly Chuck hasn't been educated on the subject entirely via movies such as the Midnight Express?

4:15 PM, January 11, 2009  
Anonymous Chuck said...

I'll be glad to get you the stats on the relationship between illicit drug use & crime. If you doubt me, fine, talk to any prison administrator across the country & they will verify them. And no, my education on the subject of drugs hasn't been entirely via movies; I won't get into an education contest with you, but I happen to hold a B.S. in pharmacy and I assure you I've seen the stats, I've seen the studies, and I know that MJ isn't harmless, as you aver. However, if you wish to discuss it in terms of "relative" harm, then perhaps if one drives a vehicle while on alcohol, wrecks and kills himself (or another), but one only fries his brain & ends up in prison after smoking MJ, then yes, I guess you could say the "relative" harm from MJ in that case is less. The key is whether the intrinsic potential harm is outweighed by the benefits, and in my view, with MJ, it is not. Your argument fails miserably if you say that MJ is OK because it is less harmful than EtOH, but omit that MJ is significantly harmful nonetheless and that both can be devastating. I suppose a parent could find some solace in the possibility of his/her kid going to prison rather than the morgue, simply because you say MJ is "relatively harmless" when compared to alcohol, but my guess is that neither will warm a parent's heart.

Anon, you "also wonder[s] how many of those crimes are mere products of the prohibition of drugs such as MJ."

Mere products of the prohibition of drugs? Psst, Anon, allow me to let you in on a little secret: er . . . that's the definition of crime. Committing an act prohibited by criminal statute = a crime. Are you saying domestic violence, burglary, theft, robbery, rape & murder would all be OK if only MJ were legalized? Use of the drug and the behavior it causes can't be separated, despite your desire and/or efforts to do so.

I laugh whenever I see aging hippies trying to get a petition signed to legalize MJ for medicinal use, because we all know if it were legalized for medicinal use, every brain-dead pothead would then head straight to their doctor (that is, if they can remember his/her name) complaining of some false ailment for which only MJ is the sure-fire cure. Allowing medicinal use would be tantamount to allowing widespread recreational use. Now, you say, "But, Chuck, wait! What about prescription narcotics? Aren't those abused too? Those come from doctors by legal prescription." True enough. And yes, there is much abuse of those substances as well, a fact I'm not happy about either. We don't need to add another substance that'll make can't-remember-enough-to-even-flip-burgers zombies out of all who might use it if legalized.

Mr. Anon, if you are unhappy about our current "stupid war on drugs" and the fact that MJ is still illegal, there are plenty of ways to change the law. In the interim, don't use pot; it's harmful and illegal.

10:40 PM, January 11, 2009  
Anonymous Top Hat said...

Only a fool would use MJ as a recreational drug, furthermore, it is argued that its medicinal purposes are not unique-- such use, therefore, not a good excuse to allow the drug's proliferation.

However, only a bigger fool cannot see that the phony war on drugs has simply been a tool for leveraging federal power against the states. Like the over-hyped threat of terrorism, the over-hyped fear of (certain) drugs continues to enable the federal government to write blank checks against our liberties.

I am more afraid of the federal government than I am of potheads, who could be handled at the state level anyway.

7:12 AM, January 12, 2009  
Anonymous Chuck said...

The phony war on drugs used as a tool for leveraging power against the states? Like they need another reason. The feds are already heavily entrenched in our everyday lives and leveraging power, with or without the "phony" war on drugs. Name one area where the feds aren't somehow involved in our lives. They are involved in our work (income tax, FICA, OSHA, EEOC), our travel & transportation (TSA, NHTSA, DOT), our kids' education (NCLB, DOE), our property (Fannie & Freddie, mortgage buyouts, S&L debacle in the 80s), the environment (EPA), investments & pensions (SEC, ERISA) and the list goes on and on. Only the biggest fool would think the feds won't continue to leverage power against the states if they were to somehow abandon the war on drugs.

If you're not manufacturing, selling, possessing or using illicit drugs, you shouldn't be worried about the feds bothering you on that. If you are, I have no sympathy if the feds swoop in and arrest you; however, I would say they of course should have proper probable cause and/or a warrant to do so.
If you are more afraid of the federal government than of potheads, (and I will acknowledge there is good reason to be afraid of the feds, with their virtually unlimited resources), then I would say you should perhaps rethink your lifestyle. Federal anti-MJ laws are still on the books but the feds have higher priority things to do than to mess with the average recreational user. However, if you happen to be the unlucky schmuck who gets picked as someone they want to make an example of, you'd better have yourself a good lawyer on retainer and money to make bail.

11:04 AM, January 12, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'll be glad to get you the stats on the relationship between illicit drug use & crime. If you doubt me, fine, talk to any prison administrator across the country & they will verify them."

I just provided you with government stats, so that's not a problem anymore.

"I suppose a parent could find some solace in the possibility of his/her kid going to prison rather than the morgue, simply because you say MJ is "relatively harmless" when compared to alcohol, but my guess is that neither will warm a parent's heart."

My guess is that most parents would rather have their kid safe and home, and not have jackbooted thugs arrest their kids for smoking weed.

"Mere products of the prohibition of drugs? Psst, Anon, allow me to let you in on a little secret: er . . . that's the definition of crime. Committing an act prohibited by criminal statute = a crime. Are you saying domestic violence, burglary, theft, robbery, rape & murder would all be OK if only MJ were legalized? Use of the drug and the behavior it causes can't be separated, despite your desire and/or efforts to do so."

Most of the drug-related crimes you refer to are mere possession, and not rape and murder.

"Mr. Anon, if you are unhappy about our current "stupid war on drugs" and the fact that MJ is still illegal, there are plenty of ways to change the law. In the interim, don't use pot; it's harmful and illegal."

I think that is Senator Johnson's point, that we treat drug users unfairly, and you have zero argument against him, save many logical fallacies.

"If you're not manufacturing, selling, possessing or using illicit drugs, you shouldn't be worried about the feds bothering you on that. If you are, I have no sympathy if the feds swoop in and arrest you; however, I would say they of course should have proper probable cause and/or a warrant to do so."

In California, where pot is legal for medicinal purposes, the Fed constantly attempts to enforce Federal drug laws, which should be enforced?

12:43 PM, January 12, 2009  
Anonymous Chuck said...

"My guess is that most parents would rather have their kid safe and home, and not have jackbooted thugs arrest their kids for smoking weed."

OK, then, you mean that kids should be smoking weed at home with their parents. I suppose the parents insisting that the kids not smoke weed, and thus not break the law, is too much to ask. Of course, if the parents are smoking weed too, it's difficult for them to tell the kids not to.
"Johnny, put down that weed! That's daddy's special stash! Your stash is in your room. Now go get high with yours. You can do your homework later. Hey, who's that knocking on the door?"
"Dad, it's some guys in boots looking for you. They're saying something about a search warrant."
"Johnny, call the lawyer!"


Which law should be enforced? Go get yourself educated and learn about preemption; federal law pre-empts state law 24/7/365. If you don't want to do that, then TRY READING THE U.S. CONSTITUTION. (Hint: look for the Supremacy Clause.) MJ is still a crime under federal law, state law notwithstanding. Until that's changed, which I doubt it will be, MJ is illegal everywhere on U.S. soil.

2:36 PM, January 12, 2009  
Anonymous Top Hat said...

The phony war on drugs used as a tool for leveraging power against the states?

Yes, Chuck. Did you happen to catch the memo that Heir Bush has authorized the US Military to "help" our civilian police maintain checkpoints to catch drunk drivers? Don't think there's more power to yet strip away from the states? Want to bet against them eventually participating in drug raids to keep us "safe"? No, they don't need another excuse to leverage power against the states, so why the pacifist attitude concerning that power which they've already usurped?

Only the biggest fool would think the feds won't continue to leverage power against the states if they were to somehow abandon the war on drugs.

Your position is analogous to advocating keeping the federal income tax because there are just too many other federal taxes already (by the way, a point for continuing the bigger fool line).

If you are more afraid of the federal government than of potheads, (and I will acknowledge there is good reason to be afraid of the feds, with their virtually unlimited resources), then I would say you should perhaps rethink your lifestyle.

Please understand, I am no fan of street drugs. I don't fear pot heads, because I know that the states will handle the problem better than the federal government has been handling it. That's because the federal government doesn't truly care about solving the problem, only advancing its relentless agenda of expansion. But to the extent the states might fail to minimize street drug proliferation, I consider it more tolerable than the exchange of liberty necessary in inviting the Thief of Liberties into our jurisdictions.

Oh, and by the way, the generality that federal law preempts state law is absolutely not true. Only Constitutionally valid federal laws can be said to preempt state law. Please learn the difference.

12:07 PM, January 13, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Only Constitutionally valid federal laws can be said to preempt state law." I know the difference between constitutionally valid laws and constitutionally invalid laws. I also know that laws passed by Congress and/or State legislatures are presumed to be constitutional (I'll remind you that legislators take an oath to uphold the U.S. and their respective State constitutions) until a court declares them otherwise. Federal laws do, in fact, preempt State laws, until and unless a Federal court stays otherwise.

1:47 PM, January 14, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also know that laws passed by Congress and/or State legislatures are presumed to be constitutional

That's because you're a good little boot licking sheep.

10:09 PM, January 15, 2009  
Anonymous Chuck said...

No, I'm a person who believes in law and order, and without some deference to the laws that legislatures pass by decent people, there is anarchy; chaos and societal collapse soon follow. By your theory that Fed law doesn't preempt State law, States could overturn, supercede and/or undo any law Congress passes without Federal court decisions. There are some, if not most, laws Congress passes that need superceding, but I will respectfully disagree with you that that's what the U.S. Constitution says. Get yourself an education at a school other than a government school, and you will find out likewise.

9:37 AM, January 16, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my God! Imagine that, a state that decides a federal law is, gasp, unconstitutional! Why, the sky would simply fall down around our ankles!

If that's your definition of anarchy, then give me anarchy all day long.

You display well the pathetic nanny-state mentality held by those who couldn't fathom getting a dose of true freedom. In the old days, they called you sheep Tories, and I have about as much use for your caged thinking as the founders did back in their day.

10:54 AM, January 16, 2009  
Anonymous Chuck said...

I can easily see why you post anonymously; your thinking, or more accurately, your lack thereof, is misguided & idiotic. I didn't say States declaring Fed laws to be unconstitutional was anarchy; I said decent people not giving some deference to the laws that are passed is.

11:22 AM, January 16, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's not what you said, Chuck. That may be what you wanted to say-- especially after reading a critique of what you actually wrote-- but it isn't what you initially said.

As far as posting anonymously goes, Get a clue, 'Chuck.' Just what difference is there between "Chuck" and "Anonymous"? Until this blog posts and display everyone's IP address, all posts here are essentially anonymous.

12:11 PM, January 16, 2009  
Anonymous Chuck said...

You're right, I'm a moron.

12:13 PM, January 16, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never said that, 'Chuck,' but you're reading my mind anyhow.

12:15 PM, January 16, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, he did say what he claimed he said:

"...without some deference to the laws that legislatures pass by decent people, there is anarchy..."

The problem with our friend Chuck is that he believes the mere creation of a federal law makes it valid until some federal court says otherwise, but that's a classic example of a fox guarding the hen house.

Now, Chuck's view of government may be what they teach public school children today, but it is definitely not the Republic we were guaranteed.

12:40 PM, January 16, 2009  
Anonymous Chuck said...

Well, Anon 2, thank you for verifying to the chronically ill-informed and head-in-the-sand Anon 1 that I said what I said I said, and also, I will admit to having many problems, but using country-fied cliches like "fox guarding the henhouse" to describe the current status of federal law isn't one of them.
By Anon 1 and Anon 2's (il)logic, federal laws are invalid and unconstitutional. That must be the republic you were guaranteed. Why haven't I received my guaranteed bailout?

3:04 PM, January 16, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soon, my friend. It's coming soon.

11:25 AM, January 17, 2009  
Anonymous Chuck said...

I'll look for it on the 12th.

5:46 AM, January 18, 2009  

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