Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Just how important is a contract to you?

I ask this simple question for a very good reason. When you sign a contract with another party, just how important is it to you that both parties honor the agreement? Well, if you are anything like me, it means a hell of alot.
The reason I am asking this question is because I believe it is tied in to the very core of our Liberty. You see, I believe with Liberty and Freedom, you also have great obligations. A Freeman is able to voluntarily enter into private contracts with others, at his own will. It is understood that it is his obligation to live up to his end of the bargain, and if he does not, then he can be subject to penalty of some sort.
Now, on to the meat of my thought. Yesterday, in the news, was a story of a man in Ohio, who after his house caught fire, had to watch it burn because he had refused to pay the $75 per year fee that all residents of the unincorporated County were being charged for a nearby City Fire Department to provide rural services to them. Now, stay with me here, it might get long winded. The residents of the city are covered as far as fire department protection as a part of the property taxes they pay. In other words, the Citizens of that city have entered into a private contract with the inCorporated City Government, agreeing to pay property taxes, in exchange for certain City services. The residents of the outlying rural areas that pay $75 per year to be given Fire Department service to their homes have also entered into a private contract with the City government, agreeing to pay that money in exchange for the service. To me, that is a great option for the rural folks there, they can still be protected without having to shell out massive amounts of money to get fire engines and the associated equipment to have their own Fire Department.
Now, along comes some guy, who's house is burning. He has refused to pay that $75 fee in the past, and now, the Fire Department will not put out his fire for him. He's in a state of panic. He even agrees to pay the fee. However, there is one huge consideration here that alot of people are forgetting. The Fire Department has a contractual obligation to provide services to certain people. What would happen if one of the Firefighters were severly injured, or killed? Well, the people the Fire department have a private contract with will be picking up some serious bills. Yet the person that refused to protect his own property, in other words, refused to have some common sense, then wants to not have to take responsibility for his stupidity? In other words, he would like the government to bail him out for being an idiot.
What happens if some equipment is damaged severly while fighting this fire, and they get a call that a resident in the City is one fire, and that particular piece of equipment is vital? Well, the City then would have broken it's contract, egregiously, because they were off breaking their equipment on the home of someone not in contract with them.
Who then would cry out for the poor soul, who has been paying for his services honestly and with full faith that the service will be there in his time of need?
When will America wake up to what the term "firm reliance on Divine Providence" means? When will they realize that the government cannot solve our problems, because they are the problem? When will America truly get the meaning of the words Faith, Hope, and Charity? When a community has that, and it's people take ownership and responsibility for their deed, both good and bad, when a community comes together through choice and free will, not through the phony attempts of government intervention, then we will prosper once again. We will be able to hand a legacy to our children and grandchildren of Love, Respect, Hope, and Honor. We will be able to give them a peaceful, prosperous Nation, where the Civil Liberties of all people are respected and cherished.
First it starts with respecting Contracts, and deciding that you are responsible for your own life, and that you don't need to be nannied.
My prayers go with the family that lost their home, and I truly suspect the people of his community will band together and help them. I do not wish the family ill, but I do hope they learned a very serious lesson. The biggest upside to this is, if there are others in the rural areas there that refuse to pay the fee, they won't be doing that anymore. Now they know they have to pay for their services, just like everyone else.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Where are we headed here?

I've recently been educated a little about why christians claim they must support Israel like they do. I have a friend, who happens to be christian, that actually believes the bible tells her that all christians are supposed to support Israel, no matter what. I find this to be particularly disturbing, considering I've been questioning our Nation's collective morality. Here is why I think this way.
Christians, on one hand, preach a religion of love and tolerance. They have commandmants, one being "Thou shalt not steal", and the another being "Thou shalt not kill". So here is why I am so disturbed. If, your God tells you on one hand, do not steal from people, do not kill people, treat all others with respect, how on earth can he or she on the other hand demand you support a government doing those very things this very instant? That would be very hypocritical.
Let me say one thing real fast, I'm not a christian. I follow a religion that teaches honor, family, oaths, and strength of purpose. I'm not saying christianity cannot be that religion, but I am saying that it certainly isn't that any longer. Christians have completely lost their way in this Country. Nowhere in the bible I read so long ago, did I see any passages stating that the commandmants are "a living breathing document" (this is my obvious jab at people that try to say the Constitution, 4 pieces of paper, are that way). Nowhere have I seen where it says, thou shalt not steal, except when...Now the Thou shalt not kill part, that one is debatable in a way. Because I believe we were all born with the inalienable right to defend our lives, and sometimes, you may have to kill to do so. But it most certainly does not mean it is ok to attack a ship full of unarmed civilians, with the full intent to kill as many of them as they could get away with. I do not see anywhere in the bible that says it's ok to do something like that.
Now christians I know condemn that type of behavior, no matter who does it. I would think your God would not tolerate any of his people behaving against his tenets, wether they are Jewish or not. I've heard the argument "They're God's people". That is actually a racist statement when used in that context. Yes, they are "Yaweh's people", because he was a local deity of the middle east, a religion practiced by Jews. But here is the rub of this. That doesn't mean they are any better than me. Their God is not my God. By using blanket statements such as that, people empower a corrupt, criminal government to use it as an excuse for vile, warlike behavior.
I always have heard that christianity is the kinder, softer version of religion. I've had christians attempt to degrade me once they find out I am a proud Heathen, a follower of Odin. I see christians celebrating the perpetual war we are fighting, from "drug wars" to "wars on terror". My religion has taught me that as an honorable man, a keeper of my Oaths, it would be wrong to raise arms against those who are not attempting me or mine harm. That means, you actually have to attack me, or attempt me harm, to get me to hurt you. Christians in this Nation gleefully send their young men and women to war after war, telling them they're blood and sacrifice means something. I am a veteran, I have served. I can tell you right now, in my opinion, if I bleed for my country, it is only honorably done if the people that I serve ask me to do it for the morally right reasons. Otherwise, you are demanding of me that I set aside my own value set, to commit murder on people who want nothing more than to have a steady job, a safe place for their family to live, education for their children, access to healthcare and clean water. They sound an awful lot like me. When you have an entire population such as Israel, who arms their own citizens with automatic weapons, has over 200 undeclared nuclear warheads, and they are gleefully cutting off nearly all humanitarian aide to a large population of what should be a sovereign nation, then they should be treated as a criminal Nation, a terrorist Nation. They have in short, commited crimes against humanity. The Germans did that and got their asses kicked for their trouble.
Let me draw a parallel for my christian friends out there. What Israel is doing right this very instant in Gaza, is no different at all, to what the Nazis did in the Warsaw Ghetto to the Jews. Yes, I believe the holocaust happened, and I'm apalled by it. I have non zionist Jewish people in my family, whom I love very much, and hate to think about what some of their family had to go through. However, having been the victim of a horrible crime, does not ever give you the excuse to visit that very same crime on another race of people. If your God is giving the Israeli government a pass on it's behavior, because it's composed of "his people", then I am afraid you are beyond help. You would actually be serving a God that is a liar then, a hypocrit, an evil doer. Now, I might not be a christian, but I believe Christ was an amazing holy man, a great teacher, and that anybody that truly follows his tenets would have a good, solid spiritual life, filled with love and peace. So I would tend to think it's not Christ, or your "Yaweh" that is the problem. I think it's humanity itself, that has allowed itself to be blinded with hatred, all because somebody else follows a different religion. What I want to know is this. Are you, as a christian, , who professes to follow his tenets and commandmants, going to stand by and allow tyrrany and murder to continue, or are you going to have the balls to stand up, and do what is right no matter what? Christ was crucified because of his defiance to the Roman Empire. In short, he stood up for what is right, and paid the ultimate sacrifice. I know many men and women this day that would do that very same thing. All too often, they end up with a uniform on of some sort. I count myself as one of them. When I pass into the next world, when I stand before my Gods, I will do it with pride, because I have fullfilled my Oaths to them, I have lived a life of love and freedom.
Are you going to be someone that stands before your God, and tells him that you really respected his commandmants, but that there were special circumstances in your case, and you just couldn't practice the value system he had laid out for you to be in his grace? If so, I don't think you would like his response to that.
The easy way is to stay quiet, and hope someone else does something about this. But the easy way is the morally wrong way in this instance. If you are commanded to be "Christ like", then by standing by while another nation commits genocide and murder, certainly does not help you accomplish that goal. He died according to you, doing the right thing, understanding that it would cost him everything.
I swore an Oath 23 years ago that parallels that. I swore to spend my life as a Guardian to my people, a protector. I also understand that by swearing that Oath, by pledging my life, honor, and fortune, I have placed myself in real and present danger. I understand fully that if I make a stand against tyrranical behavior, I might also be killed. If that is the price I am asked to pay, so that my legacy may carry on, then I will pay that. I wouldn't be happy about it, but I will never compromise my values, just to breath a little bit longer. I will never just stand by silently, while someone or some government entity, wipes out an entire population of another country. What I want to know is this. Are you going to make that stand with me and others like me? If so, stop being so silent, stop blindly supporting criminals, just because that was what you were taught to do. Had Christ and his disciples come into a small village with weapons and armor, and slaughtered any that refused to follow them, I would think his daddy would have something stern to say about it. So if Christ would not have done this, why on earth are you allowing it to happen today?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Looking at the mess Europe is in

I read mainstream media alot, but not to believe what they have to say, but to see what is being said compared to what I am finding in the alternative media sources out there. One big thing right now that they are failing to report properly is the problems going on in Europe right now. It's started in Greece, and appears the problem going to spread throughout the Eurozone.
There are people out there shaking their heads and trying to figure out what has happened. We were supposed to be on the road to economic recovery right? Well that is as wrong today as it was wrong when they said it. But here we are, with people predicting the Euro to reach parity with the US dollar within the next 12 months. Some folks here in the united States might celebrate that, but they are refusing to look at why it is happening, and the threat it is causing right here in our country.
The central banks are causing this economic crisis on purpose, and Greece is starting to collapse as a nation. The IMF and their allies do things such as destabilize governments regularly, and plan on continuing to do so. They do it because when they cause an entire nation to collapse under debt to them, they are able to swoop in and buy everything up at firesale prices. Those people you see throwing firebombs in the streets of Greece? Those are the same groups of people that have been doing things like that for years. Just remember the WTO riots, and you will understand. The vast majority of the people at the WTO demonstrations in 1999 in Seattle, were peaceful. A handful of "anarchists" caused the problems, giving a militarized police force the excuse they wanted to step on the necks of the demonstators. Those very people are used by the IMF to cause that type of destruction, so that values of property plummet, and they have an excuse to send in the troops. Once that is done, Greece will cease to exist as we know it. This is a Nation that is responsible for helping to create all that is good in Society, their city armies defended freedom in ancient times. It is now reduced to the status of a third world country.
That is happening right here in the united States as we speak. They are just a little behind on the program here because there is a growing resistance to their manipulations. The housing bubble was caused on purpose. They used it to help crash the economy, and our nation saw a massive redistribution of wealth into their coffers. Our very own treasury was looted until empty by the people running the show. Our heritage, our children's legacy is being stripped from them. They are born into already being in over $35K in debt, their share of the national deficit.  We gave that to them. I don't know about most parents, but I suspect this is true for most. We want our children to have a better life than we had. But instead, we are allowing the federal government to work in collusion with the banks, to take that from them. Their legacy is one of debt, poverty, and oppression. We have given them a legacy of war, violence, jails, pollution. We are doing that because not enough people are interested enough to take their Liberty back. I have heard so many people readily give up their Constitutional Rights, all in the name of being protected from some imaginary boogeyman that is coming to get them.
So as parents, we are falling down on our job. We have a contract with Nature when we have children. And that contract is to give them the knowledge, protection, and encouragement to flourish and  create. It is to give them a peaceful, clean place to live, where they have the opportunity to succeed on their own merits. We as parents have abdicated our responsibilities, and what's worse, we have done so to a government that has messed everything else up. We are in effect, giving our children a third world nation to live in, one where they have no freedom whatsoever.
Here is the thing though, ending this is extremely simple. It's not neccessarily easy, but the sollution is out there. If enough people wake up, and push hard to restore the republic, the way it was meant to be, we will have given our children a chance to improve upon things, to actually bring peace and prosperity back to our country. To do so, it is going to have to have people resisting the programming they've been subjected to. They need to start thinking on their own. We have given the government the responsibility to raise our children for us. They tell people how they can educate their children, how to feed them, how to discipline them, and if you don't tow their line, they step in and take them from you, by force if neccessary. We allow the television to numb them. By the time they reach 4th grade, they've had all of their creativity stomped from them.
To restore the Republic, we have to become more interested in what is happening than what Paris Hilton is up to today, or who got cut on American Idol. Our founding fathers did not sit in their houses and ignore the problem, they got out there and did something about it. We need to start firing politicians from both parties. We need to let them know that the Oath they swore to us when they were "elected", is serious, and that we are watching them. And if they don't, then they get fired. A republican congressman from Utah has just discovered that. He is not coming back to Congress after the election, it's already a decided thing. The people there have fired him, they no longer have confidence in a politician that vigorously pursues earmarks, voted for the healthcare bill, voted for the bank bailouts, and has opposed any attempts to truly audit the federal reserve. In short, he is not working in the best interests of the people. Politics should not be a career choice. It gives the politicians too much to lose. If they aren't elected, their career is more often than not over. If they know they are done after 2 terms, then they might be more ethical with their voting. We should inform them that we will no longer tolerate legislation that is 2000 pages long, or the 8000 page monstrosity that is the final healthcare bill. We need to end this insane entitlement mentality. Throughout my recovery from the surgery in November, I used the insurance I had paid for. I didn't go to the government with a hand held out. I didn't want them to susidize my disability. I wanted to have to go back to work as quickly as possible. Kind of like that scene in the Postman, where Kevin Costner is no longer injured. So his companion burns the cabin they had been hiding out in while he recovered. She did that so that they would be forced to move on, to get back to their lives.
Our educational system, our legal system, our economy, needs to be taken back. We need to reclaim our healthcare. And the biggest, we need to unconditionally restore the Bill of Rights. That means ending our foreign wars of agression, closing our overseas bases, and coming home. It means engaging other nations with diplomacy and free market trade, instsead of forcing our will on them at the barrell of a gun. It means learning how to take care of ourselves and our neighbors again. It means that proposed items of legislation, no matter where it comes from, has to be Constitutional before being passed. And if it isn't, if even one little section isn't, it is scrapped. Remember, you cannot compromise on Liberty. That document is there to protect you, and it's meant to protect our families. It's a sacred contract, between you, the States, and the federal government. Some of the States out there are beginning to wake up and live up to their end of the deal. Some of the people are starting to wake up and live up to their end of the deal. However, the federal government refuses to. We have a congress that recently shot down legislation that would have made it illegal for a congressman to actively use insider trading. We have a white house that is actively working with the federal reserve to lobby congress to shoot down the audit the federal reserve bill. I don't know about any of you, but I am tired of being poor and being expected to bailout people that make more money in 5 years than my entire family will make in a lifetime. If my family mismanages their fianances, there is no bailout in the wings for us, or for any of you for that matter. Why is that? My brother Eric, who I am very proud of, just opened up a pizza place and pub in Idaho with his wife and their friends. If they don't operate that business wisely, and they end up in financial trouble, Ben Bernanke isn't going to come riding in on a white steed to rescue them. They will instead go out of business, as it should be.  I just happen to know Eric well enough to know that won't happen.
I recently watched a speach by a man with some amazing answers. One of them was, to tax the federal reserve at %.0006. If we did that, we could end all income taxes, yes that is true. And we would rapidly begin to see our national deficit melt away at a rapid pace. And once we no longer need them around, we can just get rid of them. They would receive no less than what they have given the American people since the early 1900s. Now, how many of you would like to not have to pay income tax? Or how about this? How would you like to no longer spend %50 of your income on various taxes, both income, sales and various hidden ones? And those are getting set to go up yet again. They are expecting that number to rise another %20 in the next few years with the addition of a VAT tax, FAT tax, and Cap and Trade taxes. Yes, if you are reading this, it's true, your taxes have not gone down. They have gone up. Even if your income taxes may have dropped, all of the other taxes you pay have not, they have in fact begun to rise sharply. How much more money would you have to take care of your family if your income all of a sudden jumped %50?
The solutions are not to keep adding social programs, despite what some people say. If you want proof of what happens when you do that, just look at Greece. They were one of the heaviest socialized states in Europe. And the people lived high on the hog for many years that way. Now the bills are due, and they are mad because they are taking a hit on their quality of life. Yet they refuse to realize the quality of life was artificial. You cannot keep borrowing without consequences.
You cannot force a redistribution of wealth on people in order to pay for those programs. That is taking away the financial freedoms of somebody. Their basic rights to financial self determination is no less important than their right's to freedom of religion, speach and thought.  Because once you allow the government to start to go down the road of taking freedoms from someone, no matter what freedom that is, and you have ulitmately given them the opening they need to eventually take your freedoms from you as well. I suffer no man their wealth, so long as it was honestly obtained. At that point, I no longer care how they choose to spend that wealth, it's theirs. I don't care if someone has a home worth 500K, I don't care if they are driving a hummer (although I think they look completely retarded doing so), so long as they do not use their wealth to try to take my freedom from me. Most human beings do not need to be forced to be charitable. If given the chance, we will always try to help those less fortunate. If I did not pay so much money out in various taxes, I would have the extra money to give to charities on a regular basis, and I would have the freedom to choose who to give that charity money to. And believe me, I know I would, and I know my family and my loved ones would practice the same thing. We would do it because we have a spiritual responsibility to do so, and we understand that. But is one that we chose to give ourselves, and should not be forced on another person. If someone is making enough money to buy that hummer, and they choose to keep it all, and not help those less fortunate, that should be their right. But it should also be our right to disapprove, and if he makes his money by owning a business, we can express our displeasure by not patronizing it.
If we returned to a Constitutional republic, with a true free market, then we would see our poverty start to vanish. We would be able to have more liberal immigration laws. Our nation would once again be a place people aspire to come to, in order to have a chance at success, rather than a place they know they can come to illegally, taking advantage of our social programs without any stake in the nation. We could be a nation that is finally at peace again. Other nations would once again respect us, and would want to emulate us, not because we are forcing them to, but because they see just how well it works.
It's time that our republic is reclaimed, it's time that our leaders realize they are supposed to work for us. It's time to lose the stranglehold huge corporations have on our society. Stop spending your money at places like Walmart. Who cares if you saved $.15 on a tube of toothpaste? Will that help you when you have lost all of your wealth and property, as well as all semblance of Liberty? Learn to grow some of your own foods, learn to take care of your loved ones rather than allowing the government to do it. If your neighbor knocks on your door and asks for food because they have nothing to eat, don't tell him to go get foodstamps. Invite that person in, put a pot of coffee on, and make lunch for the both of you to share. Sit down and break bread with that person. Talk to them. Offer them encouragement and emotional support. Build a relationship with him. Learn to raise as much of your own food as you can, and teach others to do so also. It's so much better to teach them to take care of themselves, rather than send them to get a handout from the federal government. Now, I am a reasonable man, and I do understand the need for things such as food stamps. But we shouldn't be allowing people to become career welfare recipients. That does nothing but help strip their basic human dignity from them. How much better would their lives be if their mother and father instead shared the bounty of the earth with their children instead of eating all that super proccessed garbage they are shoving on us? How much better would their lives be if you helped show them how to gain some independance? When the settlers were crossing the plains, heading west, there was no life line for them from the government. You had to rely on yourself, your family, and your community. That is the American spirit. The knowledge that we determine our destiny, not a bunch of people in Washington DC we have never meet. Fixing our problems is going to take a sustained, grassroots effort, from the bottom up. It's going to take a fundamental change in thinking from people. But I assure you all, that the rewards are so worth it. A man's spirit cannot grow when it is stifled in anyway. Our forfathers shaped a great nation that fostered that spirit, that protected that fundamental right to determine your own destiny. It is our duty to protect that, to encourage it to continue to grow, so that the people that follow us have live in a Nation they can be proud of once again. We cannot continue to sit back and say "What can we do? Someone else will just have to do this, I'm just to busy with work, bills, football season, etc." Men like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington did not say those things. Look at the sacrifices George Washington and his men gave for our Independance. How many of us could survive a winter in Valley Forge in the same conditions they did? I don't think they are neccessarily built of tougher stuff. I think they realized their backs were against the wall, and if they didn't do this, nobody would. They knew that the hunger, the disease, the cold, the deprivation, the mud and ice, was all worth it in the end, because they would finally tell a corrupt super power they were no longer welcome. They didn't do it for just their families. They did it for all of us. How will we honor their sacrifices? With a systematic dismantling of what they bleed and died for to give to us? Or will we honor them with the same fire? The same willingness to go wherever we have to go to claim our true birthrights? Will we have that same uncompromising drive to live a life of Liberty? Our revolution started in the streets of Boston, with a young 17 yr old being shot and killed with 7 other patriots, all while they had no firearms of their own. Will we snuff out that young man's eternal voice? Will we allow tyranny to forever wipe from existance their message? I hear people talking about how we need to support and honor our troops. Then do so. Start by honoring the men that died at the hands of redcoats to get this Nation started. Honor their legacy, and you will enjoy the fruits of it. Refuse to honor it, and that fruit will wither, and die forever. If there is no hope, there is no future. I refuse to give up that hope, and I am confident that you will also. You might need to rekindle that American spirit in you, but it's there, because it's the basis of spiritual strength. Feel that fire in the belly yet? It's you waking up and wanting to be free once again. Welcome, look to your left and right, you are not alone.

Friday, April 23, 2010

So Amber, Lici and I are going to try a new experiment out for us

We're slowly getting all the equipment together so that we can start doing something very important to our health. We've been planning over the past several months to start an indoor vegetable/fruit garden, using Hydroponics, a 1000 Watt Metal Halide bulb, and lattices for plants such as tomatoes to help them stay upright.
The Hydroponics systems we are going to use will be homeade deep-water culture systems. They are seriously easy and inexpensive to make and operate. The grow lights are about 250 bucks to get, but that gives you the ballast, the bulb and reflector, all you do is hang the light, plug it in and it's on.
The reasons we've decided to grow the majority of our fruits and vegetables indoors is because we unfortunately live in an Urban environment, and I don't care to eat anything that comes from the soil we have here.  With the Hydroponics, we should get insane yields, far better than we would get with soil, and it will be plants with all of their nutrients in them, like they should have, thanks to the organic hydroponic mixture we will be using.
We've been talking alot lately about the values of our parents, and one of the things all of our parents did was they grew food, and canned it and froze it, to store away for a rainy day. And I have to admit, I miss just going out to the garden and picking the vegetables I am having for dinner that night.
Our parents really had it right. Growing up, McDonalds was a HUGE treat for us, just ask my brothers and sister Heidi. We rarely got it, because they were located so far away, and we didn't really have alot of money. Now people are eating McDonalds like crazy, and we as a Nation are getting fatter and more unhealthy everyday. I would know, because I was one of them.
3 years ago, I weighed in at nearly 340 LBS, and had a 56 inch waist. My blood pressure was a sustained 190/130 or so. It's a wonder I am still breathing to this day. I let the depression from the knee surgery, and all the injuries I've had, to take over. All of a sudden, I was drinking Coke's by the 2 Liter bottle sized, every day, as well as eating entire bags of candy bars, and entire large pizzas to myself in one sitting. In short, man was I killing myself. Why would I ever do that to myself?
I think alot of that could come from me feeling so disconnected to the land anymore. Growing up, my elders gave me a very important gift. That was to love the land, work it faithfully, respect nature, and you will know it's bounty. I grew up being able to sit out in the sun on a beautiful summer day, out in Northern Idaho, which to me is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and oh man do I miss it. Life was so simple then. It felt so good to sit under an apple tree and feel the cool earth between my toes.  So much of that life was so carefree, so close to nature, so full of love and awe at what the Earth can provide us. Now I live in a world of concrete, and steel, exhaust fumes instead of the dust of a dirt road on a warm summer afternoon, pollution, noise, danger, and unfortunately all too often, violence.
Those thoughts have been on our minds alot lately.
Today, I weigh less than 270 Lbs, and have a waist size of about 39 inches, a huge improvement. I don't want to leave this world young, I want to live my life surrounded by those I love.
So Amber, Lici and I have made a decision, we are going to begin to return to the ways our parent's lived, in as much as we are able to. We will be not only canning food, we will also be purchasing a food dehyrdator, we already have the vacuum sealer. We have a goal of getting away from the Urban life as soon as we can, returning us to a much quieter, simpler life.
Growing up, I couldn't wait to get the hell away from Idaho, now I wish like hell that I could go back, this very day. I want to tube the Clearwater River again, go hunting in the fall, fishing for steelhead, grow my garden, raise my chickens, maybe a cow or three, and a couple of horses. I want my family to live someplace where people still wave to eachother when driving down the street. Where friends gather for coffee for a few hours on a Saturday morning. Where I don't have to concern myself with stupid crap like drive-by shootings.
So our experiment is going to be a bit long lived. It will be a sustained effort to try to get some of that back, and to begin to move towards home once more.  Eventually, more and more, it looks as if we will eventually go back to Eastern Washington/Northern Idaho.  Living in an urban environment has put far too much stress on us. I think the key in life is to live a simple one, to be happy and free, and to be thankfull for the gifts you have. To be charitable to those in need, to encourage the next generation to live such a peacefull life, enriching their existance, and making our world a much much healthier, happier place.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where does the lunacy end?

I was just checking my facebook, and a very dear friend of mine had posted a link to a facebook page urging the Federal Government to set up a National Registry for Animal Abusers. All I could think of is wow! Do our people really not know that much about our Constitution and most importantly our Bill of Rights?
The jist of the post was that we need the USDA to do this for us to "keep our neigborhoods safe". My thought is, you want to start keeping your neighborhoods safe, start by learning the document that is supposed to be the highest law of the land, and START exercising those rights for God's sake! This, just like stupid bullshit like the Patriot Act, is NOT good! Think about this for a minute folks. When you start asking that the government take rights away from a group of people that you don't happen to like, you are nothing more than a Nazi in 1938 Germany. In short, you are a facist. But what some people don't seem to realize is, once you start to allow your government to erode away at Civil Liberties, what makes you think you will not eventually be the one in it's crosshairs?
As a matter of fact, I am sick of the argument "well he doesn't deserve those civil rights, he's a criminal and a monster to boot". Who the hell is anybody to think they can take those rights from someone? Those aren't rights that are secularly given. Those rights are given to EVERY SINGLE person that's ever been born, by our Creator (whatever name you want to call him/her/it). How arrogant are we to think that we know more than the universe?
Violating someone's civil right's is the highest crime one can commit in my opinion, because that is a crime against the very fabric of humanity. You might as well kill that person, as you have dehumanized them completely, and that is not something somebody recovers from very easily.
And on to the next part of this rant. Where in the bloody hell do these people think they will find the money to implement this attack on our Civil Liberties? Have you not stayed informed? Or do you get all of your news from FOX News, CNN and MSNBC? Here is a clue folks, our government is BANKRUPT! Had our government been a privately owned business, it would have been liquidated years ago. Who the hell is going to pay for this so called registry program? I know I don't want my tax dollars going to such an egregious attack on the Constitution of the United States.
You know, when I was growing up, our community had the safety of it's members in mind at all times, we took care of eachother, and made sure our neighbors had the things they needed to survive. We ensured the safety of our own, we didn't rely on a bloated, tyrranical government to nannie us to death.
I'm sorry, but I think I know what is best to see to the safety of my family, not some idiot in DC that has no clue who I am, and further more, could care less about me.
People, wake the hell up! Stop trying to turn us into a Socialist paradise, because it doesn't exist! Stop holding your hand out for entitlements from the bloody government all the time, learn to take care of yourself and your loved ones.  It saddens me to see that our people no longer know how to do these things. They instead rely on somebody else to take care of their every need.
23 years ago, at the tender age of 17, I swore an oath that still sits with me to this very day. Part of that Oath stated "I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies, both foreign and domestic". Part of me upholding that oath is not to stand by while people dismantle this nation. Both politcal parties need to wake up, and start doing what they are supposed to do. Represent us responsibly, and to protect us from those people who would destroy our Constitution and what it means.
 I sincerely hope the friend that put that up on Facebook takes the time to read this and learn a little from it. I really care for her, she's been a friend for quite a few years. That being said though, I don't care who you are, I don't care how much I love someone, I will never stand by while they help to desecrate my freedoms. And I hope they would do the same for me in return.
Learn from our history, or you will be doomed to repeat it. Alot of the things our elected officials are doing is illegal, immoral, and un-Constitutional. I do not care to live in an Empire, give me back my Constitutional Republic please.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What do I think would make up the perfect United States of America

So Amber and I were sitting here this morning chatting after she helped me get some medical cannabis in me so that I could walk a little and sit up fairly straight, and she gave me a suggestion. She wanted me to write up a blog post on what I think the United States of America should be like. It's an awful big issue, but here goes nothing.
If we had continued along on the path that our Forefathers started for us, things would likely be much different today. You see, our founding fathers set up a Constituional Republic for us, and it is my opinion that we have moved away from it, we are now an Empire much like the Roman Empire shortly before it's fall.
Let's start with the powers that the Federal Government was supposed to have. Their job was to 1. Facilitate international trade 2. See to the common defense, and 3. Safeguard the liberty of the people.
So let's start with number 1. Their job is to facilitate trade with foreign countries. How should they do that? By keeping this a completely free market economy. The Federal Government, according to the Constitution of the United States, is not given the power to enter into organizations such as NAFTA, the WTO, or anyother United Nations sponsored agenda. So a perfect America would include us leaving these other trade organizations and finally working to facilitate foreign trade in a proper manner.
2. They are to see to the common defense of the country. What that means boys and girls is, when the bad guy comes a knockin at our door wanting to conquer us, the Federal Government is supposed to stop them. To do that, we honestly do not need a massive military presence, and we certainly do not need all these bases that are overseas. They do nothing more than continue our Empire building ways. And make no mistake about it, they are costing us over $1 trillion dollars a year just to maintain that Empire. America operating as a Constitutional Republic would keep a small full time military, with very little presence in foreign countries. The rest of the defense needs would be structured around a large, well trained and well equipped part time militia. Now you folks might be asking yourselves, how would shrinking the size of our military help protect us? Well because if you aren't involved in all this Nation building stuff that's actually illegal based on it not being Constitutional, you simply don't need a massive military. If another Nation were stupid enough to try to invade us, it wouldn't take such a massive military, because the people would rise up as well to repel them. We no longer involve ourselves in foreign wars, and we no longer invade and kill hundreds of thousands of a country's citizens based on the remote possibility that they are hostile to us and would like nothing more than to do us harm.
And 3. This is a big one folks in my opinion. The Federal Government is supposed to work to protect your civil liberties, and should the Feds fail in this and they become a tyrranical government much like we have today, then the individual states are given the Constitutional authority to protect it's citizens from that as well. That where the whole "Against all enemies, both foreign and domestic", comes into play. For instance, that means the Federal Government should not be raiding medical cannabis dispensaries in California for example, so long as they are complying with State laws. Now here is the rub of it folks. According to the Constitution of the United States, the State is legally bound to protect you from an out of control government. To me, that means, when the DEA raids a medical cannabis dispensary in California for example, the local Law Enforcement agencies actually have a duty to not only stop them, but to also arrest them for violating State law in their presence. Instead, they all too often help the Feds. Here is something alot of folks don't really know. The entire War on Drugs could not be fought by the Federal Government without the help of the individual states. They simply do not have the resources. You see, when the DEA wants to raid something, they don't just send in DEA agents folks. Local LEOs will go on loan to them all too willingly. I have had the pleasure of knowing a few men that are part of the Drug War. They are local Law Enforcement, but they have been known to help the Feds out from time to time, by assisting them in raids. They always were bragging about what a rush it is to go through that door with flashbangs going off, men screaming obscenities to get down, all the noise and confusion and violence. So, we're funding a group of people's adrenaline rushes. And they are getting that rush by victimizing it's own citizens. The Federal Government bribes these local law enforcement agencies with money to help them along. The drug warriors out there don't want the war on drugs to end because then they have to go from locking up the peaceful potsmoker, and go after truly dangerous criminals. We currently spend nationwide over $50 billion per year on prohibition. That's money that could be used for things such as drug treatment, education, medical care, and housing, bringing an untold level of prosperity to America.
In a perfect America, the people are free. Free to pursue their dreams, free from persecution, and protected by it's government from anything that wants to take those things from us. We don't have a peaceful protest being turned into a tear gas hazed bloodbath. The police are actually there to help you, and they ensure that we are truly safe. The Constitution is once again the law of our land. We no longer have a gigantic national debt, because the government has ended the Federal Reserve, bringing some very rich, evil men to justice finally for looting the American people. Instead, our Government now prints the money. The Government is now living within it's means. We have a free market, with healthy businesses growing and becoming successful, while business ventures that are failing are allowed to fail. People have jobs again, and they have stopped holding their hands out for "benefits" from our "Welfare state" Federal Government.
Thanks to all of the money we have saved from ending foreign wars to ending the Fed, our streets are clean and safe, our children have a good education, and we are at peace. There are people out there that say this is all a pipe dream, that this is just too perfect, thus it's impossible to achieve. I counter by asking, "what have you done to help bring us back to a free society?" This is only impossible right now because people would rather sit in their homes watching TV while they tell themselves "I'm sure glad those people are here to help defend our Civil Liberties. I really hope they succeed." Instead, they should really start researching this topic, and becoming educated. They should start to speak out. They should start to demand their rights. In a healthy, functioning United States, the people would do things like that. In a healthy America, the men and women who are supposed to be our leaders and have broken the Oath, are prosecuted and brought to justice. The false flag operations would be a thing of the past. We would have withdrawn from the United Nations, and evicted them from the land in New York that they have taken from the people. We would no longer have foreign military personell on our soil in any sort of operating capacity. By the way folks, this is happening now, without your knowledge and consent.  In a healthy America, our government operates as transparently as possible, secrects are generally not a good thing when it comes to governance in my opinion. It doesn't spend money it doesn't have. The Feds answer to debt has been to to allow the central banking system to engineer our economic crash so they could continue to buy up all of our Nations wealth with our own tax money. In a healthy America, that doesn't happen because of free market principles.  Why was our national treasury looted for over $1 trillion? Where did that money go to? Nobody in government seems to officially know where it is. That's not a bookeeping error guys, that's robbery.
In a healthy America, things such as poisoning our environment with horrible amounts of pollution has ended also. Huge corporations can no longer just poison the environment around them because they can't operate efficiently.
In short folks, a perfect America would be one where the people are what our leaders concentrate on, and not the profit margins of the huge corporations that bankroll them with bribes. It would be one where my children and grandchildren are safe and happy, and they are thanking people like me for safeguarding their liberties by being educated about the issues, and active themselves.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I will protect and defend

"I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, so help me God."
That's the Oath I swore 23 years ago first at the Spokane MEPS station, then later once more to reaffirm that very Oath at bootcamp.
Until recently, I had not given that Oath alot of thought. But I am now. You see, I've come to believe that once an Oath of that magnitude is sworn, you don't just get to release yourself from it. And it's not something you only live up to when it's easy or convenient.
I've also learned that by having sworn that Oath, that I may not be able to neccessarily do what is comfortable or safe. I am putting myself potentially in harm's way. Now I understand that well, and am now living up to my Oath. In bootcamp, I was taught early on that we not only have the right to refuse a lawful order from a superior officer, but that is WAS OUR DUTY!
Now here is the thing folks. The very politicians that represent us also have to swear the exact same Oath! So why in the world are we not holding them up to the very same standards of conduct our military is held up to. The politicians certainly have far more privileges that come with their office, and thus I think they also have a great responsibility to us for those very same things. They are supposed to be there to protect our way of life, not change it. They were given power by one document and one document alone. That is the Constitution of the United States of America, most specificall the Bill of Rights. They were to be given no more power or scope than that. The individual states are supposed to take care of the rest.
Instead, we have allowed special interest groups such as ACORN to flood the government with demands for entitlements, benefits and money. That isn't what our Federal Government is supposed to be about folks. They aren't supposed to be there to give you free handouts. Do you not understand that by allowing the Federal Government to continue to fold to these people's demands, and they continue to give us more and more things. What you may not realize is there is a price to pay for all of this. And that price is the loss of your freedom and liberty. Nothing is free folks, including government entitlements and benefits. Is it worth it? Is the loss of your liberties, your very civil rights worth that money? If you say yes to that, then to me, you have sold your very soul to corruption. If you allow tyrrany to stand, wether it is from a Republican or a Democrat, then you are no better than they are. So today, I call out to my representatives, my elected officials. And that most especially means to the President of the United States. START LIVING UP TO YOUR OATH! Go back and read our Constitution folks, with an open and clear mind. Then start to think about all the power we have given our government, and ask yourself if that is the life you really want. Begin to think. And begin to stand against them.
If you are former Military or Law Enforcement, you are on notice now. You swore and Oath, and I expect you to live up to it.
This is a list of 10 Orders I will NOT obey.
1. I  will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.

2. I  will NOT obey orders to conduct warrantless searches of the American people

3. I will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to military tribunal.

4. I will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state.

5. I will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty.

6. I will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.

7. I will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.

8. I will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control."

9. I will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.

10. I will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.

Were you to say these things to one of our Founding Fathers, they would say "Well duh! That's what you're supposed to do!"
Today, I am an Oath Keeper. Today, I stand in the path of tyrrany and oppression. Today I take my place as a defender of our liberty. Today, should it be needed, I am prepared to stand to.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cannabis legalization may be coming to the West Coast

What great news to hear. California has announced that the signature drive to put an initiative on the November ballot to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis for recreational use has easily gathered enough signatures to make the November ballot. It needed 433,971 signatures, and they gathered more than twice that before stopping the signature drive early. The board of elections has announced they have verified enough signatures to make the ballot. To me that's great news. But the news keeps getting better for drug law reform advocates.
In Washington State, we have initiative 1068, a bill that removes all criminal penalties for the production, sale and use of cannabis for adults over the age of 21 is gathering signatures right now. Here is the website you can visit if interested in helping to end cannabis prohibition
It enjoys solid support in the polls in our great state.
And on top of all of this, there is noise in Oregon that they may be making a push to legalize cannabis as well. Alot of this activity is due to the massive financial burden the war on drugs is placing on the tax payers, while commiting grave civil rights offenses on peaceful, law abiding citizens. The state politicians are beginning to catch up with the rest of the public on the issue of marijuana reform as well. We are starting to see politicians sponsoring more and more bills in an effort to legalize cannabis. California's State Board of Equalization estimates that legalization and taxation will produce approximately 1.4 Billion dollars in tax revenues. That's huge folks. That's a big chunk of cheddar to help close the massive budget shortfall they are having in that state. If you add to it the massive savings from the criminal justice system for legalization, and California is starting to look pretty smart folks.
All of this would also produce massive social change. Decades of the police using so much violence to suppress the very people they are sworn to protect, will start to come to an end. They have used cannabis prohibition as a tool to take our civil rights away, just a little at a time. Our Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves because our society is subject to warantless searches, harassment, and SWAT teams using "violence of action" on a regular basis on it's citizens, alot of them completely non violent, and in quite a few cases, completely innocent of any criminal behavior, even by the messed up standards of our criminal justice system.
I would also put forth we would start to see far less alcohol abuse. There are alot of people out there that abuse alcohol, a very dangerous and addictive drug, with massive social and health consequences, that would likely stop if cannabis were legal. I used to self medicate myself with alot of alcohol to try to combat the horrible chronic pain from sports and work inuries, until I found medical cannabis. Since then, I have completely stopped my alcohol consumption. I honestly do not remember the last time I had a taste of any alcohol.
I'm writing all of this while sitting here on a very bad morning. The pain I am in sometimes has me crying everyday, in fact tears are free flowing right now. I can no longer straighten up all the way. My doctors are trying to draw me off the opiates at my request, but are starting to say that I probably shouldn't be off of them, and I'm unfortunately beginning to agree with them. I am frightened of obtaining the one medicine I can get that works better than opiates, because even though I am a qualifying patient, the police in this area have a very bad track record of harassing medical cannabis patients, and will not protect us from things such as home invasion robberies, which is becoming rather popular amongst the criminal element. Medical cannabis patients rarely fight back. State law says I am allowed to possess so much cannabis, it allows the cultivation of cannabis for me, so that I can have safe access. There is no dispensary system here, which would be really nice for those that cannot grow their own medicine. By legalizing it completely, it will make it easier for patients to get, and alot more difficult for children to obtain. The drug dealer on the corner isn't checking IDs for age, but I bet that package store clerk would be if someone were buying cannabis.
It's time folks. It's time for the people to start taking back their liberties. It's time to start holding our public servants accountable for their behavior towards us. It's time to start getting the government out of our living rooms. And it's time that all citizens of this nation are truly protected, and allowed to be free so long as they harm no one else. Why should we allow violent, body armored thugs with automatic weapons to bully us, all because they have a badge? Liberty is tied closely in with things such as drug law reform. They have been one of the single largest violators of our civil rights, next to the Patriot Act in my opinion. When the so called war on drugs ends, believe me, we will all be in a much better place. Our streets would become safer, the criminal gangs would lose a massive amount of their income, and legitimate, tax paying business people would offer employment, our prisons would begin to get less crowded, and we could get to work on the true problems in society. Come on folks, let's start to think about it a little. Let's start to open our minds up, do honest research. If you don't believe me, take 2 hours out of your time and research cannabis on your own, just keep an open mind. Dont start researching already believing that there is no way you will change your mind. And most especially, don't neccessarily believe what the government and the pharmaceutical industry may be telling you, what makes you truly think they have your best interests at heart? even if you don't like the fact that I use cannabis myself, why shouldn't you support my freedom to make that choice? I support your freedom to kill yourself with cigarettes and booze. Please support my right to live with a medicine that is safe, non addictive, and has no true dangerous side effects. Yes, even the munchies don't tend to get me down, I usually crave things like salads with vinnagerette dressings, raw veggies are where it's at for this so called pot head. Let's start to take freedom back, let's start to protect our constitution, and let's start to demand the accountability that should go into any public service.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

So I've been thinking about personal liberty

What does the drug war have to do with this topic? I've really been thinking about that lately. Our nation was founded by people that believed in personaly liberty for all. As a citizen, I thank them for that, and honor them by remembering their sacrifices, and demanding that liberty once again be a topic of discussion amongst the people.
President Richard Nixon really is the one that kicked the war on drugs off in a huge way. He did it by going after cannabis and LSD, very popular drugs in the hippie culture, and people he really wanted to control. To me, the hippies got it a bit wrong in one sense, liberty cannot be neccessarily won through non violence. Our Country was founded on rebellion and war. Sometimes violence has to happen. But I maintain the only time violence is acceptable, especially by a government entity, is in the defense of the liberty and well being of the people. Yet here we have a so called war on drugs, which is in reality a war against people. There is alot of violence, especially by the government of our nation, yet no defense of liberty or well being.
I just watched some amazing videos of the Liberty movement that's starting to gain momentum in New Hampshire. They are practicing civil disobedience there every day, trying to bring attention to the politicians that have become authoritarian and very facist in their behavior towards the rest of society. Those people inspire me, they are willing to go to jail, in the hopes that their sacrifices will bring liberty back to us.
One of the videos I watched, the police were arresting the one young black man in a crowd of over 100 white people that were smoking pot in the park at 420 in protest, and the disgust and actions it brought from the crowd. One lady kept asking the police if they would put their own children in a cage, and if they were comfortable knowing they were ruining this young man's life, not to mention terrorizing him by handcuffing him and putting him in a cage. One moment he's in a park on a beautiful day smoking a harmless, non addicting, non toxic, common plant with some new friends, and the next he's being put in a squad car (he was the only person in the crowd to be arrested for marijuana btw). Where is his personal liberty? Is it not as valuable as mine is? Did he harm anybody? Some people say that people that use illicit drugs are in fact responsible for all the drug violence perpetuated by the criminal gangs running the drug trade. I would instead put forth that the drug warriors are the ones to blame here, not the drug user. Prior to prohibition of drugs, you had prohibition of alcohol, and we know how that turned out. How are drugs any different?
You do not live in a truly free society when that society has the highest per capita prison population in the world, you have police departments that are better armed than the military, and a criminal justice system that depends on low level offenses to give all those people who work within it a reason to get out of bed in the bloody morning. If people are afraid of heavily armed and armored thugs kicking their door down and terrorizing everybody in that dwelling, and incarcerating people and breaking up families, then something has got to change. I went home not too long ago to visit my brother Eric, and my mom and dad. One thing that really stuck with me on that visit was to see a police officer of the small town in nothern Idaho. This guy was driving a brand new Dodge Charger, complete with the suped up Hemi, and the guy was decked out like he was going to war. He had his side arm, an automatic weapon inside the car, a tazer, a huge vest, I half expected this guy to be wearing a helmet and carrying a riot shield. What the hell does a cop in a small town in Idaho do with all of this tactical gear? They get their new toys, and they just have to use them. How many people have watched videos of police tazering suspects at the drop of a hat? I know I've seen my share. Now I do believe that there are times when things like tasers and automatic rifles are appropriate. But are all of those things truly neccessary for a patrol officer in a small town in the middle of Idaho? Honestly, they don't have a crime rate that shows a need for that type of thing. The only thing we get out of militarizing our police is a big boot on our own necks, taking our liberties away.
So the next time you're sitting on that couch drinking your sixer of Bud after a hard day at work, and you're thinking that you don't really care that some poor schmuck was busted for having marijuana to treat a very debilitating medical condition that could kill him and is now doing 5-10 years in prision, just ask yourself who they will turn to next when they have finished taking his liberty away? It could very well be you. Now how valuable is that other person's personal liberty to you?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Please read this, and help try to do something

I'm writing this at 3:30AM while I wait for my 3AM dose of Methadone to start to work so that I can get some rest. I just read this news story, and am surprised that it hasen't been covered on local news even a little bit.
I found a news story on one of the cannabis reform sites I visit alot, and it concerns our Pierce County Police victimizing a medical cannabis patient, and allowing him to die. What was his offense you say? He was growing pot, legal here in Washington State, and was doing so within the bounds of the law. He was violently assaulted by home invaders wanting his crop, and was struck in the forhead with a crowbar. Please, I'm begging you people, if you have any compassion whatsoever for this man's family, you will try to do the right thing. This man should never have been left to die just so they could question him about how many plants he has growing. Who cares at that point how many plants he has? They callously stated the paramedics would just put a big bandage on it, only to have him die 2 days later. The news story is here, and I am going to try to start making some noise about it myself.
The fact is, the drug war claimed another innocent life, and there was no need for Michael Shane Howard to die. The link to the story is here
To the Pierce County Sherrif's Office, you are here to protect and serve, NOT terrorize and victimize. Stop going to war against us, start going after the people that need to be incarcerated. Why on earth, with the problems we have in Pierce County and Washington State, are we allowing our police officers to do things such as this?
Please, do the right thing, write to the governor, write to your state rep, email the sherrifs office, call them and tell them you want them to stop harassing medical cannabis patients in our State.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I think it's time to talk legalisation and regulation of Cannabis

You know, I've been talking alot lately about medical cannabis, and how it has helped me. What I really should be talking about at least every now and again, is the legalisation and regulation of cannabis in the State of Washington.
As we speak, California is set to become the first State in the Union to fully legalize and regulate cannabis for recreational use. There is a bill in the State Congress now, and an initiative drive has turned in over 200,000 more signatures than was needed to get an initiative to legalize and regulate the cannbis industry on the ballot this year. The medical marijuana initiative passed with %56 support, and according to several polls, the bid to fully legalize the green stuff also has %56 support with the people of California. So one way or another, it looks like California very well may be the first State to end the senseless war on drugs, at least where cannabis is concerned.
Estimates on the amount of money they would make from taxing it fall around 1.3-1.5 BILLION dollars a year!! That's huge folks! Then you take into account the estimated savings of 203 million dollars a year in enforcement costs (that doesn't take into account local investigations by sherrifs and local LEOs), the ability for law enforcement to shift it's focus back on crime that we really need protected from, such as theft, murder and rape, and it's starting to look pretty nice.
Then you take into account the jobs that are going to be created, the tourism from coffee house type establishments, the increase in public safety because the drug gangs will not have cannabis to sell as an illicit drug anymore, and I'm really paying attention.
The drug warriors out there will yell, "But then it will be easier for our kids to get pot!" Go ask any group of teenagers, "What is easier to get right now, beer or marijuana?", and they will tell you pot is nearly everytime. The drug dealers out there are not checking for IDs, whereas the store clerk better be, or he will get busted. And that drug dealer gives them access to far scarier drugs out there, that will really cause them harm. Want to shut him down? Make cannabis legal for people aged 21 and older, and he will not have a business anymore.
Now I've written a little about the more practical reasons why cannabis should be legalized and regulated. But I also need to write about some of the other lesser thought of plusses to regulated cannabis. It would help keep many families together. People lament about the absence of fathers in their children's lives. Well STOP putting them in jail over non-violent marijuana possession so they can have that chance! Marijuana prohibition has broken up many families, and caused massive financial hardship for them as well. The costs a person and his family soak up while he or she is being prosecuted for a marijuana offense can be staggering. The costs in court fees, potential fines, loss of job while incarcerated, and unable to get a decent job once free, can break a familie's financial back. That puts a huge stress on everyone else, as they will likely end up needing public assitance just to get by.
In countries that are much more tolerant of cannabis use and possession, such as the Netherlands, they are noticing a lower per capita use of the stuff than here in the United States, home of some of the most restrictive prohibition laws in the first world. Yes, that's right, lower. And not just among adults, but also among teenagers. Not to mention, the Netherlands is a much safer place than our nation is.
There are 3 groups of people I see that have the most to lose from the ending of cannabis prohibition.
1. The drug lords themselves. They don't want the stuff legal, then they would lose their biggest source of money. They are billionaires with armies at their disposal thanks to cannabis prohibition, and they are winning folks, make no mistake about it.
2 . Law Enforcment. Yes, I am questioning the motives of law enforcement. I do not think the police are above question, nor do I think they should be free from public scrutiny. After all, we are the ones they are sworn to protect and to serve right? We are the ones that pay their salary. That means I want to know just what they are using my hard earned tax dollars for. Unfortunatley, I am finding that they are all too often being used to fund a drug war that's really a war against the citizens. It gives them the finances to get military style equipment, so that they can kick down doors of private non violent citizens, just because they smelled marijuana smoke through an open window or something. I'm a little offended by people thinking it's the term "violence of action" is ok when used in conjunction with non violent offenders. It is most defintely not ok for law enforcement to use terror tactics on it's citizens. Where is the protection from them? The days of what amounts to paramilitary soldiers busting down your door at 5AM with a battering ram, throwing flash bangs, terrorizing your children, quite possibly shooting your dogs, even if it's a poodle, all because you maybe smoke a little weed, needs to be over.
And finally, last but not least, 3. The Health Care Industry and the politicians they employ. The Health Care industry and the Federal Government are the biggest drug dealers in the world, and they simply don't want any competition. Right now, I am in the process of being taken off of Methadone, a very powerful and dangerous opiate. It's a process that my doctor tells me could kill me if I don't do it right. And I believe her, because I started the process by trying to go cold turkey on my own, and it damned near did. They gave me a sack full of drugs meant to help me through this. Yet the side effects of some of those drugs are just as vicious as the side effects of the methadone, not to mention the cost on my liver. My healthcare team convinced me to use the methadone, because they honestly felt it was safer for me than the medical marijuana. That's a funny one, they wanted to take away a substance that has very few negative side effects, and has never killed a single person directly in the history of it's use, and works like a charm to manage my pain levels, and give me a substance that in 2005 killed more people aged 45 to 54 than car crashes in the United States. And they stated it was because they were afraid of the side efffects of the cannabis use. Funny, prior to the Delaudid and Methadone, when I was just using medical cannabis, I went to work everyday, was productive, fairly pain free, and happy. I had a great relationship with my family, my romatic life was finally squared away, and I was on the road to success. Now, I can't go to work. They don't want me to go into withdrawl symptoms while at work, which I totally understand. I'm moody, depressed, and fearful right now. Those things will change with time though.
I am a living testimony to what the drug war has done to us. It has perverted our Criminal Justice system, helped to make the public suspicious of law enforcment, and caused us more human civil rights abuses than we care to think about. It is being perpetuated by greedy people that don't want to work hard for a living. Why go after dangerous criminals that can get you killed when you can pick on some poor wheelchair bound soul for smoking some grass? That pervailing attitude needs to change. We cannot truly live in a free society when such a significant portion of it is criminalized for what is essentially no different than someone that drinks a glass or three of wine every evening. And we certainly can no longer afford to let such a huge cash crop go to the criminal gangs anymore. Legalizing it puts the benefits of the marijuana industry into our hands, not theirs. Right now, Washington State is suffering from a 1.5 Billion dollar deficit in it's budget. A significant portion of that money could easily be received by a similar thing happening here as well. There are over 630,000 marijuana users in Washington State as of 2007, with about half of them being regular users. That's alot of potential revenue going down the drain. And excise tax on the marijuana being grown, as well as a sales tax on the consumer end of it, would generate alot of revenue this state desperately needs right now. It would create jobs, from people involved in the growing of it, to the distribution side. Those jobs would allow more people to be tax paying citizens, keeping our economy growing. We would save millions of dollars every year in law enforcement costs. Who would you rather be locked up, the guy that got busted with 60 bucks worth of pot, or a serial rapist? Why are there violent, level 3 sex offenders out on the street, when we have jail beds taken by that guy with marijuana? I totally get it if you don't like pot, I myself do not care for cigarettes and alcohol all that much. I would most definetely rather be stoned than drunk. But I respect your choice to be a beer swilling, gun toting redneck, if you can respect my choice to be a stoned, peaceful, no gun having libertarian.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My life as an opiate addict

Yes, I said it. I'm an opiate addict. Just how did I get to this place in my life? I grew up in a good family. There was physical abuse from a step father, but he didn't last that long. I have a mom that to this day is wonderful to me, she's a guide, a mentor, and a friend. I have siblings that are close with me, I am in a wonderful relationship. Just what in my life would cause me to want to go down the long, dark, and ultimately deadly road of opiate addiction?
The truth is, I don't want that, and never did. Let's get this out there early on. I have never put a needle in my arm and used heroin or anyother opiate illegally. For some reason or another, through many injuries, some of them pretty damned serious, my body has become addicted to opiates. Without them in my system, I am in more agony than a non-addicted person could possibly imagine. The physical consequences to my injuries has left me in alot of pain, and without some sort of chemical interruption in the pain cycle, the pain in my back, my knees, and my hips would be so great that I would be incapable of living life.
For 20 years now, I have been off and on with opiates. It started out with a pretty bad backache. The doctor perscribed vicodin for it. Over the years, with injuries, trips to the ER, surgeries, and pretty scattered medical care, I have graduated to Methadone. Talk about a scary thing let me tell ya. At the height of my addiction, I was taking Methadone, Delaudid, and large amounts of muscle relaxers. I am now down to just the methadone, and down to 5mgs every 8 hours like clockwork.
What happens if I take my meds late? What if that clock I was just writing about is off? What happens to me then? Well, if I am late for my methadone by even a half hour, I am doubled over in agony, vomiting, crying, with full body convulsions that I can't stop. This will last until I get some Methadone in my system, then within 45 minutes, I start to come out of it. I have had withdrawl symptoms that were so bad and painful that I sincerely wished at that time that I were dead. I have a hard time keeping food down now, so getting enough calories to fuel all of this is becoming quite an issue. I feel sometimes as if my body is so tired, so exhausted from this fight, that it is in danger of failing altogether.
The longest I have gone in the past couple of months without opiates in my system has been 2 days. I was so tired of all of it that I got it in my head that I was just going to quit them. How bad can it be right? A 5 mg tab of Methadone is about the size of a chewable aspirin. How can a little tiny pill like that be so tough to get off of, right? Wrong folks. By the time Amber found me a doctor that would actually help me, I was in danger of being hospitalized. I was soaking through shirts within minutes, you could wring my clothes out. My body was locked into a permanent spasm, I could not even get my arms to relax enough to be able to grasp onto a water bottle. And my blood sugar had become dangerously low at that point because I could not keep food in my stomach.
Through all of this, I have tried for days unsuccessfully to get into a detox clinic, where I could have medical supervision while I get through this. Needless to say, every door slammed right in my face, which I find reall odd, considering that was what they are supposed to do, and yet everyday, assuming I could get them on the phone to talk to me, I was told to call back the next day.
Prior to the Methadone, when I would go through a period of opiate use due to the pain issues, I would have some minor withdrawl symptoms, then I was fine. With the Methadone, I am simply in hell. It is by far the worst I have ever had it.
Our society has become so enamored of drugs that things like this is ok with people. It certainly is not ok with me. The one and only drug that I have used with success in all areas, from the ability to keep the pain at bay, to being able to function, to being able to eat food, to being able to be awake, that has not treated me in such a rough fashion has been the medical use of cannabis. Yet according to the government, cannabis has no medical value whatsoever. And yet, cannabis keeps the pain at bay for me, lifts my mood because the chronic pain makes me rather depressed at times, allows me to have a life with my family and loved ones, has been the medicine that works for me, gives me the ability to function in society,rather than being a drain on it. And yet the Federal goverment, specifically the DEA and the ONDCP have said that by using cannabis I am a criminal subject to imprisonment, and the stigma of being a drug abuser. But they have no problem whatsoever with seeing me stupified and non functional on high doses of very powerful opiates.
Tonight, Amber and Lici came home and immediately had to drop everything and help me. I had spent the entire day in severe withdrawl. Even with taking the meds on time, I could not stop spasming, convulsing, crying, and I had soaked completely through the clothes I had worn all day. Amber literally had to put a cannbis pipe to my lips and light it for me to get things to settle down. The doctors gave me a massive cocktail of drugs to assist with the withdrawl, but they also have pretty sever side effects that make it very hard to justify taking most of them. The Cannabis is doing for me what it takes 8 other medications to do for me, with not one single side effect the other drugs give me. The only thing it does to me that I'm slightly ashamed of is that it really gives me the munchies. But seeing as my preferred munchies are chopped raw veggies, fruit and light proteins, I guess I can live with that.

What's in my future? I haven't got a clue. But today I stuck with my recovery plan, giving me a chance at tomorrow. At least, with the help of Amber and Lici, I have a hope for tomorrow.
I am unsure as to how long I will be able to stay in recovery this time around, but that's not what matters to me. Just having the Hope that there is going to come a day that opiates are no longer ruling my life, that I am free of my chains.
Yes I'm an addict, but do I not deserve the very same freedoms and liberties that other people enjoy? My life is precious to me, even as sick as I am. It is also precious to my loved ones, they don't want to see me dead or locked up in prison.
I have been spending alot of time since the surgery researching the real story of our completely and totally failed "War on Drugs". The human rights abuses perpetrated by law enforcement and government are staggering. So many dead, so many families broken up, so many people incarcerated, so many victims, so much money spent on all of this, when it could instead be used to help people like me, who are wanting to beng recovering from my addiction, get into a rehabilitation center. That is an entirely different topic though, and one I will most certainly be sharing my views on as well.
The medical community, Big pharma, Big insurance, and Big brother may have helped to create an addict, but this addict is reclaiming his liberty, and hopes that the rest of this world will wake up one day and demand an end to the tyranny and abuses perpetrated on the sick and dying.

Choose Liberty in all aspects of your life, for once you choose to give up those liberties, even just one, the road to oppression is a short one indeed.