Oxy and Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse

We have not even addressed the most obvious and publicly agreed upon example of prescription drug abuse, regarding the pain killer Oxy. Doctors, inspired by the cut they get from the drug companies, prescribe this pain killer though they know it is addictive. Once addicted, the victim finds that Oxy cost 40$ per fix, but heroine only 10. Pressured by the addiction, the solution is obvious, and the heroine dealer has a new customer. Sort of reminds one of Dolphins fishing, where one group herds the fish and the other eats them. So we have a new heroine epidemic, a continuation of the strange spike that coincided with the war in Afghanistan. No one has quite been able to explain how increased U. S. presence led to an increase in heroine imports. Just sit back and watch your T. V. , vote or don’t vote, rant or don’t rant, but do not fire the congressmen in their pockets, kick them out of the medical schools and hospitals, and forbid rewards to doctors for prescribing certain drugs.

Do not have news agencies that fearlessly expose the drug companies and investigate the “campaign contributions” buying your representatives. Someone you know has becomes a heroine addict due to Oxy, and will join those with a fifteen percent chance of even surviving, let alone making their lives worth living. Are you missing any of your stuff? My only question is whether more money is earned when the system gets the addict all signed up after their arrest than when the dealers get the suburban user stealing for them. Again, this is like the dolphins fishing, a very simple scam, and the sort organized crime just loves. Organized crime has penetrated our society at a very fundamental level, and we do not have the spirit to say no to them any more than to Facebook. We have become to slavish to retain our ancient liberty.

“Everybody swim down.”

And for them, one always wonders why they do not retire or convert, and turn their powers to good uses, to redeem the time lost. Like a gambler, too, they might quit while ahead. And as with the very wealthy, when they are seen to sweat over amounts of money, one wants to ask, “Do you have enough money yet? For at some point, more money becomes useless, like a piece of sculpture. Oh, excuse me, I will go sit in my room full of cash. For your sons and daughters.

Putting Thoughts Together on the Bill of Rights

Sometimes it takes us a while to realize how two thoughts are related. Here the wisdom of the founding and the Bill of Rights proves to be far ahead of us. Consider how our disregard for the Fourth Amendment and property seizures in the Fifth might be related. Government might now use their infinite surveillance to find the most profitable instances to seize property. Our Fifth Amendment, in my reading, forbids government from interfering with the liberty of citizens, for example in drunk driver check lanes, without a particular reason, such as one’s car is weaving. This also means that government cannot create false instances or arrange circumstances and scenes in order to look for crime. I recall once seeing a mad preacher in a bus station being arrested in order to distract people while buses were being searched. Undercover officers are currently allowed to create false circumstances without probable cause, say, ding this to ten people in order to glean one crime. The other nine have then had their liberty violated contrary to the Fifth Amendment. In a word, the Constitution forbids our being interferred with when a spacific reason is lacking, and this is more important than at first appears.

Another place where two thoughts come together is the realization that, while we have been told that it is necessary to ignore the Fourth Amendment due to terrorism and war, Congress has not been able to say no to Google and Facebook, when information brokering is obviously a national security threat. Our dangers are so severe that everyone’s phones must be tapped, and yet Google is allowed to spy on everyone, Facebook to use facial recognition, selling information even on government workers to absolutely anyone with money? One sees how serious are the reasons given for the setting aside of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. The thought that spying can be used to steal the citizen’s property is very disturbing. How about a list of all citizens too poor to afford lawyers, and conversely, which citizens can afford lawyers. Such a list would be very helpful to our criminal police when they go to gather cars for their relative’s impound yards. Such things are being done, and our elected officials cannot keep up with the ingenious uses government have for our rights, once we give these over. You want to protect against terrorism and war? The first thing is to never abuse power, and the second, to prosecute and remove the abusers of government power, quickly and thoroughly, whenever this occurs. You tell the citizens terrorism and war are so serious you must ignore the Fourth and Fifth Amendments? Why not demonstrate your seriousness by opposing the abuse of power, since this is extremely dangerous in many ways. Just say no, then, to Google, Facebook, and government that, when the Bill of Rights is violated and powers abused, admits of no oversight, accountability and meaningful recourse.

Rand Paul or Tim Walberg for Vice President

After Ben Carson wins the primary (assuming that American elections are not an illusion), he will need a running mate. We, the American voters, rarely choose a person capable of being president, but rather, the party operatives traditionally persuade the candidate that a certain crucial segment of the electorate will be brought in by a complementary candidate. This is a grave error, and makes me wish I were an adviser for example to John McCain when he chose Sarah Palin instead of Colin Powell. We are so corny about race and gender that Ms. Palin will again find herself a Vice Presidential candidate. Any governor with the support of eighty percent of their citizens, as Ms. Palin had in Alaska, is obviously impressive. Our own governor Snyder has not demonstrated concern for the constitution, though he has my basic confidence as an economic governor, on money matters. He could order the State Police and all municipalities to cease these criminal property seizures tomorrow, but will not even respond to a phone call suggesting such a thing. Rand Paul in the Senate and Tim Walberg in the House have passed a bill that begins to address property seizures by the federal government, hoping, as Representative Walberg said, to set an example for the states. This shows a number of things: The ability to lead, concern for the Constitution, and the absence of being on the take or in someone’s pocket. Rand Paul especially has shown the ability to stand in the forefront alone when he is right and sees something that is true, even when he is the only one who sees it. These are crucial elements of the capacity to be president. Mr Walberg has yet to demonstrate that he is capable of questioning the FBI and CIA, and has been slow to support the Fourth Amendment as strongly as the Fifth. Rand Paul has learned some things about foreign policy in the past couple years, but his previous isolationism demonstrates that like President Obama, he will only take America to war when it is truly necessary. But these incompleteness-es are the obverse of virtues, and the Oval Office has a way of completing a character quickly. We might support either of these for President, and that is the kind of person who we should elect for Vice President. We have a great deal of trust in Mr. Walberg regarding foreign policy, as we do John McCain, though I do not know his positions in detail. He may, for example, support those who allowed the waterboarding of a very bad man “183 times,” as Senator Feinstein said, and to no purpose, even leading to a wild goose chase after false information, as Mr. Cheney might, for all I know. But I do not think so. Provided that he agrees with John McCain on most matters, we should draft him to run with Mr. Carson.

NPR Stateside Hosts Holly Harris on Property Seizures

Holly Harris of Fix Forfeiture, a coalition of conservative and liberal groups, has chosen Michigan as one of three states to focus the effort to end civil asset forfeiture. They can be found at Fixforfeiture.org. The examples are very disturbing, and this has been occurring for some fifteen or twenty years now. We call for the property to be returned, and the thieves to be removed from office and punished. But we will be lucky if a great deal of effort can cut the amount in half. We call, too, for our president and governor to order their agencies and police to cease this at once. But our call matters little, and our speech is no longer protected any better than our property.

Property seizure by the executive branch of government is unconstitutional in the United States. Our constitution, in the Fifth Amendment, simply states “No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” This means basically that property can only be taken as a punishment judged fitting in a court, by a judge. The executive branch, which includes the police, do not determine and inflict punishments in America. The constitution knows nothing of the facetious argument that property can be guilty of a crime. This is very simple constitutional scholarship, and we defy anyone to object. Give us the arguments. There are none.

Property seizure frees the executive branch from the appropriations and hence the oversight of the legislature. This is one fundamental reason that the circumstance is unconstitutional. It was not envisioned, prior to the Iran-Contra scandal, (committed by one of our heroes, in a cause that may have been just) that the executive could simply dispense with our elected representatives by raising their own funds.

How on earth civil asset forfeiture came to be practiced as it is, where on the Federal level, 80% of property seized is taken when no charges are filed, is the big question. This, my fellow Americans, is tyranny pure and simple, and calls for the appropriate response, which is to end this practice immediately. This is now being done in Michigan, and a bill proposed by Representative Walberg of Michigan and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has begun the Federal process. Good, because we may then be able to avoid advocating the right and duty of revolution under the fourth assertion of the second sentence of the Declaration- which is fundamental law in America. And let us make these governments return this stolen property, and remove those in law enforcement responsible. Then we might be on the road to healing our nation of the cancer that allows the police to steal, before it destroys our nation.

The police departments should be gravely embarrassed and humiliated that such a circumstance could ever come to be. The stunning ignorance of and disregard for the Constitution, by both the courts and the police, should be a permanent lesson to us. It is also at the root of the unjust shootings by police: enough of them do not know how to police a free people, nor could they care about the difference between policing in a free nation and in a tyranny. Her is your quiz then, if I am wrong, what is the difference? The fact that we must fear for having said so is another lesson, that the First Amendment is no more secure than the Fourth and Fifth, and lives no more secure than property, is another lesson. We have been told that tyranny is necessary because of crime and terrorism, while the police departments have been lining their pocket, and our own municipalities acquiescing for a cut. Our suspicion is that these are not the only ones receiving a cut of the money, and that this, organized crime, will be found at the root of this entire circumstance. No judge who has even read the constitution could decide that property is guilty, and can therefore be seized regardless of the persons to whom it belongs. This is simply a joke, and it is in every such decision that we ought have our FBI look for the payoffs, if not in their own pockets. But our Congress will not, and our President cannot, oversee their own executive agencies. This, too, is a part of how this circumstance has come to be.

Make no mistake, and let us no longer flatter ourselves by calling our nation free. It has for some time been a partial tyranny, with popular blessing. The fact is that Americans care more about their own money and pleasures, calling this the “American Dream.” We no longer understand or care about the difference between tyranny and liberty at the root of our Bill of Rights. We have sold and prostituted our liberty, and are speeding on our way to seeing the consequences, like a good democracy, only when these consequences actually occur. We won wars in the past because we are free, or stand for liberty.

We can expect that some very smart persons knew that sooner or later, the people might figure out the property seizure scam, and already have a plan to make the current changes ineffective, with a few payments to a few campaign funds, a couple intimidating threats, and some palm oil. Is not the difference beteen “probable cause” and “preponderance of evidence” rather subjective, for a little money? That is the trouble with Jeff Irwins bill, which obviously had to be moderated to assure support when he proposed it. How this circumstance came to be is most important because even if we pass the eight bills, this how will still be with us. They will go then to charging people with absurd crimes, then, and taking the property anyway, for example. Fix Forfeiture does not even seem to realize the depth of the unconstitutionality of this circumstance. And should this fail, they will go to the trouble of sending the matters through the courts, and enlisting our judicial branch, again with campaign contributions or direct payoffs, the same that led to civil asset forfeiture. For ten years, teaching American Government, we tried to show what a marvel the U. S. government was, countering cynicism, and we have been shown fools. This trust will not be restored in our lifetime. We may be in Canada by the time these laws are passed, as we cannot bear to live in a nation where we must fear that should our car, on the way to labor jobs with our PhD, break down we may never drive again. If my property is seized for having spoke, no one will do anything about it. There has surely been a focus on seizing amounts small enough to avoid lawyers who may have read the constitution and will bring it into court, requiring potentially messy payoffs. And again I will warn you, in parting, that we won wars in the past because we were a free people. Though we have learned to imitate its founders, Vegas will not give us even odds in a contest between tyrannies. Other nations have longer practice or more intense zeal than will a post-constitutional America. We hope you all feel secure in your lives, your wealth and public pleasures without a Fourth Amendment. What do we have to hide? Did you not know, or do you not care, that the rest of the Bill of Rights was attached?

Ben Carson, and the centrist libertarians are one hope where there is frankly very little hope.

NPR Begins to Question Abuse of Psychiatric Drugs

Sarah Alvarez has indicated, on public radio July 2nd, that children in foster homes in Michigan are three to five times more likely to be prescribed psychiatric medicine than other children. This is probably because being a foster child is very disturbing, and the state agencies, convinced of the value of drugging children, has easy access to these. One commentator actually stated the suggestion that these medicines be used not as a first but as a last resort because the long term side effects are unknown. We have long argued that our scientific ignorance of psychology and psychiatry leaves a large opening for the drug companies to market their wares, bribing the doctors into recommending various drugs like Aderol, Zoloft and Abilify as well as Ritilin and the anit-psychotic drugs. Unlike medicines for the body, the causes and cures regarding the soul are unseem, and no one realizes the extent of our scientific ignorance regarding the soul. The Neurologists just tell us about dopamine and neuron receptors, parts of the brain that light up during certain activities, and we swallow their garbage hook, line and sinker. Having had the experience of setting out to become a psychologist, but giving up when I found that what they study has more to do with animal training and now veterinary medicine, with no concern at all for genuine knowledge if this does not look like physics or statistics, but rather involves the attempt to associate with the wise, and those who for two or three thousand years have done the most to try to know the human being. Our psychology still pretends that the study of man began with Freud, or worse, with Watson, Wundt and B. F. Skinner. The knowledge of man accessible trough the introductory dialogues of Plat, which are easy to read, is vastly and demonstrably superior to our psychology. These works- Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo- are not even read in most programs of psychology. The questions that are not even raised in our psychiatric education makes one painfully aware of the extent of our scientific ignorance and the basis from which we drug children and anyone else we allow the industry to get its hands on. We literally do not know what we are doing, and the science simply does not care. Its practitioners continue to draw six figure salaries for legally drugging us after fifteen minute interviews. The knowledge of man is the peak of the sciences of the beings. Our science cannot even account for why living things are different from nonliving things, plants from animals, mammals from insects, and man from the other animals. Our trust in psychiatry and drugging is tragically misplaced. One does not see this until he sees what the curriculum is that supposedly gives a shrink medical authority over our souls. The psychiatrist will put up a virile defense, insisting that the only hope for mental sufferings is them. My car mechanic also makes a living by telling me how much I need him. We need to distinguish business interest from scientific knowledge. When we learn the extent of human ignorance regarding man and all the important questions, then psychiatry might switch to using drugs only when necessary, for practical reasons, such as to save a life, rather than whenever possible as though we could write a prescription for excellence and happiness..

Why Not Buy Athens?

With the Greek economy in shambles, one wonders if it is not possible to buy Athens, some of the ancient sites around Sparta and Corinth, or the palace of Agamemnon at Ithaca. These might make nice provinces, perhaps not like a full state, but territories like Puerto Rico. These might make very nice places for American universities. It may be a generation or two, though, after the modern nation has overcome its fascination with communism and fascism by recovering something of its ancient tradition, that the Greek province might become a state, and Greeks admitted into citizenship. With the American economy as it is, such a project would need at least to break even, but one wonders if something could not be devised, some partnership in this most ancient of nations where free government may have been born.

Gerrymandering

So, if, contrary to the current 5-4 decision of the Court, it is unconstitutional to take districting away from the legislatures, let’s elect centrist and independents to our legislatures who are capable of drawing districts according to natural political areas rather than partisan interests. Let’s embarrass our representatives into subordinating private interest to the good of the state and nation and the sanctity of the political process. We should be ashamed, but a droid could more be trusted with drawing districts than either party, if fed the key rational criteria. Let’s produce such maps, and dare the politicians to object, embarrass them into supporting the maps, or face the political future of a known adherent of a partisan faction that is not able to aim at the public good.¬†And let us hope elections themselves are never so subject to parties.

A Question for the Carson Campaign

As an adjunct teacher of American Government, we became accustomed to a very centrist political view in certain respects. The Democrats are more the party of the many, and the Republicans the party of the few. When concerned with partisan interests, the few are oligarchs, while the many uphold the good not of all, but of the many and not the few. And when they are being good, each view the common good in a different respect. The virtue of the Democrats is more compassion for the poor, while the Republicans is more a concern for the things of honor and ethical virtue. Hence the Democrats are more ethically liberal, though less likely to sacrifice the natural good to artificial virtue. Both pertain to the common good, and either, the few or the many, are preferable to the other when the other aims at a partisan interest.

I have been very impressed with Ben Carson lately, but the biggest question I have about his campaign is his view of the Democrats. In the campaign pamphlet Dr. Ben Carson: He Will Heal Our Broken Land, about three and four pages from the end, a number of things are said about the Democrats that sound not like facts but like interpretations, and we wish to challenge the Run Ben Run committee to support these statements. Do the Democrats really reject the view of America as good, seeing it rather as the source of all the problems in the world? Or is this not a partisan spin on the concern that America admit our flaws and not cause harm or do injustice in foreign policy? And do the Democrats really believe in diversity rather than unity under the ideals of the Founders, wanting to transform America into a socialist utopia ruled from the top down? And is Saul Alinsky, who dedicated his book to Lucifer, really the one influence on the theory of the Democratic party? Or is this not literally a demonization of rather more garden variety differences regarding the common good? Do they really “seek an ideal that has its roots in the French Revolution? And are they the ones lately teaching that the “ends justify the means? Do they create rage against the successful, promote racial divisions for political gain, set workers against employers and the old against the young? Are there no examples given because this is just an interpretation of facts that might as easily be explained as Democrat policies, when the Democrats won the elections? Is the Obamaphone an illicit gift to buy the votes of the poor, or an attempt to help those below the tech line from slipping out of the economy completely because they cannot keep up with the rich in the new tech age? And to prevent the disappearance of the middle class, when most become trapped below the line of being able to afford the equipment necessary to hold a job? And do the rich not arrange the technological and internet world without regard for the poor or anything other than profit? Would the Republicans do anything at all about health care if they were not attempting a counter proposal?

Ben Franklin invented the first fire department. Today’s Republicans might call this socialism. But the fact is that there are some things better carted for by the city, like a fire department. Let each put out his own fire, and like Social Darwinists, we will look for the selection of the fire conscious, and the lucky. Health insurance might be one of those things better cared for in common, if we can do this in the right way. At some point, it becomes a matter for the common good to not have people starving or lacking clothing and shelter. Let the “capitalists” each educate their own children, and call public education socialism. The fact is that our nation was founded before capitalism was even thought of, and while the free market is, industrial capitalism is not a part of our constitution. We would not even think of ourselves as “capitalist” were we not taking our political language from Marx. But I would be very surprised if our Democrats were really indistinguishable from French Revolutionaries or violent revolutionary Marxists. We ought save these terms for when they mean something, and this is the problem with demonization: The real thing walks right by while the conservative wastes his breath on a false opponent. The view of Ben Carson of the Democrats and Barak Obama is, again, the most serious question I have about a candidacy I still support. We await an explanation of these two pages of the campaign literature.